I Am With You Always

World Day for Grandparents

From the Pastor’s Desk: My brothers and sisters, today we celebrate the first World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly. I would like to share some words from a letter from our Holy Father, Pope Francis, for this celebration:

Dear Grandfathers and Grandmothers, Dear Elderly Friends,

“I am with you always” (Mt 28:20): this is the promise the Lord made to his disciples before he ascended into heaven. They are the words that he repeats to you today, dear grandfathers and grandmothers, dear elderly friends. “I am with you always” are also the words that I, as Bishop of Rome and an elderly person like yourselves, would like to address to you on this first World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly. The whole Church is close to you – to us – and cares about you, loves you, and does not want to leave you alone!

I am well aware that this Message comes to you at a difficult time: the pandemic swept down on us like an unexpected and furious storm; it has been a time of trial for everyone, but especially for us elderly persons. Many of us fell ill, others died or experienced the death of spouses or loved ones, while others found themselves isolated and alone for long periods.

The Lord is aware of all that we have been through in this time. He is close to those who felt isolated and alone, feelings that became more acute during the pandemic…Even at the darkest moments, as in these months of the pandemic, the Lord continues to send angels to console our loneliness and to remind us: “I am with you always”. He says this to you, and he says it to me. That is the meaning of this Day, which I wanted to celebrate for the first time in this particular year, as a long period of isolation ends and social life slowly resumes. May every grandfather, every grandmother, every older person, especially those among us who are most alone, receive the visit of an angel!

At times those angels will have the face of our grandchildren, at others, the face of family members, lifelong friends, or those we have come to know during these trying times when we have learned how important hugs and visits are for each of us. How sad it makes me that in some places these are still not possible! I ask the Lord that, also through his example, all of us may open our hearts in sensitivity to the sufferings of the poor and intercede for their needs. May each of us learn to repeat to all, and especially to the young, the words of consolation we have heard spoken to us today: “I am with you always”! Keep moving forward! May the Lord grant you his blessing. — Pope Francis

The full letter can be read at: https://tinyurl.com/2cexyh7w

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