Saint Paul began his letter to the young bishop, Timothy:
I recall your sincere faith that first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and that I am confident lives also in you. (2 Tim. 1:5)
What a treasure for us, to know the names of both the mother and grandmother of one of Christianity’s first bishops! Thank God for Lois, a woman who was undoubtedly a strong, living witness. Without her, we may have missed out on two Biblical books, 1 and 2 Timothy!
“Today more than ever we need this bridge, this dialogue, between grandparents and grandchildren, between the young and the elderly,” said Pope Francis to youth in 2017. “So this is the task I am giving you in the name of the Church: Talk to older people.”
Our society has largely lost respect for our elders. Yet: How many are homebound, filled with the wisdom of life experiences, while restless young people outside seek answers to life’s ‘big questions’? How many of our elders feel like they are worthless, now that their body—and sometimes their mind—is failing? As Christians, it is our responsibility to remedy this situation; to remind all people of their value, worth, and dignity.
In 2013, San Antonio’s Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, inspired by Benedict XVI’s courageous transition from active Pope to Pope Emeritus prayer intercessor, directed Pilgrim Center of Hope to begin a Catholic Seniors’ Conference. This conference aims to foster an appreciation for the personal dignity of men and women in the later years of life, to encourage them, and to inspire them to continue sharing their wisdom and gifts. As we prepare to offer the fifth annual event, we are excited! We’ve seen how these conferences bring about transformations in our elders. One such person remarked:
I had come to the conclusion that the Catholic Church didn’t care for the elderly who were once young & very active in our Church, but I realized through this conference we are the building blocks of our church.
We see the Holy Spirit’s work in Pope Francis, as he consistently speaks on the value of senior citizens. This is an urgent topic! As our Holy Father reminds us:
“A people that does not take care of grandparents, that does not treat them well, has no future! The elderly have wisdom. They are entrusted with a great responsibility: to transmit their life experience, their family history, the history of a community, of a people. Let us keep in mind our elders, so that sustained by families and institutions, may with their wisdom and experience collaborate in the education of new generations.”
Join us at the 2018 Catholic Seniors’ Conference! All are welcome… “Seniors of all ages” are welcome, along with family members and friends. Let us all rediscover the hope and joy of life in Christ! At any age, we are members of the Body of Christ.