In response to Pope Francis’ call to honor grandparents and the elderly, the Archdiocese of Louisville will offer “The Gift of Aging: Moving from Role to Soul,” a spiritual retreat for maturing adults.
The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. July 27 at St. John Paul II’s Parish Life Center, 3521 Goldsmith Lane.
The event is being organized by Catholic Charities and the archdiocese Family and Life Ministries Office.
Denise Puckett, who serves as family services project coordinator, said the retreat aims to help older adults realize that aging doesn’t mean life is over and to discover that there are “unique gifts” they can offer in each stage of life.
The retreat will offer time for prayer, reflection and fellowship.
“It’s a day for older adults to come together, a time of refreshment,” she said. It will be an opportunity for them to reflect on “what their life can bring in the years to come, to have a sense of the blessings that have happened in their life and as they move forward see a purpose and the value of their life.”
Puckett said they planned the retreat for July to take place around the same time as World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly. Pope Francis celebrated the first World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly in 2021 and has decreed it a yearly observance — to take place on the Sunday closest to the feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne, Jesus’ grandparents. World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly will be observed July 24 this year.
Puckett said the plan is to have this retreat annually around this time of year. The hope is it will serve to remind people of the “value of life in the elderly years. We want to highlight that and bring attention to what Pope Francis has been talking about,” she said.
In his weekly general audience, the pope has been reflecting on the elderly and their place in society.
In his June 15 audience, as reported by Catholic News Service, the pope said, “Elderly people have so much to give us because there is the wisdom of life.
They have so much to teach us. That is why we must also teach children to look after their grandparents and to go to their grandparents” for guidance.
The retreat will be led by Ginny Schaeffer, director of the Angela Merici Center for Spirituality. The cost is $20. To register by July 22, contact Denise Puckett at 636-0296, ext. 1268 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.