Resources of finance and faith lauded at founding of Grandparents Association

FINANCIAL resources of grandparents – the ‘bank of grandma and granddad’ – is helping many families through tough economic times, the Primate of All-Ireland has said.

Speaking at the foundation of the Catholic Grandparents Association (CGA) at Knock Shrine, Co Mayo, yesterday Cardinal Sean Brady said the resources of grandparents was “critical to the pace of our economic recovery”. He added that by passing on the faith, grandparents could protect their grandchildren against “something more dangerous than swine flu” – the “deadly danger of despair”.

More than 14,000 people turned out for the national grandparents’ pilgrimage, at which the new national association was launched.

Mayo grandmother Catherine Wiley, who founded the new association, said it will be a voice for grandparents and help them pass on the torch of faith to their grandchildren.

The association aims to establish support and prayer groups in parishes throughout the country where grandparents can meet to share their experiences and pray for their family and grandchildren.

Ms Wiley said, in many cases, grandparents were the ones holding families together.

But she said a great many lose out on a relationship with their grandchildren after marital breakdown.

The new association is being launched at a time when the Law Reform Commission is looking at ways of improving the rights of grandparents in relation to guardianship and access to their grandchildren.

The event also saw the launch of a song – My Guiding Light, a Tribute to Grandparents – by 10- year-old Emma Humber.

Among the special guests was 95-year-old Mayo man Tom Ketterick, who recently qualified for the final of the World Cup Brown Trout angling finals on Lough Mask, Co Mayo.

He was accompanied by three more generations of his family – including four great-grandchildren.

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