~ by Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Pope Francis is dedicating the 2022 World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly to the importance of inviting older people to contribute to building a better world.
The Pope has chosen “They shall bear fruit even in old age” from the Book of Psalms (92:15) as the theme for the second world day, which will be celebrated on July 24, 2022.
The theme “intends to emphasize how grandparents and the elderly are a value and a gift both for society and for ecclesial communities,” said a February 15 communique from the Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life, which was promoting the world day.
The same day, the Pope tweeted that elderly “should be cared for like a treasure of humanity; they are our wisdom, our memory. It is crucial that grandchildren remain close to their grandparents, who are like roots from which they draw the sap of human and spiritual values.”
This year’s theme “is also an invitation to reconsider and value grandparents and the elderly who are too often kept on the margins of families, civil and ecclesial communities. Their experience of life and faith can contribute, in fact, to building societies that are aware of their roots and capable of dreaming a future based on greater solidarity.”
This invitation to listen to the wisdom of the years is also particularly significant in the context of the synodal journey that the church has undertaken.”
Pope Francis established the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly celebrated each year on the fourth Sunday of July to coincide with the feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne to emphasize the pastoral care of the elderly as a priority.