Second Annual World Day of Grandparents and Older Persons Celebrates Generational Faith and Forgiveness

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Frances Watson, far right, attended the World Day of Grandparents and Older Persons mass with her children, a grandson and two great-grandsons on July 24 at the Cathedral of the Most Holy -Sacrament. “They teach me to love even more than what I have loved,” Watson said. “I’m so proud of them.” (Photos by Gabriella Patti | Detroit Catholic)

Bishop Hanchon Celebrates Second Annual World Grandparents and Older Persons Day with Mass and Reception at Detroit Cathedral

DETROIT — On the second World Day of Grandparents and Older Persons, Pope Francis took time on his flight to Canada to remember and commend grandparents for their crucial role in the life of the Church.

The pope, who instituted the celebration in 2021 near the feast of Jesus’ grandparents, Saints Joachim and Anne, said grandparents are a “bond between generations, transmitting the experience of life and faith to young people”.

“Young people must have contact with their grandparents, return to them, return to their roots,” said Pope Francis, “not to stay there, no, but to make them move forward like the tree, which draws its strength in the roots and carries it forward in the flowers, in the fruits.


Pope Francis, who first instituted the celebration in 2021, said grandparents are a

Pope Francis, who first instituted the celebration in 2021, said grandparents are a “link between generations, transmitting the experience of life and faith to young people.”

At the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit, Auxiliary Bishop Donald F. Hanchon celebrated mass for grandparents and the elderly on June 24, followed by a hot dog lunch and reception which included a photo booth and snow cone truck for family fun.

Anne and Chris Monette of Guardian Angels parish in Clawson brought five of their eight grandchildren to the cathedral to share family Mass.

The five, all girls – their lips tinted with the rainbow colors of snow cones – were talking excitedly to each other, telling each other Detroit Catholic what they had learned from their grandparents:

“Always be nice!”

“To behave.”

“Forever following our dreams!”

“They also taught us how to cook.

“Love my mother and my father, and be friendly! »


Anne and Chris Monette of Guardian Angels parish in Clawson are pictured with five of their eight grandchildren: granddaughters Carmella, Abby, Molly, Christina and Bridget.

Anne and Chris Monette of Guardian Angels parish in Clawson are pictured with five of their eight grandchildren: granddaughters Carmella, Abby, Molly, Christina and Bridget.

The Monettes and their granddaughters made it clear how much they loved each other, and Anne and Chris proudly shared how amazing it is to see what they taught their children reflected. in the next generation.

“It’s a great opportunity to pass on our faith, as if it had been passed on to us,” said Chris Monette. “It’s wonderful to see such loving and innocent little children and how they impact our lives.”

Being a grandparent is everything, Anne said, adding that the couple see how valuing family has paid off through the generations.

“Our children all live nearby, and they pass on the value that we passed on to them, and that’s such a blessing,” said Anne Monette. “We are so lucky. We get together all the time and they never get tired of us. They include us in all their events.

During his homily, Bishop Hanchon reflected on the important role of grandparents; grandparents are key to passing on the lessons of forgiveness to future generations, just as God the Father forgives through Jesus, he said.


Forgiveness is important in a world where things are not always perfect, Bishop Hanchon said.  There are often moments of imperfection, darkness and ego that get in the way.

Forgiveness is important in a world where things are not always perfect, Bishop Hanchon said. There are often moments of imperfection, darkness and ego that get in the way.

Forgiveness is important in a world where things are not always perfect, Bishop Hanchon added. There are often moments of imperfection, darkness and ego that get in the way.

“God not only forgives us, but he also gives us his own son who shares his Holy Spirit with us and who takes all those sins, all those unhappy memories of times when we found it hard to forgive and nails them through so that we may we free ourselves from it,” Bishop Hanchon said, “This is the great good news that grandparents should share with their grandchildren.

Grandparents have the wisdom of experience, the Bishop added.

“I pray that your experiences of asking and receiving forgiveness will inspire you to share them in these difficult times that families are still going through so that the next generation of believers will learn that we have a job to do,” Bishop Hanchon said. “We are forgivers; we are reconcilers; we are peacemakers; we are heralds of the Gospel: the good news that despite all our imperfections, God himself loves us.”


Grandparents have the wisdom of experience, Bishop Hanchon said.

Grandparents have the wisdom of experience, Bishop Hanchon said.

Other grandparents present at the Mass said they were able to see this legacy of forgiveness and faith transmitted by their families.

Frances Watson attended Mass with two of her six children, including her daughter Roslyn, Roslyn’s son Darius (who is one of Watson’s 14 grandchildren), and Darius’s sons, two of six rear -Watson’s grandchildren.

“They teach me to love even more than I have loved,” Watson said. “I’m so proud of them.”

Norman Duffy of St. Anastasia Parish in Troy, a grandfather of six and great-grandfather of six with another on the way, said the most important lesson he hopes to pass on to his grandchildren is the importance of staying together as a family.

“I learned that life is just a series of choices,” Duffy said. “One of the good things about being a great-grandfather is being able to look at all the results of things that happened in the past. We weren’t perfect, but we’re happy to see them come out and do well.

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