23 August 2018
Dublin: Angelo and Caterina Russo

Learning to Be Grandparents

A couple from Naples in their sixties and married for 35 years tells about “Transmitting the faith from one generation to another: The role of grandparents”

Just a few brushstrokes make it possible to admire a picture of the beauty of a Christian family: “In our lives, we have always put God first, and that motivated us to dedicate ourselves, from the beginning of our marriage, to caring for our family and those of our relatives but also for the families in our neighborhood and our parish. In recent years our Bishop, Cardinal Sepe, asked us to follow the family pastoral care of our diocese as the couple responsible for the Family and Life Office” Being grandparents means being parents twice: “We are learning to be grandparents,” always in the light of the Gospel.

“Having a baby in our arms again, after so many years, feeling that it is of the lineage of the family that we have founded, but at the same time having to show this discreetly and, thus, avoid being too intrusive and provoking jealousy in the parents, is a moving and unique challenge. It is not easy to curb the exuberance of offering suggestions for the child’s education, but the wisdom of our age, together with the complicity always present in our couple, is suggesting new forms of affection and closeness.”

Being grandparents, as Pope Francis says, is a vocation: “The life of our children today is very complicated and hectic; often there is no room for the transmission of faith, but we grandparents can and must help them in this... The grandfather must be the one who listens, mediates, promotes, encourages, reassures, and supports the family, social, and ecclesial life. In this way, he becomes an important and discreet reference point for future generations who have a great desire for coherence and witness, especially in the Church, and are searching for the true God.”

Finally, for Italian grandparents, there are “some good practices and a space for virtual exchange on the website  www.noinonni.it”