His Mercy is from Age to Age

On Sunday 23 July our communities will celebrate World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly.

This initiative of Pope Francis began three years ago as an invitation for all of us to explore new ways of engaging with and celebrating the elder members of our community. Pope Francis has chosen the theme ‘His mercy is from age to age’ (Luke 1:50) to emphasise the link with World Youth Day in August and the importance of dialogue between generations. You can read the Pope’s full message here.

As in previous years, the Diocesan Social Justice Council, with the support of the Pastoral Ministries team, has made resources available to communities wishing to deepen their engagement in this space.

In its recent communique, the Council shares how this particular celebration is a chance to honour grandparents and the elderly. The Council points to Pope Francis’ recent interview with the Secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family & Life in which he raised the following points about World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly:

  • Dialogue between the elderly and the young helps to obtain a more complete vision of the way in which a more humane and fraternal society can be built.
  • The Holy Father invites all dioceses to concretely organize the pastoral care of the elderly, where they are the protagonists.
  • Celebration of World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly is an opportunity to initiate pastoral reflection about them, for them and with them.
  • The Holy Father himself has said many times in his speeches that it is necessary to create public policies in favour of the elderly.

In this spirit, the Social Justice Council has invited each parish community, including our schools and agencies, into a space of ‘dialogue and listening’ in response to the question: How is the parish responding to its ageing population?

This is a question that each of us can ponder as we accompany the aged members in our families and our neighbourhoods. If you want to know more about what’s happening in your local parish, speak to your parish leader or, better yet, offer to help organise a local activity. Some local actions include table-talks on matters like health and pastoral care; engaging school communities with aged care residences; story sharing and mentoring; and community outreach. This is an opportunity that calls to all of us old and young. How we respond is up to the creative energies of our communities.

World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly is just the start of the conversation…


For more information on initiatives of the Social Justice Council, contact Brendon Mannyx at brendon.mannyx@mn.catholic.org.au

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