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Grandads gather with grannies at Knock shrine

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Grandparents Pilgrimage at Knock Shrine

Grandparents Pilgrimage at Knock Shrine


GRANDPARENTS HAVE finally found their voice, the founder of the new Catholic Grandparents Association said yesterday as an estimated 14,000 grandmothers and grandfathers gathered at Knock shrine, Co Mayo.

They were attending the third annual National Grandparents Pilgrimage and the launch of the new organisation by Co Mayo grandmother Catherine Wiley.

She said the response from pilgrims had “stunned” her and people from all over the country told her that they wanted to be involved in the new association.

“People are coming up to me saying ‘I want to start a branch’. I think there will be branches in every town in the country . . .

“The association will be a voice for grandparents and will also offer them practical assistance. In many cases, grandparents are the ones holding families together.”

Among the pilgrims at yesterday’s event was Michael Lambert (102) from Co Roscommon and Tom Ketterick (95), the Mayo man who recently reached the final of the World Cup Brown Trout Angling competition.

Seán and Margaret Davin travelled from Dublin for the event. Mr Davin said it was “an extraordinary day” for grandparents. The key role played by grandparents had often been overlooked, he said, but now a “fascinating new consciousness of that role has been raised”.

The Primate of All-Ireland, Cardinal Seán Brady, said the “Bank of grandma and grandad” was critical to the success of the Celtic Tiger and the resources of grandparents would be critical to our economic recovery.

In years gone by, it was commonplace for children to take on financial responsibility for their parents as they grew older but that situation had reversed, Cardinal Brady said. “It is your time and money which is now holding many families in this country together as they struggle with the consequences of the global economic crisis,” he told grandparents.

He also alluded to the controversy over civil partnerships and gay marriage. “Any society which diminishes the value of the family, based on marriage between a man and a woman, diminishes the very foundation of society itself.”

This article appears in the print edition of the Irish Times


Written by Catholic Grandparents Association

September 16, 2009 at 7:18 pm