Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Popular News

HomeNewsVaticanGrandparents and grandchildren to gather with Pope Francis for April event

Grandparents and grandchildren to gather with Pope Francis for April event

At a press conference hosted by the Holy See Press Office, organizers unveiled a 27 April event sponsored by Italy’s “Fondazione Età Grande” (Old Age Foundation) that will bring together grandparents and grandchildren to the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall as a way to promote the role and contribution of the elderly in today’s world.

By Tiziana Campisi

Fostering dialogue between generations and enhancing the Third Age in social and cultural spheres are the goals of the 27 April event, “The Caress and the Smile” that will take place in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall.

Some six thousand grandparents, seniors, and grandchildren will meet with Pope Francis. The meeting was presented on Monday morning at the Holy See Press Office with the organizers, including Italy’s Fondazione Età Grande (Old Age Foundation). The event draws on Christian values that highlight and sensitize the rights of the elderly and the corresponding duties of the community.

Rediscovering the patrimony of old age

The initiative aims to offer new perspectives on old age says Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, underscoring the richness of it and how it is not a burden but a resource for people of all ages. The patrimony offered by the third age can be rediscovered, he notes, and that is why the event will feature grandparents and grandchildren among whom there is a special harmony, togetherness, and affective dimension that is not always present among other generations. 

The elderly should appreciate how much they still can give, Archbishop Paglia said at the press conference, noting that in Italy there are 14 million elderly but addressing the political, economic, religious, and cultural issues related to them is lacking.

Pope Francis with his nineteen catecheses on old age during his Wednesday General Audiences has highlighted how important it is to give consideration to the Third Age, even instituting a feast for grandparents, Archbishop Paglia noted. He also added in particular that the Italian state, with Law 33 of 2023 on reforms regarding non-self-sufficiency, has committed to reorganizing care for the elderly, and the hope is that other nations also will also give due attention to issues regarding the older generation. He added that grandparents through their bonds with their grandchildren can help create inter-generational warmth, understanding, and harmony, as all range of generations depend on each other and cannot live seperately from one another.

Fondazione Età Grande

Sponsoring the 27 April event with Pope Francis is Italy’s Fondazione Età Grande (Old Age Foundation) that highlights the human dimension surrounding these issues by placing the person with his or her needs and frailties at the center of reflection on the elderly. The Foundation promotes social policies in favor of the elderly in the world of work, culture and education, public health, economic protection, and social inclusion.

Foundation representative, Mario Marazziti, said “we want to try to humanize our world by showing our care, so that we can heal those affected by isolation and loneliness,” adding that during the event, Archbishop Paglia and Italian actor Lino Banfi (and a grandfather himself) will reflect together and discuss the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren. The event will also include the participation of Italian singer Al Bano, the choir of the Diocese of Rome directed by Msgr. Marco Frisina, followed by the arrival of Pope Francis who will hear the testimonies of three grandparents and three grandchildren.

Popular News

Pope at Mass with children: ‘The Holy Spirit accompanies us in life’

At a Mass in St Peter’s Square for the first World Children’s Day, Pope...

Pope to Mission Societies: ‘Be creative and tenacious”

Pope Francis receives in audience the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) gathered, in Sacrofano, near...

Pope celebrates peace with children gathered in Rome for first WCD

Pope Francis asks children gathered in Rome’s stadium for the first World Children's Day...

Catholic youth ministers meet near Rome to prepare for WYD 2027

The International Congress on Youth Ministry, organised by the Dicastery for the Laity, Family,...