Natalie Wrubleski and her grandmother, Dorothy Dabrowski, greet the faithful coming into Mass. (Provided photos)
Natalie Wrubleski and her grandmother, Dorothy Dabrowski, greet the faithful coming into Mass. (Provided photos)
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St. Mary’s Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Cooperstown organized a celebration of grandparents and seniors this summer. The celebration derived from Pope Francis’ declaration of an annual World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly on the feasts of Sts. Joachim and Anne, the grandparents of Jesus and parents of Mary. “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 pope said.

Father Michael Cambi, pastor, and the pastoral council sponsored the event using the theme, “I am with you always” (Mt. 28:20).  Both grandparents, seniors, their grandchildren and special young ones participated in the liturgy based on the belief that young people are called to be a part of the lives of seniors, whose mission is to evangelize, model a prayerful life and encourage the young in the Catholic faith.

Seniors and youth welcomed parishioners to the Mass and distributed a specially-designed program with a packet of Forget Me Not seeds. Grandparents and their grandchildren proclaimed the Scriptures, Prayers of the Faithful and brought forward the Offertory gifts. At the end of Mass, all raised their arms and, led by Father Cambi, blessed their elders with the words: “May the Lord look upon you with kindness; May the Lord fill your hearts with holy peace. God’s Love be forever within you. May the Lord always bless you and keep you.” After the Mass, there was a reception on the church lawn with cookies and lemonade.

Maureen Murray is pastoral council chair for St. Mary’s Our Lady of the Lake Parish.