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Palm Beach Pilgrimage for Grandparents

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Diocese to celebrate grandparents in a grand way

A Sept. 26 event will honor grandparents with a Mass celebrated by Bishop Barbarito and a reception.


Posted: 08.27.09

PALM BEACH GARDENS | It’s time to load Grandma, Grandpa and the children in the car and join in a big celebration.

The Diocese of Palm Beach will host the 2009 National Grandparents Pilgrimage Sept. 26, gathering grandparents and family members. “We are excited,” said Janice Petersen Minshew of the diocesan Family Life and Marriage office, who is organizing the day’s activities.

The morning event will pay tribute to grandparents, who are sometimes taken for granted.

“In many cases, grandparents are holding families together,” saidCatherine Wiley, a part-time resident of Delray Beach active at St. Joan and Ascension parishes in Boca Raton, who presented the pilgrimage concept to the diocese last year. “They play a crucial role in transmitting the faith from generation to generation.”

Wiley also was the driving force behind Ireland’s National Grandparents Pilgrimage, which began in 2007 and drew 15,000 pilgrims to Knock Shrine in County Mayo last year, according to its organizers. The Ireland event, scheduled to be repeated this September, was inspired by a similar event that has taken place each July since 2003 – around the feast of Jesus’ grandparents St. Anne and St. Joachim – at the National Shrine of our Lady of Walsingham, England.

Wiley also came up with the idea of a prayer for grandparents and presented the idea to the Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI liked the idea, and the prayer he wrote in response was read publicly for the first time by Wiley during last year’s pilgrimage in Ireland.

“We are deeply honored to receive the ‘Prayer for Grandparents’ composed by Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI,” Wiley told the Florida Catholic.

The prayer will be read at the first U.S. National Grandparents Pilgrimage, which organizers hope will draw families from all over Florida and beyond to the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola.

The local event will include a Mass with Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito presiding, followed by a reception and lots of photos.

The Office of Marriage and Family Life has asked pastors and Catholic school principals to coordinate a photo project, collecting family photos from parishioners. Those seeking to submit photos of grandparents with the children are asked to contact their parishes for details.

It is up to pastors and principals to coordinate the image-gathering process. Parish photo organizers are asked to submit collections on a diskette along with releases authorizing their publication, because some of the pictures may be displayed on the diocesan Web site and presented in a slideshow. The releases must be signed by all adults in the photo and by the parent or guardian of all people younger than 18 who are pictured. Diskettes and releases should be mailed to Petersen Minshew in the Office of Marriage and Family Life, 9995 N. Military Trail, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410.

The National Grandparents Pilgrimage will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 26. The cathedral is at 9999 N. Military Trail, Palm Beach Gardens. For information, call 561-775-9557.


Written by Catholic Grandparents Association

September 30, 2009 at 7:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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