This year’s theme is “I am with you always”—chosen to emphasize the nearness of the Lord and the Church in the lives of all older people, as well as the closeness that young and old can experience together through sharing our Catholic Faith.
An excellent starting point is to become familiar with the life and legacy of the contemporary Blessed Carlo Acutis who is on his way to being the first Millennial saint. In his short life of fifteen years, Bl. Carlo had the innocence and playfulness of a child combined with the wisdom and discipline of a man many years his senior. His greatest passion was the Eucharist, the Real Presence, and so it is no surprise that, using his computer skills, he was responsible for cataloging all the world’s Eucharistic Miracles—indeed, the literal closeness of God to each of us. In addition to his exemplary witness and the inheritance of his Eucharistic Miracles exhibit, Bl. Carlo is a remarkable, unifying figure for grandparents and grandchildren in our current culture. Take a few minutes to watch together a Video about Bl. Carlo—and be prepared to be surprised where sharing the heritage of our Faith can take you!
Invigorated by the spirit of Bl. Carlo’s extraordinary faith, this website is intended to help you find ways at all stages of life and spirituality to share the Faith—with your grandchildren, children and others—maybe even those older than you! Try one idea or try more. Adapt ideas to your family, your parish, and your circumstances, keeping in mind that, in ; God’s plan, we are all here to help each other achieve the fullness of life: spending Eternity with Him! In the words of Bl. Carlo: “Our goal must be the infinite and not the finite. The Infinity is our homeland. We are always expected in Heaven.”
Not everyone has living family or close contacts in the community, but for these individuals, the value of their lives, the unspoken role they play in ours, and their need to be loved is no less important. And so, we offer the “Cherishing Our Seniors” program in which you can share your blessings (as an individual, a family or a parish) with an older person whose life may be changed by a simple gesture of love. As we begin to leave behind pandemic restrictions, these activities are still limited this year, but will expand in the future.
To the older generation we will celebrate and embrace with World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, we repeat the words of St. John Paul II: “The Church still needs you. She appreciates the services which you may wish to provide in many areas of the apostolate; she counts on the support of your longer periods of prayer; she counts on your advice born of experience, and she is enriched by your daily witness to the Gospel.” (St. John Paul II, “Letter of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to the Elderly” 1999) Let us rejoice in this opportunity to give and receive love—the most effective way through which we can help each other on the path to Heaven!