The country’s Catholic bishops reminded the Filipino faithful to make sure that grandparents will continue to be “cherished members of our families, communities and nation.”
In a statement ahead of the observance of “World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly,” Filipinos are reminded to “promote initiatives that build bridges across the different stages of life.”
Quoting the papal encyclical “Amoris Laetitia,” Bishop Romulo Valles of Davao, president of the bishops’ conference, said the elderly should be made “active agents within the pastoral care of the community.”
The Church in the Philippines … knows that the Church of the poor and the Church of young cannot be part of a throw-away culture that disposes of the very generation that teaches us,” said Bishop Valles in a pastoral statement released over the weekend.
In January, Pope Francis announced the institution of the “World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly,” which will take place each year on the fourth Sunday in July.
The pontiff said the elderly “remind us that old age is a gift and that grandparents are the link between the different generation, to pass on to the young the experience of life.”
He said he instituted the “World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly” because “grandparents are often forgotten, and we forget this wealth of preserving roots and passing on” what the elderly have received.
In his statement, Bishop Valles noted that Filipinos continue to care for the elderly, especially in households and communities where the young and the parents live with or in close proximity with their grandparents and elders.
“This is also felt in countries where Filipinos migrate or work,” said the bishop.
“Generations care for one another, not only in seasons of abundance but especially in moments of trial. They share resources, skills, ideas, wisdom and faith with no thought for recompense except seeing their loved ones flourish in joy and hope,” added Bishop Valles.
He said that as “a country blessed by 500 years of Christianity, let us make sure that grandparents remain – and feel – that elders are cherished members of our families, communities and nation.”