Last week’s newsletter noted that, according to Pope Francis, grandparents deserve to be loved.  That makes one wonder what they have done to deserve it, what contributions they have made? There are many but this little list of granny types offers some responses to that comment, maybe it is how they see themselves or wish to be seen.   

Let’s look at it in this way.

OH TO BE A GRANNY There is the brag-book granny, proud, happy. My little darlings are so cute and so clever. Only 16 months and can………..

OH TO BE A GRANNY There is another show-off granny. “My darlings have done great things in their lives.  They clearly take after my son/daughter who was like that too.”

OH TO BE A GRANNY There is the wishful older mother/mom-in-law, waiting, dying for a little one. Children married or not, “Just give me a grandchild to love.”

OH TO BE A GRANNY There is the  concerned, caretaker granny. “Oh what a blessing my granddaughters are even n spite of parental neglect. They at least have me to look after them.

OH TO BE A GRANNY There is the supportive granny, “I get great satisfaction from being able to help.  It really fills my life.

OH TO BE A GRANNY. There is the disappointed caring granny. They don’t seem to need me. I wish they did, other than when they need money for something.

H TO BE A GRANNY. Teenage mother. “I’m jolly pleased I can leave this baby with my mom, so I can get on with my own life, go back to school, get a job.”

OH TO BE A GRANNY There is the used/exploited granny, “I wish I wasn’t always available. I’m tired of looking after these brats. They take my pension money and expect me to provide for them.

OH TO BE A GRANNY. There is the socially involved and hopeful granny. ”I’m hopeful that these young clever ones will be able to put things right in our world. 

OH TO BE A GRANDDAD! “I may not be very good with babies but I know I can teach the older ones a thing or two, or three or more.”

We could ask ourselves where we fit in.   Not every woman wants to be a granny, especially at under 40 when there is still much life to live. Not all elderly persons want to be grandparents either. It is however one of the realities in life over which one has almost no control.   Last weekend I had been invited to speak on Teenage Pregnancy.  At first I didn’t know where to focus, as surely every teenager, and most others,  knows all about it from many sources. But as it is grandparents month I decided to focus on the family of the youth, girls and boys, and what families can do as prevention and also to deal with it compassionately rather than angrily, if the situation does arise.  Pope Francis in his letter to families Amoris Laetitia addresses sex education noting that it is the responsibility of parents or, as can so often be seen, the family in whatever form it takes is the educational setting. Grandparents, but most often grandmothers, literally bring up large numbers of their grandchildren, pass on the faith and traditions, teach them to pray, do their best to teach them values, which is not always easy when the children’s mother and father may not be the example they could and should be.  Pope Francis writes, “ethical values are associated with negative images of parental figures or the shortcomings of adults.  For this reason adolescents should be helped to draw analogies to appreciate that values are best embodied in a few exemplary persons, but also realized imperfectly and to different degrees in others.   How often are grandparents, or other elderly persons, the exemplary figures for our youth.  We all the elderly, are grateful and yet humbled by this opportunity, as in spite of our own loneliness and disappointments in life – on which Pope Francis focuses this year in his special message,-  a great gift we have that we can offer them, whether  they know about it or not is our loving prayers.    FAMILY WEEKLY 10 JULY 2024     

For a Movement of Prayer of Grandparents for Grandchildren see..


July 10. The group members reminisced about their earlier years. “We used to have a wonderful farm, we grew lots of fruit and vegetables and became quite wealthy I must say.  But we were also so busy that we hardly had time for God and stopped going to church.  I suppose our idols, what the reading calls “sacred pillars” were money,  new cars, expensive holidays.  As I look back I realise a time came when our children all left home and those material things didn’t matter any more. ” 

Reflect, share, scripture: Israel is a luxuriant vine that yields its fruit.  The more his fruit increased the more altars he built; as his country improved he improved his sacred pillars.  Their heart is false; now they must bear their guilt.  Hosea 10:1-2.   Pope Francis: An empty nest obliges a couple to redefine their relationship.  There are also personal crises that affect the life of couples often involving finances, work, emotional, social and spiritual difficulties requiring a process of forgiveness and reconciliation.  AL 237 ACTION AND PRAYER.   Where do you draw the line on consumerism?