30 May 2022
Grandparents and Elderly
Pastoral kit for the celebration of the Second World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly
Care for grandparents and the elderly: laying the foundations of a long-range pastoral work that will engage us for decades to come.
(Vatican City - May 30, 2022) The Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life today released to the public a pastoral kit with instructions for the celebration of the Second World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly in every diocese, parish and ecclesial community. It consists of the message that the Holy Father published for this occasion, the official prayer and the Pope's Wednesday catecheses on old age. These texts are accompanied by some pastoral and liturgical suggestions.
It was announced today that, also this year, the Apostolic Penitentiary has granted the Plenary Indulgence to all the elderly who participate in the World Day liturgies, and to all those who in the days immediately preceding or following the World Day visit an elderly person who is alone. The visit, in fact, writes Pope Francis in his message for World Day, "is a work of mercy in our time!"
The pastoral kit, which will be sent to all the Episcopal Conferences in the coming days, aims to help putting into practice the Holy Father's invitation to celebrate the World Day in all dioceses, parishes and ecclesial communities, but also to offer pastoral instruments to lay the foundations for a care for the elderly that looks into the future. On this matter, Card. Kevin Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, said that "the care for grandparents and the elderly cannot be something extraordinary, because their presence is not unusual, but an established fact in our societies. The Holy Father invites us to become aware of their relevance in the life of our countries and communities and to do so not in a one-time basis but in a structural way. In other words, it is not a matter of running after an emergency, but of laying the foundations of a long-term pastoral approach that will engage us for decades to come."
The catechesis and the Holy Father's message are the heart of the pastoral kit and involve several indications that can be used, if necessary, adapting them to one's own context. The official prayer is an instrument to help prepare the event and can be recited by the elderly and by those who will be visiting them.