In their 1999 pastoral message Blessings of Age, the U.S. bishops invited older persons, their families, and their faith communities to develop new initiatives that encourage the participation of older persons in society and in the Church. Recognizing the social, economic, and spiritual implications of this rapidly growing age group, the bishops encouraged a fresh perspective that embraces the gift of aging. In Blessings of Age, special words are offered for (1) older people themselves, (2) caregivers, (3) the parish faith community--pastors, staff, volunteers, and all parishioners, and (4) younger adults. The publication also includes reflection and discussion questions, current statistics, and helpful suggestions. It was released in commemoration of the United Nations' "International Year of Older Persons."
Pope John Paul II, Letter to the Elderly (1999)
"As an older person myself, I have felt the desire to engage in a conversation with you. I do so first of all by thanking God for the gifts and the opportunities which he has abundantly bestowed upon me up to now."
Pope Francis, Angelus (July 26, 2013)
"How important grandparents are for family life, for passing on the human and religious heritage which is so essential for each and every society! How important it
is to have intergenerational exchanges and dialogues, especially within the context of the family."