In this month’s edition of Canossaville Heartbeat, I would like to touch on a very special and important part of our lives: Our grandparents, and the elderly in our lives.
Pope Francis said, “Like with the Prophet Simeon and the Prophetess Anna, the Holy Spirit even today stirs up thoughts and words of wisdom in the elderly. The voice of the elderly is precious because it sings the praises of God and preserves the roots of the peoples. The elderly reminds us that old age is a gift and that grandparents are the link between the different generations, to pass on to the young the experience of life.”
In 2021, Pope Francis instituted the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, which will take place each year on the fourth Sunday in July, the Sunday closest to the feast of Saints Joachim and Anne, the grandparents of Jesus. Heeding His Holiness’ call, Canossaville Children and Community Services (CCCS) will continue its third year of celebrating Grandparents’ Day, a day to honour the grandparents and elderly in our community here at the Canossian Village and in our immediate neighbourhood.
The inaugural celebration began in 2019 with a Family Mass organised by Canossa Catholic Primary School (CCPS) for the families of CCPS and Canossian School. In 2020, the programme was taken over by CCCS and expanded to give our young children the opportunity to reach out to their grandparents and the elderly in the MacPherson Estate. In spite of the COVID situation, the children made an effort to visit their grandparents with their parents, and found different ways of connecting with their elderly relatives living overseas. Children who did not have grandparents were encouraged to stop and say hello to an elderly neighbour, showing them a gesture of love.
Staff of CCCS also packed hampers and personally delivered them to the elderly living around Sallim Road. This brought great cheer to the elderly residents, many of whom were living alone. Food hampers were also packed for the elderly residents and Canossian Sisters living in our two Canossian-run elderly care and hospices – Villa Francis and St Joseph’s Home. The Sisters and residents were very touched that they were remembered as well.
The platform to honour grandparents and the elderly last year was so meaningful that we are looking forward to celebrating this beautiful event every July. In collaboration with CCPS, teaching of the Canossian Core Value of Humility in filial piety will be emphasised in the run up to the event. This is to ensure that we continue to bring meaning to the purpose of this programme as part of the Formation of the Heart which is the foundation of our Canossian Brand of Education.
We want our young Canossian daughters and sons in this generation to remember the joy they bring to the elderly. It is so important that the young people start to cultivate a love and sensitivity to the needs of the elderly around them.
To our grandparents and the elderly: Happy Grandparents’ Day! We love and honour you!
In Gratitude and Service,
Sr Theresa Seow
Supervisor, Canossian Village