Grandparents are celebrated for their important role in family life

Families journeyed to the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola Oct. 20 to celebrate grandparents and the vocation of grandparenting.

Olivia Ochoa shares special time with her grandchildren Zaskia, 10, and Zephaniahn, 7, during the Grandparents Pilgrimage Oct. 20. (PHOTOS BY LINDA REEVES |FC)

About 500 people attended the Grandparents Pilgrimage Mass with main celebrant Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito, who began the afternoon by welcoming the grandparents, great-grandparents and greatgreat-grandparents and families.  “We are delighted to host the fourth annual Grandparents Pilgrimage and offer this Mass for the great gift of grandparents,” said Bishop Barbarito.

The Mass was celebrated in the parish hall due to repair projects under way in the cathedral, and participants represented many different

“I have six grandchildren,” said Velia Gonzalez of St. Juliana Parish in West Palm Beach, who attended the Mass with four of her grandchildren.
“I am happy to be here. It is a good event.” Throughout the Mass, Bishop Barbarito addressed the significant role of grandparenting through the years, and especially today with the obvious decline in morals, values and faith.

Venezia of St. Andrew Parish in Stuart, attends the Grandparents Pilgrimage Oct. 20 with his wife, Colleen, and three grandchildren. Cole, Luke and Jackson Anderton.

“During this Year of Faith, we gather together as a family of God to celebrate the great gift of faith given to us by God and handed on to us in a very special way by our beloved grandparents,” he said. “Truly, our grandparents are great repositories of faith, storehouses in which the treasures of the kingdom are kept secure to be passed on to future generations. In honoring our grandparents,
we honor the memory of all those who have gone before us and laid the foundation for our nation, our society and our world.

“In our beloved Church, the foundation laid by the Apostles has been faithfully supported and built upon by countless generations of grandparents who have guarded and transmitted the faith to future generations,” he continued. “We truly do appreciate all that our grandparents have done to be faithful witnesses to the faith, hope and love of Christ and his Church.”

The Mass closed with a presentation by Catherine Wiley, founder of the National Grandparents Pilgrimage, who spearheaded bringing the event to the Diocese of Palm Beach by working with Janice Petersen-Minshew, coordinator of the diocesan Office of Family Life. A reception followed.

“This day makes me happy,” said Olivia Ochoa, with her two grandchildren Zephaniahn Torres, 7, and Zaskia Torres, 10, at her side. “We love our grandmother,” said Zaskia, giving her grandmother a hug.