Sunday is the first World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly, established as an annual event by Pope Francis.
Watch Bishop Alfred Schlert’s video message about the day here.
Going forward, the day will be celebrated on the fourth Sunday of July.
“Along with our Holy Father, Pope Francis, we pray for all grandparents that they may always be loved by their families and appreciated for their wisdom and sacrifices,” said Bishop Schlert.
In his message announcing the day, Pope Francis said he was establishing it not only because of the importance of grandparents and the elderly, but also because so many grandparents and seniors were isolated during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Pope has permitted the granting of a plenary indulgence for anyone who participates in Masses marking the day, for those who unite themselves spiritually to those celebrations if they are unable to leave their homes, and for those who visit, in person or virtually, their grandparents or an elderly person in need.
Even though confessed and forgiven sins will not send a person to hell, consequences remain to be paid on earth or in purgatory. An indulgence frees the recipient from those consequences. To receive the indulgence, a person must have a spirit detached from sin, must make a sacramental confession as soon as possible, must receive Holy Communion as soon as possible, and must pray for the Holy Father’s intentions.