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National Grandparents Day

August 29, 2022

From the Office for Social Ministry

National Grandparents Day is Sunday, September 11, 2022

"In old age they will still bear fruit" (Psalm 92:15)

Celebrated the first Sunday following Labor Day, GRANDPARENTS DAY is a day designated to honor and show gratitude to our kupuna for giving us life, for their unending love and nurturing wisdom. Our grandparents are part of our family and they won’t be around forever. It’s important that we cherish the moments we have so to create memories that’ll last our lifetime. 

The quality of relationships and degree of closeness between family members in different generations can be referred to as Intergenerational Solidarity. Understanding how one generation relates to another in the same family enables members to help and depend on one another and forge strong bonds.  

Pope Francis’s Message to the 2022 Word Day for Grandparents and Elderly says “Our grandparents held us in their arms and carried us on their knees”; now is the time for us to carry on our own knees – with practical assistance or with prayer.”

As Pacific Islanders like many of our Asian and Latin brothers, we are brought up with a strong sense of kuleana or responsibility to see to the care of our kupuna and elders until they return home to God. Our parishes are a melting pot of cultures where intergenerational households are common-place and the values perpetuated by previous generations teaches us to keep our elders close. Many parishioners attest to their grandparents helping to form their faith lives by bringing them up in the Church. 

On Grandparents Day, make an extra effort to engage your kupuna. Spend time going through photo albums to learn the names and faces of your family. Use your smart phone to video and capture stories that will chronicle your family lineage; where did you grow up? How did you and grandpa meet? Where were you married and what was your first home like? Did you have to discipline your kids? Did they challenge you just as much as I challenge my parents? Perhaps you want to learn a unique skill; cooking a favorite family dish, car repair, fishing, lei making, etc 

And if you no longer have your grandparents, there are many who have no one to share the day with. Consider volunteering your time at a senior care home to help our community kupuna to feel remembered and important. In his remarks with his General Audience earlier this summer at St Peter’s Square, Pope Francis commented, ”Love descends, it does not return to the life behind with the same force that it pours out on the life that is still before us. Hence, the gratuitousness of love is known by all parents and the elderly.”  Remember to show love to your kupuna September 11th!  

(For the full 2022 message of Pope Francis’s for the World Day for Grandparents and Elderly, please visit OSM website Second World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly – Office for Social Ministry )