Marriage and Family Life Diocesan Coordinators Clara Donnelly and Maureen O’Brien are delighted to announce that a Grandparents’ Mass will be held at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King on 18th December at 11am to which everybody is warmly invited. The celebrants are The Most Reverend Patrick Kelly Archbishop of Liverpool Diocese and Rt Rev. Brian Noble, Bishop Emeritus, Diocese of Shrewsbury. Grandparents are welcome to bring along their children and their grandchildren. The children will make Christmas cards for grandparents which will be presented at the Offertory Procession, and refreshments will be available afterwards in the Gibberd Room. Catherine Wiley, founder of the Catholic Grandparents Association (CGA) will speak at the beginning of Mass.
Clara told us that she was inspired to do more in support of the CGA after hearing Catherine Wiley speak movingly about grandparents’ days and grandparents’ pilgrimages at a national event in October 2010. Clara subsequently attended the Walsingham pilgrimage for grandparents in July 2011 and decided it was time to do something in her own diocese. By chance she was invited as a ‘surrogate granny’ to a grandparents’ day at a Catholic Primary on the Wirral, by a five year old girl whose own grandmother lives in Northern Ireland and couldn’t attend. The head teacher gave Clara permission to distribute the CGA’s leaflets at the event which was attended by over 200 grandparents. A few weeks later Clara was invited to a similar event at her own grandson’s school. The event also attracted over 200 grandparents and Clara was able to distribute CGA leaflets and lead the gathering in the Grandparents’ Prayer specially written for grandparents by Pope Benedict XVI. Mrs Frost, the school’s head teacher said afterwards,
“It really was one of the most rewarding events we have organised as the enjoyment that was shared was so evident and the appreciation of grandparents very clearly expressed”.
|Grandmothers at the 2011 Aylesford Grandparents’ Pilgrimage|
Clara has since spoken to seven head teachers in Shrewsbury Diocese about the value of grandparents’ days and will address many more head teachers in the New Year. The response has been overwhelmingly positive so far, with all seven head teachers confident that they will be able to organize a grandparents’ day in their school before the end of the academic year.