By Kathy Lieberg, grandmother and Franciscan associate at St. Anne’s Guest Home
After Christmas, we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. We can look at the Holy Family as not only Mary, Joseph and Jesus but also include St. Anne and St. Joachim, Mary’s parents. Although they were not mentioned in scripture as being part of Jesus’ life, I’m sure they were very much a part of His life. A Jewish family, including grandparents, aunt, uncles, and cousins was a very important entity then, as I’m sure it is now.
In our world today grandparents can also be important in the lives of the grandchildren, especially with so many parents working and the grandparents helping with the children. This gives grandparents a good chance to have a positive influence on the grandchildren in the ways of their faith. By making sure they go to Mass every Sunday, and possibly every day grandparents can show the importance of Mass, the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist and obedience to what the church asks us to do. This obedience can be shown as not just something we have to do, but a love of God and wanting to do as He wants us to do and to also attend Mass to thank and praise God for all He does for us.
We grandparents can also be prepared and honored to be present when grandchildren are baptized, celebrate first Penance, first Holy Communion, and Confirmation. When the children see grandparents attend these events they will begin to realize the importance of their faith and the path to holiness.
As parents and grandparents our job is to help our children and grandchildren get to heaven.
In our homes we grandparents can have holy objects, such as statues, pictures and rosaries around so the children are exposed to them. When out in public we can show how it is ok to pray in public such as when we are at a restaurant.
Finally, as grandparents, we can hopefully grow in our own holiness by being examples of holiness to those around us, especially our grandchildren.