Over 400 Grandparents and family members celebrate in Westport Church

There was “a very special atmosphere” in St Mary’s Church, Westport, on Monday last when over 400 grandparents and family members gathered to celebrate the feast day of the grandparents of Jesus.

Pictured at the Grandparents Day in St Mary's Parish, Church, Westport are (l to r): Mary McLoughlin, and Catherine O'Reilly.

The ecumenical Grandparents Day celebration was the brainchild of the Catholic Grandparents Association, whose offices are located in the town of Westport.

Monday, July 26th, was the feast day of St Joachim and St Anne, the parents of the Virgin Mary and the grandparents of Jesus.

“A special liturgy was prepared by the Tuam diocesan liturgist Mary Connolly, and this was simply beautiful. We had great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, and children at the service, and there was a very special atmosphere throughout,” said  Máire Printer of the Catholic Grandparents Association.

Fr Francis Mitchell, Adm., Westport, led the service, and Catherine Wiley, founder of the National Grandparents Pilgrimage and the Catholic Grandparents Association, addressed the gathering.

“The Catholic Grandparents Association is really starting to make its presence felt in the Church,” she said.

“Over the past few days alone, we have had Grandparents Masses in Castlebar and Dublin, and I also attended the UK National Grandparents Pilgrimage in the Shrine of Our Lady, Walsingham.

“The reaction we are getting from grandparents is that they appreciate the support they get from being members of the Association, and that they also take seriously their role of transmitting the faith to their grandchildren.”

This year’s National Grandparents Pilgrimage will take place in Knock Shrine, Co. Mayo, on Sunday, September 12th, at 2pm.

Chief celebrant will be Bishop John McAreavey, Bishop of Dromore, and the keynote speaker will be Breda O’Brien, the well-known Irish Times columnist and teacher.

Tyrone girl Chloe Coyle, a popular winner of this year’s Ireland’s Got Talent TV show, has agreed to sing at the Mass, while former Eurovision winner Dana, her mentor on the TV programme, will also perform. Michael English, a Kildare singer who has a huge following around Ireland, will also sing for what is expected to be a packed Basilica at Knock Shrine.

Further details are available on www.CatholicGrandparentsAssociation.com.

About the Catholic Grandparents Association

  • Archbishop Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam is Patron
  • The Association was born out of the National Grandparents Pilgrimage, established by Grandmother Catherine Wiley in 2007.
  • One of the aims of the Catholic Grandparents Association is to celebrate the important role grandparents play in the lives of their grandchildren.
  • In 2009, over 14,000 people attended the formation of the CGA.
  • Further information on the National Grandparents Pilgrimage is available on www.CatholicGrandparentsAssociation.com
Pictured at the Grandparents Day in St Mary's Parish Church, Westport, are (front row, l to r): Mary Carr, Mags O'Toole, Catherine Wiley, Maire Printer; (back row, l to r): Angela Gormley, Mary Keogh, Mary McDermott, Gerard & Ann Colbert, Patsy & Paddy Joe Foy
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