UP Catholic E Edition Page 13

THE U.P. CATHOLIC FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2015 PAGE 13 "Our 122nd Year" Canale Tonella Funeral Home, Inc Mark Canale, Owner/Manager Jerry Pennock, Director 906-226-2711 526 N. Third Street Marquette, MI Canale Gwinn Funeral Home Mark Canale, Owner/Director Jerry Pennock, Manager 906-346-4000 96 E. Stephenson, Ave., Gwinn, MI canalefuneral.com Northern Michigan Hearing Aid Service Senior discounts. Now in our 32nd year! 1-800-637-7816 906-226-2034 1901 W. Ridge St., Marquette, MI 49855 Most insurances accepted. Servicing Manistique, MI (49854) also! COLUMN T his month thousands of Catholics from all over the world will gather in Philadelphia for the Vatican-sponsored World Meeting of Families. We Little Sis- ters of the Poor are looking forward to participating in this great event, the culmination of which will be a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis. In preparation for the World Meeting, our Holy Father has been dedicating his weekly audiences to family is- sues, including the role of the eld- erly in family life. In contemporary western cul- ture, the most common form of family is the small nuclear family unit. In more traditional societies, however, the ideal family is com- prised of several generations. Ac- cording to a recent survey by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), 66 percent of American grandparents live more than 25 miles away from their grandchildren; 75 percent wish they could see their grandchildren more often. In one of his Wednesday audi- ences Pope Francis deplored as a mortal sin the neglect of the elderly by younger family members who, he said, give in to a mentality of im- patience, indifference or contempt. "How easily the conscience falls dormant when there is no love!" he exclaimed. In contrast to such attitudes, our Holy Father advocated for what he called "a culture of closeness to the elderly, a disposition of warm and supportive companionship in this final phase of life." He urged the faithful to "reawaken the collective sense of gratitude, of appreciation, of hospitality, which makes the elder feel like a living part of his community." Speaking directly to the elderly, he encouraged them to resist the temptation to become closed in on themselves. "How awful is the cyn- icism of an elderly person who scorns the young and does not com- municate the wisdom of life! How beautiful, however, is the encour- agement an elderly person manages to pass on to a young person who is seeking the meaning of faith and of life! It is truly the mission of grand- parents, the vocation of the elderly. The words of grandparents have special value for the young. And the young know it." The traditional role of grandpar- ents - giving unconditional love and passing on family, cultural and reli- gious values - is more needed than ever in our highly connected yet overly distracted world. Speaking of connections, an array of online resources exists to help grandparents make the most of their privileged role in the family. The American Association of Re- tired Persons (AARP), the Ameri- can Grandparents Association (AGA) and the England-based Catholic Grandparents Association are just a few of the organizations offering advice and practical re- sources to seniors. The Catholic Grandparents As- sociation asserts that grandparent- ing is a great vocation. "Our title 'grandparent' is surely one of honor. 'Grand' is a word that signi- fies importance What could be greater or more important than our vital task of handing on to future generations the values, skills, ac- complishments of the past, en- hanced by the additions and improvements of our own time? When, as believing Christian grandparents, we talk of our special role in the handing on of the faith it becomes a calling, a calling from God a vocation. It's the vocation that gives meaning to our later years, when our strength starts to wane and our powers to decline. As well as being great and impor- tant, this is a happy vocation, some- thing to be welcomed and celebrated, something which lights up both our own later life and the early lives of our grandchildren." But grandparenting can also be a demanding and delicate task! The Catholic Grandparents Asso- ciation suggests that the presence and example of grandparents should be "unobtrusive, never overbearing, always respectful of the rights and values of others. It involves always being at hand when needed, but never imposing oneself, never interfering. Know- ing when to offer a helping hand or a word of advice, but also knowing when to stand back." Those of us who are younger should take time out of our schedule to spend time with our grandparents and other elders in our families. And for those of you who are grandparents, call upon the inter- cession of Saints Joachim and Anne for the graces you need to fulfill your great and happy vocation! GUEST COLUMN Sister Constance Veit, LSP Grandparenting is a great, happy vocation Prayer for Grandparents Lord Jesus,You were born of the Virgin Mary, the daughter of Saints Joachim and Anne. Look with love on grandparents the world over. Protect them! They are a source of enrichment for families, for the Church and for all of society. Support them! As they grow older, may they continue to be for their families strong pillars of Gospel faith, guardian of noble domestic ideals, living treasuries of sound religious traditions. Make them teachers of wisdom and courage, that they may pass on to future generations the fruits of their mature human and spiritual experience. Lord Jesus, help families and society to value the presence and roles of grandparents. May they never be ignored or excluded,but always encounter respect and love. Help them to live serenely and to feel welcomed in all the years of life which you give them. Mary, Mother of all the living, keep grandparents constantly in your care, accompany them on their earthly pilgrimage, and by your prayers, grant that all families may one day be reunited in our heavenly homeland, where you await all humanity for the great embrace of life without end. Amen. Pope Benedicts XVI's prayer for Grandparents http://www.catholicgrandparentsassociation.org/

Previous Page
Next Page