The bishop made this affirmation in discussing the upcoming 4th National Grandparents’ Pilgrimage, which he will lead to Our Lady of Knock on Sept. 12. The pilgrimage is expected to draw more than 10,000 grandparents.
Noting the importance of grandparents for family life, Bishop McAreavey said: “At a time when many parents are as some say ‘money-rich but time-poor,’ the one thing that grandparents can do is offer time and interest and attention.”
He characterized grandparents as people with a lot of energy and above all a lot of affection.
“Many of them have deep faith,” the bishop said, “and they also have an experience of life and an experience of the Church that is hugely enriching to their grandchildren.”
The pilgrimage highlights for grandparents how important they are, he added.
At last year’s pilgrimage, led by Cardinal Sean Brady, archbishop of Armagh and president of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, a new association for grandparents was launched.
The Catholic Grandparents’ Association was formally blessed by Benedict XVI earlier this month.
The blessing reads in part: “Make [grandparents] teachers of wisdom and courage, that they may pass on to future generations the fruits of their mature human and spiritual experience.”
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On the Net:
Bishop McAreavey discusses grandparents; photo gallery of past pilgrimages: www.catholicbishops.ie/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1980:feature-national-grandparents-pilgrimage-2010&catid=12:Features&Itemid=49