Pope imparts blessing on Catholic Grandparents Association

Pictured at Knock Shrine, Co. Mayo, at the 2009 National Grandparents Pilgrimage are (from left) Catherine Wiley, founder; and Sadie O’Connell, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow. Picture David Walsh.

The Catholic Grandparents Association, launched in Knock Shrine last year, has been formally blessed by Pope Benedict XV1.

The Papal Blessing has been greeted by Co. Mayo woman Catherine Wiley, the founder of the Catholic Grandparents Association and the National Grandparents Pilgrimage.

The text of the blessing was recently received at the offices of the Association in Westport, Co. Mayo, and reads as follows:

“Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI invokes God’s Blessings of Joy and Peace upon you and all of the Association.

“Make them teachers of wisdom and courage, that they may pass on to future generations the fruits of their mature human and spiritual experience.”

Said Mrs Wiley: “This is a huge honour for our Association, and once again illustrates that the Church is open to the infinite good that grandparents can do.”

She added: “Grandparents play a huge role in transmitting the faith in families, and in just a few years, Irish grandparents have shown the power of coming together to pray and to celebrate.”

The Catholic Grandparents Association was born out of the National Grandparents Pilgrimage, which was first held in Knock Shrine in 2007. Over 5,000 people attended, and last year a gathering of 14,000 grandparents and their families came along for the dual purpose of the Pilgrimage and the launch of the Catholic Grandparents Association.

This year’s National Grandparents Pilgrimage will take place in Knock Shrine, Co. Mayo, on Sunday, September 12th, at 3pm.

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 National Grandparents Pilgrimage

  • Archbishop Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam is Patron
  • The National Grandparents Pilgrimage was established by Grandmother Catherine Wiley in 2007.
  • The aim of the National Grandparents Pilgrimage is to celebrate the important role grandparents play in the lives of their grandchildren.
  • In 2009, over 14,000 people attended the Pilgrimage, which also coincided with the formation of the Catholic Grandparents Association

Further information on the National Grandparents Pilgrimage is available on www.CatholicGrandparentsAssociation.com

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