Parishes across the Archdiocese are being invited to dedicate one of their Sunday Masses to the first ever World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly.

Pope Francis has called for the universal church to celebrate the occasion on Sunday 25 July - the closest Sunday to the memorial of Jesus’ grandparents, Ss Joachim and Ann (26 July).

The theme ‘I Am With You Always’ has been chosen to mark the occasion, organised by The Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life.

Lianne Pap, diocesan Marriage and Family Life Coordinator, is encouraging all parishes to take part in the celebration.

She is developing three diocesan initiatives as part of the event and is now accepting contributions:

Photos: As a diocese I would like to compile some images of grandchildren giving their grandparents a hug (or a virtual hug if they are not able to meet in person).

“These can be emailed to me at [email protected] or I can be tagged on social media Facebook and Twitter

Words of Wisdom: What wise words do you remember that your grandparents or elderly have passed onto you?

“I am inviting children, young adults, families to share these words of wisdom as well as grandparents sharing words of wisdom they have received from their grandchildren.”

Lianne is also working with parishes to explore setting up parish-based grandparents’ groups.

The purpose of these groups would be for grandparents (& honorary grandparents) to meet monthly and come together for prayer, passing on the faith (providing encouragement and exploring good practices, as well as looking at overcoming the obstacles and challenges that are faced), ongoing formation and friendship.

To mark the event, The Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life have produced the following resources for parishes:

Message of Pope Francis


Pastoral Guidelines

Liturgy Notes

Visit the website

Watch! Pope Francis has also released a message:

If you use social media you are invited to use #IamWithYouAlways and tag the dicastery (@laityfamilylife) with any initiatives.

Please contact Lianne for additional information, or to contribute to any of the initiatives, at [email protected]