Living as Missionary Disciples | July 26, 2023

Did Jesus have grandparents?
While Jesus is the son of God, he also had earthly grandparents but only one is mentioned in the Bible. Tradition has it that Mary’s parents were Joachim and Anna. The Church celebrates their feast on July 26. We know nothing of Joseph’s mother but his father’s name was Jacob (Matthew 1:16).

Quote from Living as Missionary Disciples

Being a disciple means being constantly ready to bring the love of Jesus to others, this can happen unexpectedly and in any place: on the street, during work, on a journey.” (pg. 14)


Do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and their children after them. (Deut. 4:9)

Did you know?

  • In 2022, 486,000 children under the age of three lived in a household where both a grandmother and grandfather were present.
  • One tenth of American children live with a grandparent. Most of these households include at least two grandchildren, and many include more.
  • About 15% of grandparents care for grandchildren while the parents’ work.
  • The average American will be a grandparent for half of his or her adult life.
  • The average age of a U.S. grandparent is 48, and more than half are Baby Boomers.
  • Some people who were raised by their grandparents: Maya Angelou, Carol Burnett, Bill Clinton, Willie Nelson, Jack Nicholson, Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey.


When is Grandparents Day?

Pope Francis proclaimed the World Day for Grandparents to be celebrated on the fourth Sunday in July (The date was chosen to be near the liturgical memorial of Saints Anne and Joachim, July 26).

In the United States the national celebration of Grandparents Day is on the Sunday after Labor Day. This year – on September 10.

Roles that grandparents play in family life:

  • Storyteller, who passes down family history and preserves family traditions.
  • Mentor and teacher, who offers guidance and assistance in all areas of life.
  • Nurturer, who provides emotional support and unconditional love.
  • Role model, who demonstrates the importance of faith, morality, and personal integrity through the witness of their lives.
  • Playmate, who creates an element of fun and adventure. (Dr. Arthur Kornhaber)

This is one of the quotes from Pope Francis on Grandparents.

“Grandparents are the ring linking generations, to transmit to young people the experience of life and faith.”

How to Celebrate Grandparents in your Family of Parishes:

  • On Sunday, Sept. 10 – celebrate Grandparents Sunday (if this date doesn’t work in your FoP pick a Sunday of your choosing)
  • At a designated Mass in each parish, ask grandparents to bring their grandchildren to Mass*
  • Ask grandchildren to bring their grandparents to Mass
  • At some point of the liturgy invite grandparents and grandchild(ren) to stand.
  • Bless the grandparents (see possible prayer below). Have the community and the grandchildren raise their hands in a blessing over the grandparents.
  • Bless the grandchildren in a similar way. (possible prayer below)

Additional suggestions:

  • After Mass offer refreshments.
  • Tour the other parishes in your Family
  • Give out Holy Water so they can continue to bless each other


  • Invite grandparents or grandchildren to live-stream the mass if they can’t be present.
  • If grandparents or grandchildren live far away and cannot attend, bring their pictures to hold up during the blessings.
  • If the grandparent figure is another relative or a significant friend, invite them.

Prayer for Grandparents 

Lord Jesus, you were born of the Virgin Mary, the daughter of Saints Joachim and Anne. Look with love on grandparents the world over. Protect them! They are a source of enrichment for families, for the Church and for all of society. Support them! As they grow older, may they continue to be for their families strong pillars of Gospel faith, guardians of noble domestic ideals, living treasuries of sound religious traditions. Make them teachers of wisdom and courage, that they may pass on to future generations the fruits of their mature human and spiritual experience. (Pope Benedict XVI)

Prayer for Grandchildren

Lord, thank You for my grandchildren. I pray that You would put Your hand on their lives. I pray that You would put inside their hearts a thirst to live by Your standards and to always seek Your love every single day of their lives. Lord, I thank You for the blessing that are these beautiful grandchildren. (Billy Hallowell)

Young Grandchildren

Lord, I pray for my grandchildren. Please be with and guide them. Please equip our family with the mental, physical and emotional resources to help raise their child up right. God, I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know that it’s in Your hands. Please guide us all and help this child each and every day. I pray for good influences in school and with friends. I pray You would put the right people in their path so that they can be further encouraged to make the right choices. Lord, I lift this child up to You. In Jesus’ name. Amen. (Billy Hallowell)

Teen and older grandchildren

Lord, it is never too late to pray for my grandchildren. I thank You for the blessing of having them in my life and I ash that you protect them from a chaotic culture. Help them to see through the fog of chaos to find the beacon of Your love. I pray, Lord, that You would protect them at work and at school. Give, give them the discernment to know what’s right and wrong and to understand Your truth. Thank you, Lord, for all You do. In Jesus’ name. Amen. (Billy Hallowell)

Here are three wonderful resources on Grandparents: 

We need your help: 

Here at the Road to Renewal, we would like to hear from the grandparents in your FoP to see how we can continue to support them in their role. Attached is a questionnaire. Please print out or connect people to the link so that we can hear from them. 

Please take a minute to fill out his questionnaire and send it back to:; or send the hard copy to Sr. Louise Alff, Diocese of Buffalo, 795 Main Street, Buffalo, NY. 14203. Please return by August 31. 

Put this questionnaire on your website and/or Facebook page. 


Click on this link to: Train – Prayer – Launch Alpha in your parish. The link is customized to our diocese and will get you started in setting up Alpha for our September 17 launch, as well as provide the links to the training sessions for host and helpers, prayer ministry training and signing up for the Nov. 4 retreat.

Other Alpha events you may want to consider:

  • A NIGHT WITH ALPHA Thursday, Aug. 17. 8:00 – 9:30 PM. Eastern Time. (Note when you register it will say 7-8:30 PM because that is CDT). More Alphas are offered in the fall than at any other time of the year. On Thurs. Aug. 17 we invite you to join Alpha USA Executive Director John Wentz and special guests as we kick off the fall season with a night of celebration, prayer, and vision casting. You are encouraged to bring together anyone interested in Alpha so you can watch it as a group. Alpha will provide a watch party kit for you closer to the date of the event. Click here to register.
  • An Interactive Online Training to Experience: WHAT IT IS LIKE TO RUN ALPHA. August 29 or August 31. Alpha is a space for people outside the church to explore faith within the context of the local church. Gather with other churches and leaders from across the country for an interactive training to develop an understanding of Alpha and how to get the most out of running a course in your context. We will cover topics like ‘What is Alpha?’, the 7 best practices of Alpha, the Alpha small group and leading prayer ministry.

September 17: Start of Adult and Youth Alpha in FoP.

Please let the Road to Renewal know if you are thinking of doing the Alpha program in the Fall. Contact Sr. Louise at Indicate Family of Parish and contact person.


I am looking for parishes to host the “Life in the Eucharist” training and “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Training. For more information contact S. Louise:


Saint Bernadette Parish Open Doors Ministry invites you to their annual summer picnic party for adults and children with different abilities. August 26, 2023 from 11AM – 2 PM at Saint Bernadette Church Parish Ministry Center, 5930 S. Abbott Rd., Orchard Park, NY 14127. Lunch will be provided and served at noon. RSVP: 716-649-1051 or