Grazie to those of you who sent ‘thank you’ replies to the Jacquie Lawson Valentine card I posted here yesterday! Great to hear from you!
There was a technical issue with “Vatican Insider” last weekend and the News segment did not make it through cyberspace from Rome to EWTN Alabama! However, the interview with Deacon Brad Easterbrooks made it safe and sound – as you will find out here: Vatican Insider 021222 Deacon Brad Easterbrooks Pt2 by EWTN Catholic Radio (soundcloud.com)</a
2022 WORLD DAY OF GRANDPARENTS AND ELDERLY: “IN OLD AGE THEY WILL STILL BEAR FRUIT”
Pope Francis released the theme for the second World Day for Grandparents and Elderly, which aims to reconsider and value grandparents and the elderly who are too often kept on the margins of families, civil and ecclesial communities
By Francesca Merlo (vaticannews)
Pope Francis, on Tuesday, announced the theme for the Second World Day for Grandparents and Elderly with a tweet:
“In old age they will still bear fruit” (Psalms 92:15). I have chosen this theme for the Second World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly to be held on July 24, 2022 to promote dialogue among the generations, especially between grandparents and grandchildren. @LaityFamilyLife (vatican file photo)
The explanation of the theme came shortly prior to the Pope’s tweet, in a statement from the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life that organises the day.
The World Day for Grandparents and the elderly was established by Pope Francis, one year ago, in 2021. Last year, during Holy Mass marking the day, the Pope reflected on three moments in the Gospel involving bread: “Jesus sees the crowd’s hunger; Jesus shares the bread; Jesus asks that the leftovers be collected.” He summed up these three passages with three verbs: to see, to share, to preserve, thus inaugurating the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly by describing them as “the bread that nourishes our life.”
Now, preparations begin for the second World Day, celebrated annually on 24 July throughout the universal Church.
In its statement, the dicastery writes that the theme chosen by the Holy Father for the occasion “intends to emphasize how grandparents and the elderly are a value and a gift both for society and for ecclesial communities.”
“The theme,” continues the statement, “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 of a future based on greater solidarity.” It add, “the 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.”
The statement concludes by stressing that the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life “invites parishes, dioceses, associations and ecclesial communities throughout the world to find ways to celebrate the Day in their own pastoral context, and for this purpose, it will later make available some appropriate pastoral tools.”
The Pope and the elderly
Pope Francis has often expressed the importance of protecting and looking up to grandparents and the elderly.
Notably, as the world started suffering the first consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, of which the elderly were amongst the most affected, Pope Francis urged all young people to be close to them. He has also claimed, on the eve of his birthday two years ago, that “prayers of the elderly are powerful.” Old age is a blessing, he has said, adding that the elderly “have a role in God’s saving plan!”
POPE FRANCIS TRANSFERS RESPONSIBILITIES TO BISHOPS
Pope Francis on Tuesday issued a new Apostolic Letter “motu proprio” – on his own initiative – modifying the Code of Canon Law (CIC) and the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (CCEO) to favour greater decentralization.
By Christopher Wells (Vaticannews)
With a new motu proprio published on Tuesday, Pope Francis has modified canon law for both the Latin Church and the Eastern Churches, changing the areas of competence for various bodies within the universal Church. Specifically, with the Apostolic Letter Assegnare alcune competenze (“Assigning certain competencies,” taken from the opening words, or inciit of the document), Pope Francis transfers certain responsibilities from the Vatican to local bishops.
The new norms deal with different areas of Church life, in each case specifying the authorities competent to make decisions with regard to those issues. “The intention,” of the changes, writes Pope Francis at the beginning of his Letter, “is above all to foster a sense of collegiality and pastoral responsibility on the part of Bishops […] as well as Major Superiors, and also to support the principles of rationality, effectiveness, and efficiency.” For more: Pope Francis transfers responsibilities to bishops – Vatican News
UPCOMING EVENTS ON PAPAL CALENDAR
The Vatican Monday published upcoming liturgical and other events on the papal calendar for March:
On Ash Wednesday, March 2, at 4:30 pm, the Holy Father will lead the statio orbis and a penitential procession from the basilica of Sant’Anselmo to the basilica of Santa Sabina where he will celebrate Mass with the blessing and imposition of ashes. Last year’s celebration of Ash Wednesday Mass took place in St. Peter’s basilica.
On Friday, March 4 at 10:30 am, the Pope will preside at an Ordinary Public Consistory for the vote on various causes for canonization
On Friday, March 25 Pope Francis will preside at a Penitential celebration at 5:00pm at St. Peter’s Basilica.
Once again, the annual curial retreat or spiritual exercises, will not take place outside of the Vatican due to the continuing health emergency caused by Covid-19. In January, the Holy Father asked ranking members of the curia, who usually gather together with the Pope for the retreat, to make their own, individual plans for a retreat from Sunday afternoon, March 6 to Friday, March 11.