On Saturday, 17th January, we had a visit from Mr Phil Butcher from the Catholic Grandparents Association. The Association is big in Ireland, England and the USA. It recognises the wonderful part Catholic grandparents nowadays play in the continuing faith formation of their grandchildren (and even children). About forty people from the diocese came to hear Phil and to experience something of the fundamental ideas that underpin the Association.
It is to be hoped that those who attended the conference will have the help from their parishes to start an association in their own communities. With so many families experiencing a missing generation in the transmission of the faith grandparents are so well placed to bridge the gap and keep the faith-chain alive and strong. This seems to me to be a real ministry that grandparents can do. Grandparents have an access and a privileged place in the lives of their grandchildren.
They can be a quiet supporting presence to parents and grandchildren in passing on the faith and our Catholic Tradition in a simple way. There will be much more about this later as groups start to form. Ron and Helen Wylie have already had great experience of the CGA and will be coordinating our activities in the diocese with a constant support of the CGA.
Surprisingly the greater number of participants had come from the far-flung parts of the diocese. There were few from the City of Dundee. Bishop Stephen would like to thank those who came from Dunblane,
Alloa, Crieff and Montrose especially for making the effort.