PARISH PRAYER DAY FOR MARRIAGE AND FAMILY LIFE




Monthly Day of Continuous Prayer for Marriage & Family
Life
9th July 2018
Proposed Theme: Grandparents – and Great Grandparents
Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) : Pope Francis
We must reawaken the collective sense of gratitude, of appreciation,
of hospitality, which makes the elderly feel like a living part of the
community. Our elderly are men and women, fathers and mothers,
who came before us on our own road, in our own house, in our daily
battle for a worthy life. (191)
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 to the Christian life to their
grandparents. Their words, their affection or simply their presence
help children realise that history did not begin with them, that they
are now part of an age-old pilgrimage and that they need to respect
all that came before them. (192)
A family that fails to respect and cherish its grandparents, who are its
living memory, is already in decline, whereas a family that
remembers has a future. (193)
Some Thoughts:
• July 26th is the feast of Saints Joachim & Ann, the parents of
Mary, and of course the grandparents of Jesus.
• We have no information about them. The names we give them
come from a tradition that goes back to the second century.
• In the system of extended family at that time, these
grandparents would have had a huge influence on Jesus as he
grew up.
• They would have helped to teach him the skills of human living.
And they would have been involved in his religious education,
bringing him to a knowledge of the God of the Hebrew people.
• Grandparents today also fulfil a very important role in the
upbringing of children and young people. Where there is no
longer a strong system of extended family, or with the break-up
of marriages or with the pressure for example placed on both
parents to work, grandparents have an even more important
part to play in the healthy growth of children.
• They can be a very important source of support for the parents
in their own relationship by enabling them to have time for
each other.
• They can have direct personal contact with each child and
young person by spoiling them now and again.
• They can be a great source of comfort for each child or young
person especially when one of these children needs someone
to confide in.
• And they can be a really good support for the parents in
handing on the faith and the values of the faith, particularly
when the parents may be struggling with practicing the faith
themselves.
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer for Grandparents
Lord Jesus,
You were born of the Virgin Mary,
the daughter of Saints Joachim and Anne.
Look with love on grandparents the world over.
Protect them! They are a source of enrichment for families,
for the Church and for all of society.
Support them. As they grow older,
may they continue to be for their families
strong pillars of Gospel faith,
guardians of noble domestic ideals,
living treasuries of sound religious traditions.
Make them teachers of wisdom and courage,
that they may pass on to future generations the fruits
of their mature human and spiritual experience.
Lord Jesus,
help families and society
to value the presence and roles of grandparents.
May they never be ignored or excluded,
but always encounter respect and love.
Help them to live serenely and to feel welcomed
in all the years of life which you give them.
Mary, Mother of all the living,
keep grandparents constantly in your care,
accompany them on their earthly pilgrimage,
and by your prayers, grant that all families
may one day be reunited in our heavenly homeland,
where you await all humanity
for the great embrace of life without end. Amen.
On the 9th day of each month, our parish of Dungannon prays for Marriage &
Family Life. This is part of a Movement of Continuous Prayer for Marriage &
Family Life, as other parishes and groups take on the prayer for the other days
of the month.
To make this prayer continuous, many people in our parish have committed
themselves to a specific hour of prayer in such a way so that as much of the
whole day and night as possible are covered.
Everyone is invited to join in this prayer, either by taking on an hour, or by
including this intention in their own prayer during that day.
If you would like to undertake an hour each month please contact the Parish
Office (Tel 028 8772 6893) where a special Prayer Booklet is available to assist
you with your Prayer. The hour that you choose is at your discretion and you
can make this Prayer wherever you find it most suitable.
“The future of humanity passes by way of the family.” (Saint John Paul II)