Radio Norfolk Interview with Catherine Wiley

The importance of Grandparents, Interview with Catherine Wiley Founder of The Catholic Grandparents Association on BBC Radio Norfolk.

Walsingham Pilgrimage 26th July 2015

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Big things happening in Walsingham EWTN Radio Interview

Click here to listen to Radio Interview

Walsingham is England’s National Shrine of Our Lady. Founded in 1061 AD it is one of the oldest Marian shrines in the world. Big things are happening at Walsingahm, this according to new shrine rector Mgr. John Armitage. Catherine Wiley, founder of the Catholic Grandparents Association, talked to Mrg. Armitage for Celtic Connections about his vision for the shrine and about the “big things” planned at Walsingham.

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Don’t Miss the St. Anne Novena!

St.-Anne-ChurchAlthough Saint Anne is not mentioned in the Bible, she is the holy mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus. When we pray the St. Anne Novena, we are asking help from our Blessed Mother’s mother!

Saint Anne’s feast day is on July 26th, so the St. Anne Novena is traditionally started on July 17th — but you can pray it anytime.

Devotion to St. Anne began early in the history of the Catholic Church. As she was favored by God to become the mother of the holy Virgin Mary, she is often invoked as the Patron of mothers as well as for relationships, among other things.

Click here to join

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The Rector, Mgr John Armitage, welcomed the 12th annual Grandparents Pilgrimage and parents and countless grandchildren.

PIC3 WHamThe Rector, Mgr John Armitage, welcomed the 13th annual Grandparents Pilgrimage and parents and countless grandchildren. The Catholic Grandparents’ Association was the brainchild of Catherine Wiley. At the end of Mass Catherine spoke of the birth of the association. She was praying in the Slipper Chapel and asking Our Lady what she could do, when she realised what an important part grandparents can play in passing on the faith to future generations. She founded the Association which has grown into a worldwide association with branches in several countries. Pope Benedict wrote a lovely prayer for the association which we all prayed at the end of Mass. Pope Francis has very strongly promoted the invaluable work it does in preserving the faith in the face of the challenges of the contemporary world. Catherine recalled Bishop John Hine telling her that his godmother had told him in the last few days of her life that she had prayed for him every day and how he had felt so privileged. This support was emphasised by the presence of Mgr Carlos Simon Vazquez, undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family, and also the Rector of Knock, Fr Richard Gibbons, who concelebrated.

Mass was celebrated by the Right Revd Peter Doyle, patron of the CGA in England. The Chapel of Our Lady of Reconciliation was packed and there was a wonderful atmosphere of celebration. Grandchildren followed the procession of the clergy holding banners and wished us all a happy Grandparents’ Day before Mass started. They presented the bidding prayers and all their petitions were taken up to the altar at the offertory. Bishop Peter in his homily emphasised that we can all play our part in the future, married or single, grandparents, great uncles and aunts, godparents and family friends.

In the afternoon the children performed a play on the history of Walsingham to a large audience in the church. All went home perhaps a little tired but uplifted by an inspiring day. Thanks are due to all who worked so hard to ensure a memorable time for young and older. The 26th July is the Feast of St Anne and Joachim and we ask for their prayers for our younger generations.

Watch ‘The Walsingham Story’ play written and directed by Liz Dark

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Posted in Latest News, News

Celebrations of St. Joachim & St. Anne Feast Days across the World

 

Click here to read about the celebrations all over the world

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Posted in Latest News, Latest News America, Latest News Ireland, News

“Always when you meet your grandparents you find a surprise. They are patient, they know how to listen…don’t forget grandparents, understand?”

Pope_Francis_greets_pilgrims_in_St_Peters_Square_before_the_Wed_general_audience_on_April_16_2014_Credit_Daniel_Ibanez_CNAPope Francis pointed to the family, noting that right now there are many strong tensions between generations.

Often when we speak of generations, parents and children come to mind, but grandparents are frequently left out, Francis observed.

“Grandparents are the great forgotten of this time,” he said, and encouraged the youth to speak to their grandparents, who are sources of wisdom due to the memory they have of life, tensions, conflicts and faith.

“Always when you meet your grandparents you find a surprise. They are patient, they know how to listen…don’t forget grandparents, understand?”

http://www.catholicworldreport.com/NewsBriefs/Default.aspx?rssGuid=whats-pope-francis-biggest-challenge-finding-true-peace-25749/

Posted in Latest News, Latest News America, Latest News Ireland, News

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York has led 180 pilgrims from the US city to Ireland’s Knock Shrine.

cardinaldolanCardinal Timothy Dolan of New York has led 180 pilgrims from the US city to Ireland’s Knock Shrine.

The pilgrimage is the first from New York to the shrine in County Mayo, and the chartered flight is the first transatlantic service to the nearby airport in eight years.

Welcoming the cardinal and the pilgrims at the start of the eight-day visit on Sunday, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: “There is no reason why Knock cannot take its place on the pedestal of the most important [pilgrimage] shrines of the world such as Lourdes and Fatima.”

dolan2The shrine was established in 1879 after 15 villagers saw an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St Joseph and John the Evangelist,

According to the BBC, the pilgrimage was set up after a meeting two years ago between Cardinal Dolan, the archbishop of New York, and Knock’s parish priest, Fr Richard Gibbons.

“This is a very important and historic day for the promotion of Knock, Ireland’s national Marian shrine, at home and abroad,” Fr Gibbons said.

“It is hugely significant that the Archdiocese of New York, led by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, is deepening its relationship with Knock Shrine and highlighting the spiritual heritage of Irish Americans, especially in New York.”

***

dolan3Knock Shrine and Ireland West Airport were delighted Sunday to welcome the arrival of the first Diocesan pilgrimage from the Archdiocese of New York with Aer Lingus.

The flight represents a historic development for the airport and the region, as this is the first ever transatlantic service operated by Aer Lingus, from the US to Ireland West Airport Knock and the first official chartered pilgrimage to Ireland’s National Marian Shrine.

The Aer Lingus 757 airplane, carrying over 170 passengers from a host of cities across the US, arrived into Ireland West Airport Knock ahead of schedule at 07:30am and was greeted by a huge crowd gathered at the airport to witness this historic occasion, including An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny and Stephen Kavanagh, CEO, of Aer Lingus.

The special pilgrimage flight, which is supported by the Archdiocese of New York and led by the Archbishop of New York, Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, will embark on an 8 day, specially tailored Pilgrimage programme, showcasing some of Ireland’s most historic spiritual sites, including a historic visit to Knock Shrine to open and participate in Ireland’s National Public Novena in honour of Our Lady of Knock.

Archbishop of New York, Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, speaking on landing in the West of Ireland said ‘It’s an honour for me to arrive into the beautiful West of Ireland on this historic flight. I am hugely excited to see what this beautiful part of Ireland has to offer and am particularly looking forward to opening Ireland’s National Public Novena on the 14th of August, with Mass in the Basilica of Our Lady, Queen of Ireland, in Knock’.

dolan4Fr. Richard Gibbons, P.P., and Rector of Knock Shrine commented, ‘This is a very important and historic day for the promotion of Knock, Ireland’s National Marian Shrine, at home and abroad. It is hugely significant that the Archdiocese of New York, led by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, is deepening its relationship with Knock Shrine and highlighting the spiritual heritage of Irish Americans especially in New York. Knock Shrine holds a special place in the hearts of our Diaspora, and in the Catholic tradition, pilgrimage plays a significant role in renewing people’s faith and we are delighted to facilitate that. It is also important to note that Ireland West Airport Knock was built specifically to welcome pilgrims to Knock Shrine as well as to develop the economic life of the West. Monsignor James Horan, I’m sure, would be very proud seeing his vision come to fruition’.

Welcoming today’s flight, Joe Kennedy, Chairman, Ireland West Airport Knock, said ‘I am honoured to welcome our visitors from the US on this historic occasion of the first ever Transatlantic service with Aer Lingus from New York, marking the return of transatlantic flights to the West of Ireland after an absence of 8 years. Its heartwarming to see people from a wide variety of cities such as New York, San Diego, Las Vegas, to name just a few, stepping off the plane at Ireland West this morning. It further reinforces our strong belief that direct scheduled services from the likes of New York and Boston into Ireland West would be successful. We hope our visitors have a great stay in Ireland and enjoy all the West and North West in particular have to offer’.

Declan Kearney, Director of Communications, Aer Lingus, welcoming today’s flight, added ‘Aer Lingus is delighted to have been chosen to provide the flights for this important pilgrimage group travelling from the Archdiocese of New York to Ireland West Airport Knock and Ireland’s National Marian Shrine’.

Posted in Latest News, Latest News America, Latest News Ireland

Catherine Wiley founder of The CGA interviewed by EWTN

Catholic Grandparents overjoyed at Dublin venue for World Meeting of Families 2018

‘Grandparents will be out in force for Pope Francis’

The Catholic Grandparents Association (CGA) has welcomed news that Dublin is to be the venue for the 2018 World Meeting of Families and expressed the hope that Pope Francis will travel to Ireland for the event.

Speaking this week on her return from Philadelphia, USA, where she represented the CGA at the World Meeting of Families, Catherine Wiley, the association’s founder said:

“It is very exciting and encouraging that the next meeting of the World Meeting of Families will be in Ireland. The Grandparents will be out in force to welcome Our Holy Father, and I feel sure he will not miss this opportunity to meet us.”

Having met Pope Francis during his recent US visit, Mrs Wiley added that “the Pontiff clearly recognises the importance of grandparents and constantly affirms them”.

During the Philadelphia event, Mrs Wiley addressed the gathering on ‘Loving through the generations: Grandparents and Great Grandparents’ and received a standing ovation when she said:

“Grandparents are more than ever, a source of support in the faith and care of children…Grandparents offer stability for the family, especially as their faith becomes an anchor of strength for others.

“Pope Francis recently insisted himself upon this unique importance of grandparents to help pass on the faith, and creating a Christian atmosphere in family homes.

Parents! Grandparents! We must rise to the calling which God has given to each family. Our Homes must be places where the story of our faith is taught; where prayer and holy images invoke, in word and deed, the love and graces of God.”

 

EWTN

Catherine Wiley being interviewed by EWTN

Catherine Wiley (2nd left) with workers and representatives of the CGA on the association’s stand in Philadelphia.

Catherine Wiley (2nd left) with workers and representatives of the CGA on the association’s stand in Philadelphia.

CGA founder Catherine Wiley with Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, pictured during the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, USA.

CGA founder Catherine Wiley with Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, pictured during the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, USA.

Posted in CGA Branches, Ireland, Latest News, Latest News America, Latest News Ireland, News, TV & Video, USA

Regional Heads of the CGA meeting in Delray

Regional Heads of the CGA are meeting in Delray on Wednesday 11th Nov to finalise the structure and systems in America.

Posted in Latest News America

Portsmouth are establishing a New Branch

Portsmouth are establishing a new Branch, and there is a meeting in St John’s Parish, Christchurch 17th Nov.  All welcome.  For more information please email caroline@catholicgrandparentsassociation.org.

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AGM of the CGA

AGM of the CGA.  Meeting in Knock on Wednesday 25th November with patron Archbishop Michael Neary, and Core Diocesan Leaders with the Founder, Catherine Wiley.

Posted in Latest News Ireland

EWTN interview in Alabama US

EWTN interviewPictured:
Father Joseph, Cathereine Wiley, Michael La Corte, Kit Johansen, Marilyn Henry – interview by EWTN in Alabama US

Posted in Catholic Sites Worldwide, Latest News America

EWTN At home with Jim and Joy Interview

Posted in Catholic Sites Worldwide, Latest News America, USA

Happy Birthday dearest Holy Mother

We thank God for our Dearest Holy Mother and her Parents St Joachim and St Anne, Grandparents of Jesus. Happy Birthday dearest Holy Mother this day also marks the birth of the Catholic Grandparents Association.

Posted in Latest News, Latest News America, Latest News Ireland, News

CGA delegation at the gates of the White House

Catholic grandparents Association delegation at the gates of the White House on Veterans Day, the final day of their first historic road tour of the North East of America.

cga2

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Pope to young people “listen to your grandparents” Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Monday encouraged young Catholics to cultivate their relationships with their grandparents.

Addressing  a group of young people who belong to an Italian Catholic lay association called ‘Azione Cattolica Italiana’, the Pope spoke of the joy that derives from the coming of Jesus, and said that joy is increased and multiplied when we share it.

He invited the young people to receive the joy of Advent as they would receive a gift and to bear witness to it in their families, schools, parishes and in all places.

The Pope especially invited them to share it with their grandparents – and with elderly people in general – and he encouraged them to listen to the aged whom, he said, “have the wisdom of life”.

“I would like to give you a task: speak to your grandparents,(…) ask them questions, they have the memory of history, the experience of living, and this is a great gift for you that will help you in your life journey” he said.

And Francis also pointed out the grandparents themselves need “to listen to you, understand your aspirations and your hopes”

“This is your task: speak to your grandparents, listen to them” he said.

The Pope also thanked those present for their commitment for peace and remarked on a ‘solidarity’  initiative they are carrying forward in favour of young people who live in a degraded area of Naples.

“May the Lord bless this project that does good” he said.

‘Azione Cattolica Italiana’ was established in Italy by Pope Pius X  in 1905 as a non-political lay organization under the direct control of bishops.

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2016/12/19/pope_to_young_people_listen_to_your_grandparents_/1280068

Posted in Ireland, Latest News, Latest News America, Latest News Ireland, News

We look forward to having many members and friends join us at our First Annual Retreat/Conference 26th & 27th April 2017

Wednesday & Thursday
26th & 27th April 2017

Dominican Retreat Centre, Tallaght Village, Dublin 24
(easy access from M50, closeby to Luas station with connecting from Heuston Station)

theme “Helping our Children and Grandchildren to know, love and serve God”
included amongst our Speakers will be
Kate Liffey, National Catechetical Association
Fr. Benny McHale, Croi Nua Spirituality Centre, Galway
Catherine Wiley, Founder of the Catholic Grandparents Association
(limited space available)
Two days with full board all inclusive €120 per person
Day only attendance for two days €80 per person
Further information and application form available from Connie on 098 24877 email catholicgrandparents@gmail.com

Posted in Latest News, Latest News Ireland

CGA Lent News

As we enter more deeply into this solemn season of Lent, we remember the great love Jesus showed to us by giving His life so that we might live. Let us also reflect on the joy, love and prayers Jesus received from his Holy Mother Mary and His earthly Grandparents, Saint Joachim and Saint Anne. This is the love I ask you to talk to your children and grandchildren about when you talk to them about Lent this year. Perhaps, instead of giving something up for Lent, ask them to select an act of love toward another person.

In today’s Gospel reflection, Bishop Robert Barron wrote, “We do not take our money, our social status, our worldly power into the next world; but we do take the quality of our love.”

How fortunate we are that we live in a time that we can share our good news with Grandparents all over the world just by the click of a button. Please know how much we appreciate and love all of you and all you do to promote our Mission of passing on our faith and keeping prayer at the heart of the family throughout the world.  The love you show to your families, and especially to your grandchildren is reflected in the pictures and stories of the attached  Lenten Newsletter. Please keep us in your prayers as you are in ours.

May the blessings of Saint Joachim and Saint Anne be with you and your families today and always.

Click here to read our newsletter

 

Posted in Latest News, Latest News America, Latest News Ireland

Relevant Radio – A grandparent’s responsibility to help pass on the Faith

By: Lindsey Kettner, Relevant Radio®
7/18/17

Grandparents hold a very special role in the spiritual formation of their families and can have a great influence on their children and grandchildren’s faith journeys. They have the responsibility to pass along the Faith, pray with and for their grandchildren, and be a role model of Christian life.

Read more..

Posted in Latest News, Latest News America

Meeting of the National Core Group of the CGA in Dublin on 8th June

Pictured Left to Right: David Quin Catherine, Eanna Johnson.

Posted in Latest News, Latest News Ireland, News

Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Richard Moth as the new Bishop of Arundel & Brighton

The Pope has named Bishop Richard Moth as the new Bishop of Arundel and Brighton.

The current Bishop of the Forces will succeed Bishop Kieran Conry, who announced his resignation last September after admitting he had been unfaithful to his promises as a priest.

Bishop Moth will become the fifth bishop of the southern English diocese, which was founded in 1965.

Bishop Richard Moth said: “It is a great privilege to have been appointed by Pope Francis as the new Bishop of Arundel and Brighton and I am very conscious of the trust that has been placed in me.

“In these last 50 years since the foundation of the diocese, so much has been done to build up the Church and in the proclamation of the Gospel and, with God’s help, I look to guide and serve the diocese to that same end.“

Bishop Moth will be installed at Arundel Cathedral on Thursday May 28, the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the diocese, which was originally part of the larger Archdiocese of Southwark.

He will then preside at the Jubilee Mass of Thanksgiving for the diocese at the Amex Stadium in Brighton on Sunday July 5.

Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark, who served as Apostolic Administrator of the diocese after Bishop Conry’s resignation, said: “I was so pleased when I heard the news that he had accepted the appointment from the Holy Father.

“I have known Bishop Richard for many years, firstly when I taught him as a student at St John’s Seminary, then as a fellow priest of the archdiocese and most recently as a brother bishop.

“I know that he will work tirelessly to serve all the people of the diocese, and I have no doubt that he will prove to be a true pastor to the clergy, religious and people of the diocese.”

The Diocese of Arundel and Brighton comprises the counties of West and East Sussex, Surrey outside of the Greater London Borough, and the City of Brighton and Hove. It is one of 22 Catholic Dioceses in England and Wales.

 

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Guidelines of The CGA presented to Archbishop Allen Vigneron,

Catherine Wiley presented the Guidelines of The Catholic Grandparents Association to Archbishop Allen Vigneron, Detroit USA at The 10th Annual Divine Mercy Conference, Cardinal Spellman High School One Cardinal Spellman Place Bronx, New York 10466 United States
archbishopallenvigneron

Posted in Latest News, Latest News America, News

Gerry Kelly interviews Catherine Wiley on LMFM Radio

Posted in Latest News, Latest News America, News

Congrats Archbishop Michael 20th Anniversary!

patron2Congratulations our beloved Archbishop and Patron on your 20th Anniversary.  We are blessed to have you, we pray for your intentions your good health and that the future brings you much joy, fortitude and happiness.

With love and prayers from Catherine and all of us at the Catholic Grandparents Association..
There is a candle lighting for your intentions at the Shrine of our Lady of Knock an the Shrine of our Lady in Walsingham.

Posted in Uncategorized

Pope: a society that discards the elderly carries within a deadly virus

(Vatican Radio) “Where the elderly are not honoured, there is no future for the young”. This was the powerful message delivered by Pope Francis during his catechesis on Wednesday, devoted to the elderly.

Speaking to the crowds gathered in St Peter’s Square for the weekly General Audience the Pope continued in his series of teachings on the family, focusing this time on the role of grandparents.

Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni:
http://t.news.va/en/news/pope-a-society-that-discards-the-elderly-carries-w

Reflecting on the fact that life expectancy has increased in modern societies, Francis denounced a widespread lack of respect and consideration for the elderly and their dignity.

Recalling the words of Benedict XVI during a visit to an old age home when he said: “The quality of a society, I mean of a civilization, is also judged by how it treats elderly people and by the place it gives them in community life”, Pope

Francis reiterated: “It is true, attention for the elderly is what makes the difference within a civilization”.

Nowadays, he said, people tend to live longer, but often our societies not only fail to make room for the elderly, but even consider them a burden.
And recounting an anecdote dating back to when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis told of how when visiting an old age home, he stopped to chat to one of the guests and asked her how her children were doing: “Well” answered the old woman. “Do they come to visit you?” he said. “Oh yes, always” she replied. “And when was the last time they came?” he continued. “At Christmas” she said. “It was August… Eight months without a visit from her children – this Pope Francis said is a mortal sin.”

“It’s is a mortal sin to discard our elderly”. The Pope insisted: “The elderly are not aliens, we are them, in a short or in a long while; we are inevitably them, even although we choose not to think about it”.

“If we do not learn to look after and to respect our elderly, we will be treated in the same way” he warned.

“A society where the elderly are discarded carries within it the virus of death” he said.

And calling the issue a major challenge for Western societies which are marked on the one hand by aging populations and on the other by a cult of youth efficiency and profit which tends to discard everything not considered productive or useful, Pope Francis said that because of the vulnerability and special needs of the elderly, especially of those who are ill or alone, they call for particular attention and care.

But rather than a burden – he said – they are, as the Bible tells us, a storehouse of wisdom.

The Church, Francis pointed out, has always accompanied the elderly with gratitude and affection, making them feel accepted and part of the community.

The Church, Pope Francis concluded, cannot accept degenerations such as the ones that

see elderly people abandoned and marginalized: “where the elderly are not honoured there is no future for the young”.

Posted in Latest News, News

Navan – All Ireland Gathering

dublincgaDelegates from all across Ireland gathered in Navan, County Meath, Ireland, for the all Ireland Gathering on Sunday 22nd February 2015. About 40 people had made the journey to hear the latest developments in the CGA and also to share with each other the progress made in so many areas across Ireland. The meeting started, as all our meetings do,  with the Universal Prayer for Grandparents written for the Association by Pope Benedict XVl.

During the meeting, Founder Catherine Wiley, spoke of the rapid growth of the CGA and highlighted a number of key event during the past year. This included the great Pilgrimage of Grandparents and the Elderly in Rome last October, where both she and her grandson Tom, gave moving testimony to our Holy Father, Pope Francis.

Outlining the development of the CGA in Ireland, Catherine spoke of the need to ‘multiply our hands’ and that we were working hard to develop regional and diocesan leaders in each of the four Provinces in Ireland. A number of people showed both their commitment to the CGA and their passion to keep our mission alive and pledged to help us. We will be working with them over the coming weeks and months.

In addition, Catherine outlined the need to be able to sustain and progress the work of the CGA and until now, the main CGA benefactors have been her husband and herself. She explained that in order to ensure both longevity and sustainability of the association, that all groups should take steps to ensure that they work towards the aim of fundraising. She added that everyone should  be assured that all funds will go to the direct support of the Mission and Purpose of the CGA.

Catherine further spoke of the forthcoming year which will be filled with many pilgrimages and particularly the World meeting of Families where the CGA will be running a series of workshops.

The meeting concluded with the Prayer written especially for the World Meeting of Families 2015, Philadelphia, US.

 

Posted in CGA Branches, Latest News, Latest News Ireland, News

Trim, Ireland Church Gate Collection

churchgateDespite biting winds and pouring rain, the Annual Church Gate Collection in Trim, a beautiful town about 30 miles north west of Dublin, went ahead as planned. The collection was attended by our Founder, Catherine Wiley, who was visiting the area. She stopped and spoke with the many people attending the masses at St Patricks and other nearby parishes. The collection, which was organised by Martin Daly,  one of our leaders in the area, raised over €600 which will aid and support the growth of the CGA in that area. Our sincere thanks and appreciation to all who work so tirelessly to support the work and mission of the CGA across the world.

In Ireland, all such collections are organised with the permission of the local Garda (Police) and we thank Martin and his team for obtaining all the relevant permits and permissions and for producing some wonderful promotional materials which undoubtedly help to grow the collection.

Posted in CGA Branches, Latest News, Latest News Ireland, News

Bridging the gap passing on the faith to our children

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.

dunkeldnews

Click the image to read the Newsletter

 

 

Posted in CGA Branches, Latest News, News

Pope Francis’ prayer intentions for February

Vatican City, 30 January 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father’s universal prayer intention for February is: “That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity”.
His intention for evangelisation is: “That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community”.
Posted in Latest News, News

CGA Launch in Diocese of Dunkeld

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The St. Ninian’s Institute in Dundee hosted grandparents from all over the Diocese of Dunkeld who had gathered at the invitation of Bishop Stephen Robson. They were welcomed to the centre in song by the sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a community if five Nigerian sisters who have recently take over running the Diocesan Pastoral Centre. Bishop Robson in his welcome address outlined why it had been decided to launch the Catholic Grandparents Association in the diocese by
sharing the influence his grandparents had on his own formation. He outlined the importance of the role grandparents have in supporting families and in passing on the faith.
Phil Butcher, the Director of International Outreach for the association, who had travelled up from Ilford, gave a brief outline of how the association came into being and explained some of the ways it supports grandparents in their unique and important role. Each person was given a copy of the Association’s prayer and was asked to give it a prominent place at home. Bishop Robson was presented with a framed copy.
The participants in the day were asked to take the ideas back to the parish and look for ways to share with other grandparents offering support and encouragement in their role of handing on the faith.

Mr. Ron Wylie has been assigned as the CGA Project Coordinator in the Diocese.
Posted in CGA Branches, Latest News, Latest News Ireland, Media Coverage, News

Sending our deepest condolences

We are very sorry to hear about the death of Michael Lambert who was in his 108th year. He was the oldest man in Ireland and a member of the Catholic Grandparents Association. Michael attended our Annual National Grandparents Pilgrimage in Knock every year and we were very privileged to have him and his family there

We would like to send our deepest condolences to his wife Mae (Mary), sons Micheal, Hubert, Eamon/Edward, John, Gerard, Kevin and Noel, daughters Maura and Kathleen, Grandchildren neighbours and friends.

May He Rest in Peace

MichaelLambert

Michael Lambert pictured with his wife Mary.

Posted in Latest News, Members, News

Papa Francesco

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A wonderful example of how to nurture Grandchildren

Kindly Given to us from member Carol Yeager:

A walk with GrandchildrenDear Grandparents,

I have found that a good way to share our faith is a walk in a cemetery. If grandparents can’t walk you can drive and park… and teach your children and grandchildren elements of the Catholic faith. Recently we went to a cemetery and there was a marker for the unborn. We talked about heaven..souls….it made an impression.. they looked for it the next time. Not only do you find so many displays of our faith there, and with it teaching opportunities..but also the kids learn respect for our dead and proper decorum.
I just thought I would share this experience.

God bless you all.

We also have a lot of statues and the stations in the cemetery where we have gone. It is amazing how many symbols in a cemetery are great to bring up tenets of the faith…and you have a memory to share.
Thank you.
………………………………………………

Thank you Carol Yeager so very much this is an absolute beautiful story and a wonderful example of how to nurture our grandchildren faith.

Posted in Latest News, News

Universal Prayer Intention for January 2015

Posted in Latest News, News

Light a Candle for Your Intentions

Click here to Light a Candle

Light a Candle

Posted in Latest News, News

World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 Unveils

World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 Unveils 

Official Prayer and Iconic Image for September 2015 Event

The centrality of Christ and the critical importance of love in the family drive the words and imagery of these spiritual works created for this triennial global event

Philadelphia, PA (September 7, 2014) – Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. today unveiled the official prayer and iconic image for the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015, which is set to be held next September. Inspired by the conference theme, “Love is our mission: the family fully alive,” which was announced in May 2014, the conference’s prayer and iconic image were unveiled and blessed by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M., Cap. during the Sunday evening Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. Both the prayer and the image will be shared with the Pontifical Council of the Family at the Vatican during Archbishop Chaput’s visit to Rome during the week of September 15.

“The prayer and iconic image will inspire everyone as we continue to prepare for the 2015 World Meeting of Families,” said Archbishop Chaput. “With their focus on enriching and reenergizing the spiritual life of families – both Catholic and non-Catholic alike, I’m hopeful that this prayer and image can help all of us to examine our minds and hearts and deepen our relationships with God and our families in meaningful ways.”

The official prayer for the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 is meant to aid delegates around the world in their spiritual preparation for this momentous event. Distributed to parishes across the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and also accessible via the 2015 World Meeting of Families’ web site in 18 languages including American Sign Language, the prayer is meant to serve as a vehicle of hope and faith for families. Encouraging daily recitation for the success of the event and for personal intentions, the prayer is foundational to both the conference’s theme and its planned content.

In addition to an official prayer, the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 has produced a definitive iconic image for the event. This image is a religious work of art meant to encourage both reflection and prayer. For the 2015 World Meeting of Families, artist Neilson Carlin, based in Kennett Square, PA, was commissioned to create an oil painting of the Holy Family depicting Mary, Joseph and Jesus, as a small child, as well as Mary’s parents, Saints Anna and Joachim. The four-by-five foot canvas, which was also unveiled on Sunday with the assistance of students from John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School, Roman Catholic High School, Saint Peter the Apostle School, and Saint Francis Xavier School, will be on display in the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul through the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families, which will be held September 22-27, 2015. Those coming to the view the iconic image at the Cathedral are encouraged to pray for families around the world by reciting the official prayer and lighting a votive candle at the Marian Shrine.

Carlin, who specializes in large-scale commission work for the Catholic Church, said, “I am both honored and humbled by the opportunity to use my talents to serve the Church, my fellow Catholics and this global event, which hopefully will welcome Pope Francis. Inspired by the theme of ‘Love is our mission,’ it is my sincerest hope that this image will be a source of prayer and contemplation that draws people of all faiths in and ultimately makes them feel closer and more connected to their own families.”

For more information about the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015, its official prayer or the iconic image for this international event, please visit worldmeeting2015.org.

The World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 Official Prayer

God and Father of us all,

in Jesus, your Son and our Savior,

you have made us

your sons and daughters

in the family of the Church.

 

May your grace and love

help our families

in every part of the world

be united to one another

in fidelity to the Gospel.

 

May the example of the Holy Family,

with the aid of your Holy Spirit,

guide all families, especially those most troubled,

to be homes of communion and prayer

and to always seek your truth and live in your love.

through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for us!

 

The World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 Iconic Image

 

About the World Meetings of Families

Beginning with 1994, The Year of the Family, the Pontifical Council for the Family has been responsible for organizing the World Meetings of Families in Rome (1994); Rio de Janeiro (1997); Rome (2000); Manila (2003); Valencia (2006); Mexico City (2009); Milan (2012); and now, Philadelphia (2015). Since its inception by Saint John Paul II, the World Meeting of Families has sought to strengthen the sacred bonds of family across the globe.

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CGA Advent 2014

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Regional Ireland News

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A Newsletter for all Grandparents in A&B Diocese

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Marian Helper magazine Q&A with Felix Carroll

marian helpers article click here

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Grandparents Pilgrimage Palm Beach, a Great Success

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Palabra Article – CAMBIO DE IMPRESIONES

Palabra, Octubre  2014, númeo 618  pg 70-71 pdf

Hay casi exactamente doce años, por la oración de una abuela, nació la Asociación de Abuelos

Católicos (Catholic Grandparents Association, CGA). Catherine Wiley, abuela con diez nietos, se

encontraba rezando en el Santuario Nacional de Nuestra Señora de Walsingham, en Inglaterra, en la

fiesta de la Natividad de Nuestra Señora. Su oración era bien sencilla: preguntaba qué podría ofrecer

como regalo a la Madre de nuestro Señor una madre y abuela como ella. Encontró sorprendente

encontrar esta respuesta: honrar a los padres de la Virgen, san Joaquín y santa Ana, los abuelos de

Jesús. Haría peregrinaciones de los santuarios marianos en reconocimiento de la importancia de los

padres de Santa María y de todos los abuelos, ayudándoles así en su vocación.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE STORY

Please see English Version below:

Catholic Grandparents Association

Just over twelve years ago, from the prayer of a grandmother, Catholic Grandparents Association (CGA) was born. It happened that Catherine Wiley, a grandmother of 10, was praying at the National Shrine to Our Lady in Walsingham, England, on the Feast of our Lady’s Birthday. Her simple prayer was what could she, a mother and grandmother, offer as a present to the Mother of our Lord. The answer came in way that surprised her. It was to honour our Lady’s Parents, St Joachim and St Anne, the Grandparents of Jesus. The call was to make pilgrimages to Marian Shrines in recognition of the importance Mary’s Parents and grandparents everywhere and thus, to support the vocation of grandparents.

Since then, built on the central mission and purpose of supporting grandparents in “keeping prayer at the heart of the family and passing on the faith”, CGA has grown to become a truly International association. CGA has Statutes endorsed by Archbishop Michael Neary, of Tuam, Ireland. Catherine therefore, often says that CGA was conceived in Walsingham and born in Ireland. Working in conjunction with the Pontifical Council of the Family as a Private Association of the Faithful, CGA has further developed its structure and issued a set of guidelines, which will enable CGA, under the auspice of Local Bishops, to become an intrinsic part of parish life.

Over the years, CGA has received the support of three successive Popes. In 2002 St John Paul ll and 2007 Pope Emeritus Benedict XVl blessed the Grandparents Pilgrimages. In 2008, at the request of Catherine, Pope Benedict wrote a special Prayer for Grandparents. Since the beginning of his papacy, Pope Francis has spoken often, referring to the impact that his own grandmother Rosa had on his faith life, about the importance of grandparents in the family, in the Church and in society. During his Address at World Youth Day, in Rio, in 2013, Pope Francis said “How important grandparents are for family life, for passing on the human and religious heritage which is so essential for each and every society! How important it is to have intergenerational exchanges and dialogue, especially within the context of the family, where the elderly transmit the experience and wisdom of their lives.”  It was on this day, the 26th July, that Pope Francis also wished everyone a “Happy Grandparents Day”, firmly establishing this day as the one where we can focus on the role that St Joachim and St Anne, Mary’s Parents and the Grandparents of Jesus, had in the life of the Holy Family. In the Prayer for Grandparents, Pope Benedict calls all grandparents, “Strong pillars of Gospel faith, guardians of noble domestic ideals, living treasuries of sound religious traditions and teachers of wisdom and courage”.

The spirituality of CGA derives from the 4th Commandment, to “Honour your father and mother”, which, by God’s will, binds grandparents in everlasting parental relationship with their own children who have become parents themselves. In his letter to CGA on the Feast of the Holy Family, in 2013, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, reminds us that “by virtue of their own human and spiritual experience, grandparents become preeminent collaborators of parents in their primary and principle right and duty to educate their children”.

Today, we see grandparents taking on an ever increasing role in the family. Thankfully, grandparents are now, in general, living longer, are healthier, possibly more financially secure, and have a strong and firm faith which has been honed and developed over the years. However, they also share the many concerns that an increasingly secular society and the breakdown of marriage has brought. Speaking recently, Catherine reminds us that “we cannot be the generation who allows the faith to die out”. We know that the future of the Church and society passes by way of the family.[1] That which strengthens the family will inevitably strengthen society. The relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren is a special relationship which is built on love and often quite different from the parental relationship. This can afford many opportunities for gentle conversations which can plant seeds of faith and nurture them to flourish. Children love stories and none more than the ones that their grandparents can tell.

However, it would be wrong to suggest that all family life is idyllic. Often families are separated by distance and family breakdowns. This is particularly hard because often grandparents have no specific rights in law to see their grandchildren. In one such example, a couple lost their son in a car accident, their daughter-in-law remarried and all contact with their grandchildren was severed. However, following an initiative developed by CGA of “Grandparents Day in Schools”, where children invite their grandparents to school for the day, reconciliation in the family took place and these grandparents can now see their grandson on a regular and natural basis.

The growth of CGA has been, by any standard, fast. Over the past three years CGA has established groups and contacts in many countries, including Australia, Ireland, England and Wales, Gibraltar, Spain, Malta, the Philippines and the United States. At the launch of CGA in Australia, Cardinal George Pell said, “I commend your diligence and work in fostering this program that strives to support Grandparents in the spirit of St. Joachim and St. Anne… I endorse CGA’s mission of helping grandparents pass on the faith and keeping prayer at the heart of the family life.”

Many people have said that because they are not actually grandparents, that this association is therefore, not for them. This is quite far from the truth and membership is open to all the baptised who, by their strong familial connections, become “Grandparents at Heart”. This includes great aunts, great uncles and many others. All members are connected by the desire to do the very best for grandchildren.

CGA has developed along three simple lines, group and individual prayer, contact with schools and pilgrimages to shrines and holy places.

Individual prayer groups have developed, which always include Pope Benedict’s Prayer for Grandparents. This also allows time for individual sharing and mutual support. Often there is a social side to this as well, as we realise that it is normally the little conversations, usually over a cup of tea or coffee, that enable difficult issues to be raised.

Our links with schools are twofold. We encourage grandparents days in schools -where one can experience a sense of connection between grandparents and their own grandchildren, and witness  the support that grandparents give- and we organise also prayer appeals. One such appeal recently attracted over 10,000 individual prayers from grandchildren.

Pilgrimages have grown significantly and on the weekend of 14th September 2014, at the Shrine to Our Lady in Knock, Ireland, we welcomed over 12,000 grandparents and grandchildren. These gatherings become a powerful witness to the value and worth of the vocation of grandparents everywhere.

In the future, CGA will continue to consolidate, develop and spread its mission and purpose, of “keeping prayer at the heart of the family and to pass on the faith”. Simple to say, but very often difficult to put into practice. Speaking at the recent pilgrimage, Catherine said, “I am often asked how can we do this, how can we effectively pass on the faith to successive generations. I have thought about this deeply and the answer always comes back to being able to teach your grandchildren to pray. Grace before meals, night prayers, the Holy Rosary, are all ways that we can ensure that we continue to build up the Church on earth and ensure that our grandchildren will be able to, in the future, play their part in passing on both our heritage and our faith”.

 

Phil Butcher

CGA – Director for International Outreach



[1] Cf. St. John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris Consortio, n.75.

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Homilies of Pope Francis -Rome September 28th

Icon Rome 28th Sept 2014Prayer to the Holy Family for the Synod

Pope Francis Homilies 2014 28th September

Catherine Wiley and Tom Slater’s Speech
Click here to listen

Pope Francis Speeches 2014 September 28th

 

 

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Annie, 12 year old Granddaughter of Catherine Wiley with Archbishop Georg Gänswein

20140928_112107_resizedAnnie, 12 year old Granddaughter of Catherine Wiley Founder of the Catholic Grandparents Association, with Archbishop Georg Gänswein, in St Peters Square, Vatical City 28th September celebrating the importance of Grandparents and the Elderly with Pope Francis.

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The Gift of Grandparents

How the Older Generation Helps Teach Grandchildren the Faith

by Joseph Pronechen, Staff Writer Sunday, Sep 28, 2014 9:23 AM 

Article image

“Grandparents are a treasure,” Pope Francis said in a homily during Mass last Nov. 19.

In the same homily, the Holy Father noted, “The elderly pass on history, doctrine, faith, and they leave them to us as an inheritance.” He observed they “often played a heroic role in handing on the faith in times of persecution,” and when parents were absent or confused by secular ideologies, “grandmothers were the ones who handed on the faith.” Many grandparents today have taken a much more direct role in the lives of their grandchildren due to the breakdown of the family and single parenthood, which, sadly, are ever increasing in modern society.

The Pope will celebrate the treasure of grandparents at a Mass for them in St. Peter’s Square on Sept. 28, as part of a day dedicated to grandparents and elderly people organized by the Pontifical Council for the Family. (Grandparents’ Day is celebrated in the United States each September after Labor Day.)

The Catholic Grandparents Association recognized the contributions of grandparents when it began in England in 2002. Its founding sprung from a pilgrimage at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham held to honor and thank Sts. Joachim and Anne, Mary’s parents and Jesus’ grandparents, and to honor all grandparents, said founder Catherine Wiley — who with husband Stewart raised her family a mile from this shrine known as “England’s Nazareth.”

The pilgrimage received a papal blessing, also in 2002, from Pope St. John Paul II; consequently, it became an annual event and spread, in 2007, to Ireland, when the Wileys bought another home by Our Lady of Knock Shrine.

The first Knock pilgrimage attracted 5,000 grandparents, and the next year, attendance doubled to 10,000.

“More and more, I realized the incredible need to pass along the faith,” said Wiley, who has 10 grandchildren. She wrote to Pope Benedict XVI, asking if he would write a prayer for grandparents and then she brought scores of children’s prayers for their grandparents to the Vatican’s Pontifical Council of the Family to give to the Holy Father. She was thrilled when Benedict fulfilled the request (see photo).

“It was Pope Benedict’s universal prayer for grandparents that really decided we were to become the Catholic Grandparents Association,” Wiley said. “Up to that point, we were just the pilgrimage. The prayer was the way forward.”

With the association swiftly stretching across Europe and spreading worldwide, at her request, the Pontifical Council for the Family translated the prayer into many different languages, because “it’s the universal prayer for grandparents everywhere,” Wiley said. “The prayer has been a huge instrument of evangelization.”

Now, the association is a Church-approved private association of the faithful; and, worldwide, many cardinals, archbishops and bishops have demonstrated support for the association.

Michael La Corte, the U.S. director of the grandparents’ association, acknowledged grandparents as “the pre-eminent collaborators of parents” in the education of their grandchildren. “Consequently,” he said, “the grandparents’ vocation to pass on the faith is instilled by God.”

In Walsingham, Marist Father Philip Graystone coined the phrase “the vocation of grandparents” for Wiley. “The sacred vocation of grandparents is to pass on their faith to their grandchildren,” she explained.

In Australia, Cardinal George Pell launched the Australian Chapter of the Catholic Grandparents Association on Dec. 1, 2013, at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney. “For many Catholic children today, their grandparents may be the only practicing Catholic members of their families,” he said in his homily that day.

In that vein, at World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Francis informed youth, “How important grandparents are for family life and for passing on the human and religious heritage which is so essential for each and every society.”

Even before becoming pope, Francis spoke of his own grandmother, Rosa. In one radio interview, he explained that she taught him to pray and “left a deep spiritual imprint in me and used to tell me stories about the saints.”

Wiley describes grandparents as “the natural evangelizers in the family.” The Wiley home centers around Sunday Mass, grace before meals and short night prayers — including the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be and Angel of God — with the grandchildren.

Wiley suggests giving a holy picture or something else that’s sacred to grandchildren to help them to grow in prayer.

She has explained the Rosary to them in a way that they can understand. “It’s like Our Lady’s photograph album,” she said. “She has all these pictures of Jesus’ life. We are going to pick out one of the pictures [mysteries].”

“I was deeply moved because my grandchildren were saying the Rosary, and they wanted to go on and say more,” she said of the result.

Sandy Shields sees similar results bringing her grandson to the Children’s Rosary, a prayer-group movement for children, led by children, that was begun in Connecticut and is now spreading nationally and internationally.

“My grandson Kyle came to the Children’s Rosary not knowing how to pray the Rosary and being shy about participating,” she said. That was two years ago, when he was 6. Now, he joins the other children right away. He also likes to play the Children’s Rosary theme song in the car. Regular overnights at Grandma Shields’ house mean spending time reading books about Jesus and the Blessed Mother, too.

“Grandparents are uniquely suited to help begin Children’s Rosary prayer groups or bring their grandchildren to already existing groups,” explained Blythe Kaufman, Children’s Rosary founder. “These early experiences of prayer create wonderful memories for these little ones that will last a lifetime.”

Grandparents can help teach other children, too. Shari Paris’ grandchildren do not live near her in Pontiac, Ill., yet she still helped start the first Children’s Rosary group in Illinois, which soon saw two more groups form. She has also asked grandparents in her parish to bring their grandchildren to join in these prayers.

Alicia Belanger, leader of the grandparents’ association in the Diocese of Springfield, Mass., explained that when she and her husband, Gary, take their two grandsons, 8 and 11 years old, out to dinner, Gary always leads them in praying grace.

“That’s very reinforcing for the kids, because we are thanking God,” Alicia said. “We read stories from the Bible when our grandsons are here. They say, ‘Grandmother, read us a story, and read us another one.’ They love them all.”

Getting into the car, the Belangers always make the Sign of the Cross and ask the angels to protect them. After picking the children up from school, they bring the boys to Eucharistic adoration to say a prayer for their mom and dad. They also take the children on a pilgrimage to a Blessed Mother shrine in town and then treat the grandchildren to ice cream.

La Corte pointed out that there are many ordinary opportunities for grandparents and grandchildren to talk about faith: A trip to the zoo is a “wonderful opportunity to talk about Noah and his obedience to God.”

Regardless of how, the importance is to share. Cardinal Pell told grandparents last December to share with grandchildren their love for Jesus and Mary and particular saints. “Encourage them to pray to their guardian angels and their patron saints, to know that Jesus is their greatest friend and Savior,” he said. “Pray that they may come to know the beauty and joy of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, Mary and the saints.”

Joseph Pronechen is the
Register’s staff writer.

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/the-gift-of-grandparents#ixzz3EmdA9uJY

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The Blessing of Long Life, Catherine Wiley & Tom give testimony to His Holy Father Pope Francis

The Blessing of Long Life, Catherine Wiley and Tom Slater give testimony to His Holy Father Pope Francis

Catherine Wiley who is the founder of the Catholic Grandparents Association and her grandson Tom Slater were invited to give testimony yesterday (28th September) to the Holy Father in St Peters in Rome. Tom (age 12) had to speak directly to Pope Francis in Italian and afterwards received a papal blessing. He is a student at Ardingly College

Icon Rome 28th Sept 2014Prayer to the Holy Family for the Synod

Pope Francis Homilies 2014 28th September

Catherine Wiley and Tom Slater’s Speech

Pope Francis Speeches 2014 September 28th

 

Prayer to the Holy Family for the Synod

 

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
in you we contemplate
the splendour of true love,
to you we turn with trust.

 

Holy Family of Nazareth,
grant that our families too
may be places of communion and prayer,
authentic schools of the Gospel
and small domestic Churches.

 

Holy Family of Nazareth,
may families never again
experience violence, rejection and division:
may all who have been hurt or scandalized
find ready comfort and healing.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
may the approaching Synod of Bishops
make us once more mindful
of the sacredness and inviolability of the family,
and its beauty in God’s plan.

 

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
graciously hear our prayer.

 

Amen.

 

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Prayer presented by Catherine Wiley

Prayer presented by Catherine Wiley, Founder of the Catholic Grandparents Association on Sunday September 28th 2014 to His Holiness Pope Francis.
From Rang 5/5th Class,
Miss Galwey
Ballyroan Boy’s School
Dublin
Ireland

Pope-Francis-Prayer-1b

Click here to view the Prayer

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Vatican Radio – Catherine Wiley gave her testimony to the Pope

Click here to listen

(Vatican Radio) What is the role grandparents play in keeping prayer at the heart of the family in the 21st century and how important are they in passing down the faith to a new generation?

That is what grandparent and founder of the Catholic Grandparents Association, Catherine Wiley will be highlighting when she gives her testimony on the vocation of grandparents to Pope Francis on Sunday.

Listen to Lydia O’Kane’s interview with Catherine Wiley

 

Catherine will be among forty thousand grandparents and elderly people who will meet the Pope in an event entitled “The blessing of a long life” which will take place in St Peter’s Square.

The event organised by the Pontifical Council for the Family, will also see Pope Francis celebrate Holy Mass which will be concelebrated by more than fifty elderly priests from around the world.

Speaking to Vatican Radio about her testimony on Sunday, Catherine Wiley says she wants the focus of her words to the Holy Father to be about the unique role grandparents have in guiding grandchildren in their faith. “They (grandparents) really have a unique opportunity to pass on the faith to their grandchildren when they’re small”.

Pope Francis has spoken often during his pontificate about the importance of grandparents and Catherine says “that everybody thinks of the Pope as a grandfather figure and in fact my grandson will be asking the Pope a question and he will be telling him that the children of the world love him like a grandfather”

The Catholic Grandparents Association, which has offices in both England and Ireland was started by Catherine in 2009 after she successfully organised the first National Grandparents’ Pilgrimage to the National Shrine of Our Lady in Walsingham in England and the first Irish National Grandparents’ Pilgrimage to the Knock Shrine in September 2007. The pilgrimages are now held annually.

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Watch 28th September Live Vatican TV

On Sunday 28 September Pope Francis will meet grandparents in St. Peter’s Square during the first international day dedicated to old age, organised by the Pontifical Council for the Family, The Blessing of Long Life. The encounter will undoubtedly attract grandparents from many countries and the CGA will be present, many wearing the distinctive green sashes of the association, in the form of a delegation from many countries where the CGA is active.

CGA Founder, Catherine Wiley, has been chosen to provide a testimony to Pope Francis and is expected to highlight the vocation of grandparents in keeping prayer at the heart of the family and in passing on the faith. Catherine will also be accompanied by her grandson Tom who will have the opportunity to pose a question to our Holy Father. Tom is a student at Ardingly School, Horsham, England, and is one of Catherine’s 10 grandchildren.

The event is scheduled to begin at 9.00 am in St Peter’s Square and will conclude with Holy Mass at 10.30 am.

Posted in Latest News, News

How the Older Generation Helps Teach Grandchildren the Faith

BY Joseph PronechenStaff Writer

“Grandparents are a treasure,” Pope Francis said in a homily during Mass last Nov. 19.

In the same homily, the Holy Father noted, “The elderly pass on history, doctrine, faith, and they leave them to us as an inheritance.” He observed they “often played a heroic role in handing on the faith in times of persecution,” and when parents were absent or confused by secular ideologies, “grandmothers were the ones who handed on the faith.” Many grandparents today have taken a much more direct role in the lives of their grandchildren due to the breakdown of the family and single parenthood, which, sadly, are ever increasing in modern society.

The Pope will celebrate the treasure of grandparents at a Mass for them in St. Peter’s Square on Sept. 28, as part of a day dedicated to grandparents and elderly people organized by the Pontifical Council for the Family. (Grandparents’ Day is celebrated in the United States each September after Labor Day.)

The Catholic Grandparents Association recognized the contributions of grandparents when it began in England in 2002. Its founding sprung from a pilgrimage at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham held to honor and thank Sts. Joachim and Anne, Mary’s parents and Jesus’ grandparents, and to honor all grandparents, said founder Catherine Wiley — who with husband Stewart raised her family a mile from this shrine known as “England’s Nazareth.”

The pilgrimage received a papal blessing, also in 2002, from Pope St. John Paul II; consequently, it became an annual event and spread, in 2007, to Ireland, when the Wileys bought another home by Our Lady of Knock Shrine.

The first Knock pilgrimage attracted 5,000 grandparents, and the next year, attendance doubled to 10,000.

“More and more, I realized the incredible need to pass along the faith,” said Wiley, who has 10 grandchildren. She wrote to Pope Benedict XVI, asking if he would write a prayer for grandparents and then she brought scores of children’s prayers for their grandparents to the Vatican’s Pontifical Council of the Family to give to the Holy Father. She was thrilled when Benedict fulfilled the request (see photo).

“It was Pope Benedict’s universal prayer for grandparents that really decided we were to become the Catholic Grandparents Association,” Wiley said. “Up to that point, we were just the pilgrimage. The prayer was the way forward.”

With the association swiftly stretching across Europe and spreading worldwide, at her request, the Pontifical Council for the Family translated the prayer into many different languages, because “it’s the universal prayer for grandparents everywhere,” Wiley said. “The prayer has been a huge instrument of evangelization.”

Now, the association is a Church-approved private association of the faithful; and, worldwide, many cardinals, archbishops and bishops have demonstrated support for the association.

Michael La Corte, the U.S. director of the grandparents’ association, acknowledged grandparents as “the pre-eminent collaborators of parents” in the education of their grandchildren. “Consequently,” he said, “the grandparents’ vocation to pass on the faith is instilled by God.”

In Walsingham, Marist Father Phil Greystone coined the phrase “the vocation of grandparents” for Wiley. “The sacred vocation of grandparents is to pass on their faith to their grandchildren,” she explained.

In Australia, Cardinal George Pell launched the Australian Chapter of the Catholic Grandparents Association on Dec. 1, 2013, at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney. “For many Catholic children today, their grandparents may be the only practicing Catholic members of their families,” he said in his homily that day.

In that vein, at World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Francis informed youth, “How important grandparents are for family life and for passing on the human and religious heritage which is so essential for each and every society.”

Even before becoming pope, Francis spoke of his own grandmother, Rosa. In one radio interview, he explained that she taught him to pray and “left a deep spiritual imprint in me and used to tell me stories about the saints.”

Wiley describes grandparents as “the natural evangelizers in the family.” The Wiley home centers around Sunday Mass, grace before meals and short night prayers — including the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be and Angel of God — with the grandchildren.

Wiley suggests giving a holy picture or something else that’s sacred to grandchildren to help them to grow in prayer.

She has explained the Rosary to them in a way that they can understand. “It’s like Our Lady’s photograph album,” she said. “She has all these pictures of Jesus’ life. We are going to pick out one of the pictures [mysteries].”

“I was deeply moved because my grandchildren were saying the Rosary, and they wanted to go on and say more,” she said of the result.

Sandy Shields sees similar results bringing her grandson to the Children’s Rosary, a prayer-group movement for children, led by children, that was begun in Connecticut and is now spreading nationally and internationally.

“My grandson Kyle came to the Children’s Rosary not knowing how to pray the Rosary and being shy about participating,” she said. That was two years ago, when he was 6. Now, he joins the other children right away. He also likes to play the Children’s Rosary theme song in the car. Regular overnights at Grandma Shields’ house mean spending time reading books about Jesus and the Blessed Mother, too.

“Grandparents are uniquely suited to help begin Children’s Rosary prayer groups or bring their grandchildren to already existing groups,” explained Blythe Kaufman, Children’s Rosary founder. “These early experiences of prayer create wonderful memories for these little ones that will last a lifetime.”

Grandparents can help teach other children, too. Shari Paris’ grandchildren do not live near her in Pontiac, Ill., yet she still helped start the first Children’s Rosary group in Illinois, which soon saw two more groups form. She has also asked grandparents in her parish to bring their grandchildren to join in these prayers.

Alicia Belanger, leader of the grandparents’ association in the Diocese of Springfield, Mass., explained that when she and her husband, Gary, take their two grandsons, 8 and 11 years old, out to dinner, Gary always leads them in praying grace.

“That’s very reinforcing for the kids, because we are thanking God,” Alicia said. “We read stories from the Bible when our grandsons are here.
They say, ‘Grandmother, read us a story, and read us another one.’ They love them all.”

Getting into the car, the Belangers always make the Sign of the Cross and ask the angels to protect them. After picking the children up from school, they bring the boys to Eucharistic adoration to say a prayer for their mom and dad. They also take the children on a pilgrimage to a Blessed Mother shrine in town and then treat the grandchildren to ice cream.

La Corte pointed out that there are many ordinary opportunities for grandparents and grandchildren to talk about faith: A trip to the zoo is a “wonderful opportunity to talk about Noah and his obedience to God.”

Regardless of how, the importance is to share. Cardinal Pell told grandparents last December to share with grandchildren their love for Jesus
and Mary and particular saints. “Encourage them to pray to their guardian angels and their patron saints, to know that Jesus is their greatest friend and Savior,” he said. “Pray that they may come to know the beauty and joy of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, Mary and the saints.”

Joseph Pronechen is the
Register’s staff writer.

INFORMATION
CatholicGrandparentsAssociation.com
ChildrensRosary.blogspot.com and (860) 561-4881

http://www.ncregister.com/site/print_article/42641

Posted in Latest News, Media Coverage, News

Press News – Irish Catholic & The Herald

Herald Newspaper 18th September 2014

Irish Catholic 18th Sept 2014

Posted in Ireland, Latest News, Media Coverage, Pilgrimages
A message for Grandparents
Pope Benedict’s Prayer for Grandparents
Pope Benedict’s Prayer for Grandparents

The Grandparents prayer cannot be reproduced without permission from the Catholic Grandparents Association​