On the 30th of December, the Feast of the Holy Family, 16 people ventured beyond their Christmas festivities to celebrate the Holy Family - with a focus on grandparents in Southampton. In our sister Diocese in Bamenda, their focus was a celebration of Humanae Vitae.
At Holy Family Church – Southampton Fr James Bradley and Aba Shields of the Marriage & Family Life office welcomed grandparents to an afternoon celebrating the gift of being a Catholic grandparent. We watched an inspirational video by Catherine Wiley, founder of the Catholic Grandparents Association followed by a time of spontaneous testimonies over tea, coffee and a delicious award-winning gluten and nut free cake. Those present were all inspired and keen to begin a new group in Southampton which would allow working as well as retired grandparents to attend.
Fr James offered to work with the Marriage & Family Life office to establish a convenient time for other grandparents in the New Year.
Each grandparent was given a home-made Christmas cracker which contained some chocolates and the Catholic Grandparent’s prayer. One of the grandparents interviewed (see video) remarked that she had been pleasantly surprised and was glad she came. She had thought this meeting was for Catholic grandparents with ‘model Catholic’ grandchildren. She realised that it was for ordinary catholic grandparents and that the struggle of passing on the faith was the same for all those present.
All ten grandparents expressed interest in exploring becoming a part of the Catholic grandparent’s prayer group. Father James lead us in the grandparent prayer and gave us a final blessing. Please contact the Marriage and Family life office if you are interested in the Catholic Grandparents Prayer group. Thank you to all our helpers on the day and to all the parish priests in Southampton who advertised the Event.
Grandparents from Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, St Josephs and St Edmunds, St Vincent de Paul, Sacred Heart – Fareham and the Holy Family in Southampton, made it a jolly and fruitful event.