By Lindsey Kettner, Guest Contributor
Grandparents hold a very special role in the spiritual formation of their families and can have a great influence on their children and grandchildren’s faith journeys. They have the responsibility to pass along the Faith, pray with and for their grandchildren, and be a role model of Christian life.
This can be a daunting task. The United States Catholic Grandparents Association exists “to support grandparents in our vocation to pass on our Faith and keep prayer at the heart of our family,” says Marilyn Henry, grandmother of 11 and member of the Catholic Grandparents Association. “We believe that this is the most precious and the only lasting gift that we can leave for our children.”
Sometimes it’s difficult to help your grandkids have a strong foundation of Faith when their parents aren’t practicing their Catholic Faith. What’s a grandma or grandpa to do? “First of all, pray,” says Henry. “Same as the parents do, the grandparents want the best for their children. We are not the parents; we have to abide by what the parents want. So just pray and be very gentle always, be very faithful and pray that they will receive the gift that we want to give.”
Many grandparents carry the difficult cross of having their children or grandchildren stray from their Faith. “Never give up hope and faith,” says Henry. “There’s no way that we can force our Faith on them, but we just pray and pray that they will accept this beautiful gift.” It’s easy to become discouraged and feel alone in your struggle, but remember that St. Monica prayed ceaselessly for her son Augustine’s conversion, and he became a saint!
Saints Joachim and Anne, grandparents of Our Lord, pray for us!
Lindsey serves as the Digital and Social Media Producer at Relevant Radio, a National Catholic Radio Network. At Relevant Radio she writes articles for the app and website, produces social media content, and is a copywriter for marketing materials. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she studied journalism and advertising, Spanish, and psychology.
Lindsey and her husband live in Wisconsin and are parishioners at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Green Bay. She enjoys photography, interior design, writing, and travelling.