Grandparents can help build a better future

On Sunday, July 25, Pope Francis shared his message for the First World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly. In this message, which you can read in full at, Pope Francis addresses grandparents and the elderly, telling them they are needed to help build a better future for future generations:

I want to tell you that you are needed in order to help build, in fraternity and social friendship, the world of tomorrow… All of us must “take an active part in renewing and supporting our troubled societies”. 

Among the pillars that support this new edifice, there are three that you, better than anyone else, can help to set up.  Those three pillars are dreams, memory and prayer.

Who, if not the young, can take the dreams of the elderly and make them come true? Yet for this to happen, it is necessary that we continue to dream. Our dreams of justice, of peace, of solidarity can make it possible for our young people to have new visions; in this way, together, we can build the future.

Dreams are thus intertwined with memory. I think of the painful memory of war, and its importance for helping the young to learn the value of peace. Those among you who experienced the suffering of war must pass on this message.  Keeping memory alive is a true mission for every elderly person: keeping memory alive and sharing it with others.

Finally, prayer…I would also like to mention the example of Blessed (and soon Saint) Charles de Foucauld…I ask the Lord that, also through his example, all of us may open our hearts in sensitivity to the sufferings of the poor and intercede for their needs. May each of us learn to repeat to all, and especially to the young, the words of consolation we have heard spoken to us today: “I am with you always”! Keep moving forward! May the Lord grant you his blessing.

What better gift can a grandparent pass to their grandchildren than a better, more peaceful and more just world; one that avoids the ravages of climate change. 

Working together, we can help take care of our common home. 

Paul Litwin

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