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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Bishop urges young people to ‘cherish’ grandparents

The Bishop of Plymouth has urged young people to “cherish” their grandparents and continue to learn about faith from them.

Bishop Mark O’Toole also urged grandparents to “continue to witness to the Lord, and to the beauty of our faith, both within your own family and to the people around you”.

In a pastoral letter read throughout the Diocese of Plymouth over the weekend, the bishop reminded parishioners that Friday 26th July marks the memorial of Ss Joachim and Anne, the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

“It is good to know that Jesus lived within a family and to reflect on the reality that he knew the influence and presence of an older generation,” Bishop O’Toole said.

He said he wanted to take the memorial as an opportunity to remind parishioners about the importance of grandparents, “both for us personally and in the life of faith”.

“I know that many of you have grandchildren and play an important part in their lives. Many of us are grateful for the sacrifice and generosity we experienced in our grandparents and thank God for them, living or dead,” he said.

Recalling recent visits throughout the diocese, Bishop O’Toole said he had met and spoken with various young people who had very positive things to say about their grandparents.

“They look up to you, and are grateful to you for your support and love for them. They know that for you, our Catholic faith is vital. Many want to deepen that faith, in their own lives,” he explained.

Recalling a humorous saying of Pope Saint John XXIII – “The young need to remember that the world existed before them, and those who are older that the world will continue to exist after them!” – Bishop O’Toole urged both generations to continue to communicate with one another.

“To our young I say, ‘continue to cherish your grandparents and learn from them what it means to love and to live a life of faith’,” he said.

“To our grandparents, I say, ‘thank you for your fidelity and generosity. Do continue to witness to the Lord, and to the beauty of our faith, both within your own family and to the people around you.’

“May each of us, young and old, deepen our faith in the Lord, and in the company of the Church, bring others to Him,” he concluded.

Picture: Grandparents playing a card game with their granddaughter. (Melody Davis/Zuma Press/PA).