On Sunday 23th July, we celebrate the third World Day for Grandparents and Elderly. Pope Francis has chosen the theme “His mercy is from age to age” (Lk 1:50) connecting the Rome event to the great celebration of the World Youth Day in Lisbon (Aug. 1-6), and in other words to ideally put young and old ‘in dialogue’, as the Pope has always desired. The day will be celebrated with a Mass by the Pope in St. Peter’s Square.
Since the beginning of his pontificate, Pope Francis has insisted on overcoming the “throwaway culture” and embarking on a culture of relationships. Today we all know that we live in a society where the elderly are not at the center. The Holy Father’s reflection prompts us to ask some soul-searching questions, “What do we do for the elderly? How do we take care of them? Do our elderly feel lonely? Do they truly have dignity?” Here, we have to put the elderly person at the center and learn from them, and have the desire to think about them and desire to know how they are doing.
One of Caritas Diocese of Plymouth’s priorities is to embrace the value that older people can offer and reach out to those who may be isolated or facing difficulties. A core part of our work is to encourage our Diocesan schools and parishes to develop intergenerational links and to foster a culture of dialogue between generations and we can offer resources and grants to support new activities. You can find out more about our intergenerational work here.