WORLD YOUTH DAY LISBON 2023, Maria Fischer •
Following the invitation of Pope Francis, “Queridos Avós“, Dear Grandparents, an initiative of the Schoenstatt Family Movement in Portugal, launched the “Grandparents’ Initiative for WYD23” to create a strong prayer chain of all our grandparents and the elderly for WYD: they can join in prayer for their “grandchildren” who are working, volunteering or participating in this great upcoming world event! —
The initiative of Schoenstatt Portugal has been taken up by WYD and has also been shared on the social media of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life.
A covenant between generations
“We feel that this is a task that we older people can offer to WYD Lisbon 2023: to take it on with joy, commitment and a spirit of mission: to pray and offer the efforts, sufferings and joys of our daily lives – a capital of grace – for WYD Lisbon 2023 as a whole, but especially for the young leaders of WYD Lisbon 2023, and even for the not-so-young people who are in leadership positions at WYD,” reads the website created by the initiators of the Portuguese Schoenstatt Family Movement.
They see it as a good way to connect the generations, grandparents and grandchildren, to involve them and to participate in WYD Lisbon 2023. A covenant of generations, a covenant of solidarity. The idea is simple: anyone over sixty or a grandparent can “adopt” a WYD23 grandchild for whom they will pray and offer sacrifices, efforts, sufferings, and joys.
People from Portugal (or anyone who understands Portuguese) can fill out a form on the website and receive the name of a volunteer, prayer suggestions and regular information about the work of the “grandchildren”, and commit themselves to pray and offer a capital of grace for WYD23 and its young and not so young leaders, and/or to promote and publicize the initiative in their parishes, groups or movements.
And those from other countries? Can simply participate in their own way.
If you have grandparents, family members, friends, neighbors… who would like to participate in WYD, invite them to join this initiative, this covenant.
Our mission, as Christians, has no deadline
The ‘Dear Grandparents’ project was born in 2021, the year Pope Francis launched the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly – which the Catholic Church celebrates on the fourth Sunday of July.
In an attempt to respond to “some mottos of the Pope’s message”, a group of grandparents came together to strengthen the connection with their grandchildren.
With WYD in Portugal, the ‘Dear Grandparents’ project wants to connect “with the younger generations, especially with our grandchildren”, said Eugénia Ricciardi.
Not being able to be “directly involved in the practical work” of the Day, the grandparents consider that “it made perfect sense to propose something to WYD that was easy”, she underlines.
With the motto ‘Our mission, as Christians, has no deadline’, the elements of the project try to make “the connection of a grandparent with a volunteer collaborator”.
For now, more than 400 grandparents are participating.