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Archive for October 2009

St Joachim and St Anne – Catholic Saints, Parents of Mary and Grandparents of Jesus

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Saint Anne and Saint Joachim
Parents of Mary
Feast Day: July 26
Symbol: door, often depicted with Mary as a child and a book of Scripture

Learn more about how you can honour and thank Saints Joachim and Anne at
Young Families

Joachim and Anne were the parents of Mary and the grandparents of Jesus.

The name “Hannah” means grace. In Galilee, where she lived, Mary’s mother was probably called “Hannah” even though we know her as Saint Anne. So, if you are named “Hannah” or “Anne” you are named after the mother of Our Blessed Mother.

It was in the womb of Saint Anne that Mary was immaculately conceived. From the first instant of her life, she was in a state of grace and free from all stain of Original Sin. It was her parents, Anne and Joachim that raised her to be faithful to God’s word and remain free of sin.

Anne is the patron of Christian mothers, and Joachim the patron of fathers. They were given the great honour and responsibility of raising Mary to be the Mother of God, and can help mothers and fathers today to raise their children to love and follow God too.

Practiced Families

Joachim the husband of Saint Anne and the father of the Blessed Virgin Mary, belonged to the tribe of Judah and the house of David. Tradition tells us that he and his wife came from Galilee. They lived in Nazareth and there the Blessed Mother lived.

Anne and Joachim were childless for many years. At the time that they lived, this was considered to be a punishment of God among the Jews. They continued to pray and finally God answered their prayers when the Virgin Mary was born. This was their greatest honour, to be the parent’s of Mary, the Mother of God and the Grandparents of Jesus.

The couple offered their little daughter to God in the Temple. As a young girl, she spent time in service to the Temple. working and learning with other girls. But it was problbly her parents who taught her to read, and certainly Joachim and Anne who taught her to love and follow God’s word and to know and understand the Scriptures.

When the Angel Gabriel came to her at the Annunciation, Mary knew the prophecies of Jesus’ life and death. She knew the full extent of the honour and pain she would experience when she gave her ‘fiat.’

Mary loved her mother and father. In this she is a beautiful example for children. Joachim and Anne loved their daughter and followed God’s plan in raising her. In this, they are a shining example and intercessors for Christian parents.

Experienced Families

Saints Joachim and Anne, both of the tribe of Judah of the royal house of David and venerated by the Church as the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was probably their only child.

There is another Mary mentioned in the Gospels as being the ‘sister’ of the Mother of God, but this was probably her cousin. Two Marys in one family stretches reason and this was a customary way of designating relatives in the East.

Saint Anne has been honored from early Christian times. Churches were dedicated in her honor, and the Fathers, expecially of the Eastern Churches, loved to speak both of her sanctity and her privileges of being chosen to raise the Mother of God.

Saint Joachim has also been honored from the beginning in the Churches of the East, and since the 6th century, public devotion to him has been observed in all countires. However, we know little about the lives of either Joachim or Anne, since the Gospels are silent on this account.

Some traditions grounded in very old testimonies, tells us that Saints Joachim and Anne in their old age came from Galilee to settle in Jerusalem. As a childless couple, they may have simply wished to spend their old age close to the Temple. But God, in his Wisdom and Mercy, granted them a child, and Mary was born and raised in Jerusalem.

The sainted couple is often depicted with Mary and holding a book of Scriptures, teaching their daughter to read. A church was built in the 4th century, possibly by Saint Helena, on the reputed site of Saint Joachim and Anne’s house in Jerusalem.


Lord, God of our fathers, through Saints Joachim and Anne You gave us the Mother of Your Incarnate Son. May their prayers help us to attain the salvation You promised to Your people. Amen.


Written by Catholic Grandparents Association

October 28, 2009 at 3:05 pm

Popes Prayer for Grandparents

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This Universal Prayer For Grandparents was composed by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI in 2008 for the Catholic Grandparents Association.


Lord Jesus,
you were born of the Virgin Mary,
the daughter of Saints Joachim and Anne.
Look with love on grandparents the world over.
Protect them! They are a source of enrichment
for families, for the Church and for all of society.
Support them! As they grow older,
may they continue to be for their families
strong pillars of Gospel faith,
guardian of noble domestic ideals,
living treasuries of sound religious traditions.
Make them teachers of wisdom and courage,
that they may pass on to future generations the fruits
of their mature human and spiritual experience.

Lord Jesus,
help families and society
to value the presence and roles of grandparents.
May they never be ignored or excluded,
but always encounter respect and love.
Help them to live serenely and to feel welcomed
in all the years of life which you give them.
Mary, Mother of all the living,
keep grandparents constantly in your care,
accompany them on their earthly pilgrimage,
and by your prayers, grant that all families
may one day be reunited in our heavenly homeland,
where you await all humanity
for the great embrace of live without end. Amen!

You can find more information about the National Grandparents Pilgrimage on our website

Written by Catholic Grandparents Association

October 28, 2009 at 11:28 am

Castlebar meeting will establish local branch of new grandparents organisation

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Castlebar meeting will establish local branch of new grandparents organisation

Media release issued by:                Sli Nua Communications
On behalf of:                                  National Grandparents Pilgrimage
Date:                                              October 27th, 2009
Available for interview:                   Catherine Wiley, Founder – details below

Grandparents in Castlebar will tonight (TUESDAY) come together to establish a branch of the newly-formed Catholic Grandparents Association in the town.
This follows an historic meeting in Westport two weeks ago which led to the formation of the first-ever branch of the Association anywhere in Ireland.

The Association, which has grown out of the popular National Grandparents Pilgrimages in Knock Shrine over the last three years, is now beginning the task of building branches around the country.

“The Catholic Grandparents Association seeks to support grandparents in every way it can, and also assist them in their very important role of passing on the faith to their grandchildren,” said Association founder Catherine Wiley, who lives in nearby Murrisk.

“I have been getting a strong feeling of renewed hope from grandparents. They have been fearful about how the faith will be transmitted, but see hope in what is being done now with the Catholic Grandparents Association.”
The Castlebar branch of the Catholic Grandparents Association will be formed at a meeting in the Traveller’s Friend Hotel, Castlebar, tonight, at 7pm. All are welcome.

Further details are available on

CATHERINE WILEY, Founder, National Grandparents Pilgrimage,
Tel: 098 64 700, Mobile: 087 288 2008 Email: MailScanner has detected a possible fraud attempt from “” claiming to be

LIAM HORAN, Sli Nua Communications,

Tel: 094 95 42965
Mobile: 087 9185 867, Email:

Written by Catholic Grandparents Association

October 27, 2009 at 1:41 pm

CGA Announces First Ever Local Branch in Westport Co. Mayo

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The Catholic Grandparents Association (CGA) is delighted to announce the first ever local branch of the Catholic Grandparents Association in Westport Co. Mayo. The announcement was made by our very own founder, Mrs. Catherine Wiley at the St Mary’s church in westport.

Catherine Wiley Talking in the St Mary's Church in Westport Co. mayo

Catherine Wiley Talking in the St Mary's Church in Westport Co. mayo

The First Local Branch in Westport will hold its first meeting the 15th of October at 7 o’clock in the Carrowbeg House. Everyone is invited!

Written by Catholic Grandparents Association

October 11, 2009 at 3:27 pm

Hughes Elementary Celebrates Grandparents Day in School!

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Congratulations Hughes Elementary on your successful Grandparents Day. May God bless your school, your grandchildren and your grandparents.

Hughes Elementary School fourth-grader Clare Anderson can read at a seventh-grade level and isn’t prone to getting into trouble.

Her grandfather, who was in fourth grade in 1947, might not have had the same accolades.

“I never spent time in (detention),” said Clare’s grandfather, Dave Rogers of Bay City, with a smirk.

“That’s not what I remember,” added Pat Rogers, Clare’s grandmother.

On Friday, Hughes Elementary in Essexville brought the two generations together as 128 fourth-grade students hosted their grandparents.

It was a day to remember old times, learn new things and connect grandchildren with their elders.

“We were lucky to even get to school,” Clare’s grandfather recalled. “There was an overflow of students back then, so our fourth-grade class was in the basement of St. Mary’s Catholic Church.”

Grandparents Day began with a song-and-dance performance by the fourth-graders.

“We didn’t have any music programs back then,” said John Murphy of Midland, who came with grandson James Forbing III.

“You had to buy your own instruments, and no one could afford it.”

James said he was a bit out of breath after the performance, which included a song by the Jonas Brothers.

When Principal Steven Estes asked the seasoned crowd if members knew who the famous teen band was, only a handful raised their hands.

Following the performance, grandparents and their students made fall art projects and completed word puzzle work sheets.

Looking around the elementary school building, Murphy said he hopes his grandson appreciates his school.

“Things were just simple when I was in school,” he said. “Today, I’m glad I can enjoy this with my grandkid.”

Only into the third week of classes, James is already making the grade.

“He always gets straight A’s,” said his proud grandfather.

“What about you, Grandpa?” James asked.

“Well, I just did well enough to pass.”

Written by Catholic Grandparents Association

October 6, 2009 at 1:54 am

Clearwater Central Catholic High School – Grandparents Day

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The Catholic Grandparents Association is on the lookout for schools around the world implementing Grandparents Day their schools! As we find them we will share them with you here. Have a day for grandparents in your school? Share the date with us, email today!

Clearwater Central Catholic High School

Clearwater Central Catholic High School, who hosts special day for Grandparents Day,
Click Here to Read More.

Date: October 14th 2009 11:30 a.m.
Location: Clearwater Central High School, in the Mclaughlin Building
All Grandparents of CCC students are welcome!

Grandparents Day Prayer

Loving God, You have given us the wondrous gift of grandparents. Your gracious love is reflected in their love and care for us.

We thank You, Lord, for the surprises grandparents give, for our things and our problems that they fix, for the stories they share.

We thank You, Lord, for the ways our grandparents spoil us, for the celebrations they never forget, and for all the snuggles they give.

We thank You for giving us grandparents to share their wisdom, to listen to us, to be there loving us.

Happy Grandparents Day!

Written by Catholic Grandparents Association

October 6, 2009 at 1:41 am

Florida Catholic – ‘Grandparents – a great gift from God’

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On Sept. 26, the Diocese of Palm Beach honored grandparents and their contributions to their families with the first U.S. National Grandparents Pilgrimage.

Picture 3

Posted: 10.02.09

PALM BEACH GARDENS | Sixteen-year-old Kalyla Jefferson said her grandmother, 80 years young, is definitely a belief and ethics role model, whom she has looked up to and learned from.

“We love my grandma,” she said. “She has always been there for my mom and dad and for us. She is very supportive of everything we do.”

Kalyla and her sister, Kelsey Jefferson, 13, traveled south more than 100 miles from Melbourne Sept. 26 to be there for their beloved granny, West Palm Beach Mary Immaculate parishioner Olga Gidion, for a Mass to honor the older and more experienced. The Mass celebration was part of the National Grandparents Pilgrimage, the first in the United States, and it was held here in the Diocese of Palm Beach at the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola.

“This was an important day for me to be here with my grandma,” said Kelsey. “I love her so much.”

More than 150 attended the morning event that included worship, song and liturgical dance, followed by a tribute and cookie reception. Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito was main celebrant for the Mass.

“Grandparents are a wonderful gift – a great gift from God,” he said during his homily that touched on the lives of Sts. Joachim and Anne, maternal grandparents of Jesus, and their powerful example. “God gives us grandparents for a reason and that is to reveal to us more about his life and his love.”

As people arrived, greeters handed out programs and asked children to write prayers dedicated to their grandparents. The prayers were placed on the altar moments before Mass started.

Myriam Ambroise of St. Francis of Assisi in Riviera Beach wrote a simple but lovely prayer. “Dear God, please grant my grandparents longevity and good health. Grant them the desires of their heart.”

Mary Jane Watterson, a parishioner of St. Ignatius Loyola, attended with granddaughters Kate Koedam, 8, and Hannah Koedam, 11. When asked about her relationship with her grandchildren, she smiled and said, “They are in my heart all the time.”

Watterson takes care of her local grandchildren at least once a week, when their mother, Mary Koedam, volunteers at a nonprofit center that helps struggling women in pregnancy crisis. “My grandchildren are very special,” said Watterson. “I have five grandchildren on earth and I have three in heaven.”

The grandparent’s day held here is the first of its kind in America, patterned after pilgrimages in England and Ireland initiated by Catherine Wiley, a part-time resident of Delray Beach, who attends Ascension and St. Joan of Arc parishes in Boca Raton.

“I am moved to tears,” said an emotional Wiley moments before the cathedral celebration. “We are very honored and privileged.”

The grandmother of 10 approached Bishop Barbarito with her pilgrimage concept in December 2008. The idea was well-received and from there she began working with the diocesan Office of Family Life and Marriage to initiate the event that she is hoping will grow like an annual event held at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in England, which began July 2003 around the feast of Jesus’ maternal grandparents. The England event inspired Ireland’s grandparent’s pilgrimage that launched in 2007. The annual September event is held at Our Lady of Knock Shrine.

“There were 14,000 participants this year,” said Wiley, about the event in Ireland she attended along with Father John Gallagher, parochial vicar of St. Joan of Arc. “Father Gallagher was representing the Diocese of Palm Beach,” she explained. The two overseas events include music, talks, worship, fellowship and prayer.

During the event here, Wiley presented a framed prayer for grandparents to Bishop Barbarito. The prayer idea is also something that came from Wiley’s heart. She presented the concept to the Vatican, and it was embraced by Pope Benedict XVI, who authored the prayer now printed in several languages.

Bishop Barbarito thanked Wiley for the prayer and for proposing the National Grandparents Pilgrimage in America. He also thanked grandparents for their prayerful presence, wisdom, example and inspiration to grandchildren and to faithful in parish communities.

“May you continue to know how much you are loved, how much you are appreciated, how important you are,” said Bishop Barbarito.

An October 2003 Census Bureau report, based on data collected on the long form in the 2000 census, shows that grandparents living in households with their grandchildren are not only teaching the children through their example and knowledge, but also taking on major financial roles in the family life. The report indicates that 42 percent, or 2.4 million of the nearly 5.8 million grandparents, were the main providers responsible for basic needs of children.

Diocesan organizers hope to continue to honor these unsung heroes, showing them how much they are loved for all they do.

“Those who attended were very positive and really wanted another one next year,” said Janice Petersen Minshew, event organizer and coordinator of the diocesan Office of Family Life and Marriage. “I think it went well.”

Written by Catholic Grandparents Association

October 5, 2009 at 7:41 pm