CISA – Nairobi, Kenya.
The World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly established by Pope Francis on 31 January 2021 will, for the first time be celebrated on Sunday 25 July 2021, under the theme, “I am with you always.”
Grandparents and grandchildren coming together
“The purpose of this day is to convey to every elderly person that God and the Church are close to them and also to emphasise intergenerational closeness between the young and old,” reads a statement signed by Archbishop Martin Kivuva Musonde of the Archdiocese of Mombasa. He is also Chairman of the KCCB.
“I write to call upon each Arch/Diocese to plan initiatives to mark the event in a way best suited to their pastoral context. This World Day could be a great opportunity for coming together of grandparents, and grandchildren, the young and the old,” Archbishop Kivuva urged.
The elderly face isolation and loneliness
The Archbishop tasked the KCCB Commission for Pastoral and Lay Apostolate to work in collaboration with the Vatican's Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life and make available pastoral materials to dioceses.
The statement further noted that the elderly face the risk of isolation and loneliness.
“Older persons have unique challenges such as socio-economic, emotional and physical… The Covid-19 pandemic has predisposed the elderly to more vulnerabilities." The Archbishop added that the Holy Father calls on the Church to “Care for the elderly, going to them with, “a smile on your face and the Gospel in your hands,” emphasised the KCCB chair.