Diocese to celebrate grandparents, older mentors


By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger

In celebration of the first World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, the Diocese of Davenport will host a free, virtual event for all grandparents and “adopted” grandparents July 23 from 7-8:30 p.m.

“Grandparents and others serving as mature mentors often play a profound role in the spiritual formation of the children and young adults with whom they are in relationship,” said Marianne Agnoli, Marriage and Family Life coordinator for the Diocese of Davenport. “The diocese wanted to acknowledge them for this important contribution and encourage them as they continue to serve as a model of faith in the lives of the young people they encounter.”

Pope Francis recently instituted World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly as part of the Amoris Laetitia Family Year. It will take place the fourth Sunday of July, “close to the liturgical memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, grandparents of Jesus,” Agnoli said


The pope wrote about the importance of mature mentors in his post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia. “Very often it is grandparents who ensure that the most important values are passed down to their grandchildren, and many people can testify that they owe their initiation into the Christian life to their grandparents. Their words, their affection or simply their presence help children to realize that history did not begin with them, that they are now part of an age-old pilgrimage…”

The diocesan event will focus on the theme “Catholic and Grandparenting: Challenges and Opportunities.” Author and grandparent Lauri Pryzbysz will share practical insights, lead a candid discussion and offer inspiration for the grandparenting or mentoring journey. Pryzbysz is a past president of the National Association of Family Life Ministers. “Pryzbysz possesses not only impressive academic credentials, but also the practical wisdom earned by serving as grandmother to 21 grandchildren,” Agnoli said.

To participate, sign up at http://www.davenportdiocese.org/catholic-grandparenting. Contact Agnoli with questions at agnolim@davenportdiocese.org or (563) 888-4242. Deadline is July 20.
Agnoli hopes participants “will be encouraged in their essential vocation of helping to pass on the faith to future generations.”

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