CELEBRATIONS AROUND THE PROVINCE 
FOR FIRST WORLD DAY FOR GRANDPARENTS
AND THE ELDERLY 2021  

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DUNEDIN NZ 

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 Besides our own Residents and their

spouses, notices were put in the Church bulletins throughout the diocese inviting

older persons to spend the day with us.

About 60 individuals responded to the invitation. This included 5 older priests

who concelebrated the liturgy alongside Bishop Dooley and Bishop Colin Campbell,

the emeritus Bishop of Dunedin

We thank Pope Francis for his continued solicitude towards the elderly which led

himto promulgate this wonderful

celebration. Above all, we thank the Lord

who allowedour community to host it especially during these Pandemic times

when so many others are prohibited from opening their doors. We carried those suffering from lockdown and isolation

in our prayers and continue to hope that the joy we experienced may soon become a possibility for everyone.

The music for the celebration was assured by the singing group from St. Mary’s parish in Mosgiel made up entirely of older persons. They then remained for lunch and offered the afternoon entertainment. The repertoire of older songs was much appreciated by members of the audience, many of whom didn’t hesitate to add their own voices!

SYDNEY 

 

 

Sunday the 25th was marked by a solemn Mass and a beautiful lunch. The celebration continued the next day with an

Afternoon Talent Show. 

Staff members and Residents revealed exceptional gifts:

a 90-year-old singer, perfect in tune and harmony;

an 82-year-old dancer, so light on her feet that her young partner had trouble keeping up with her;

an 86-year-old pianist who got an encore from the audience, etc.

The show ended with a Samoan dance performed by two Little Sisters and a Resident, with a caregiver standing behind her for safety, but she was so happy to participate! The judging was tough, but there were gifts for everyone!

 

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A Tree was planted to commemorate this first

Grandparents and

Elderly Day.

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WESTERN SAMOA

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In true Samoan style, everyone was up for Mass at 7.15am   All the residents were in their Sunday best. The day before, Staff made Leis for the Residents which they put on them before Mass. Some of the families brought leis too.  Our choir sang the Mass using hymns about the role of the father and mother.  There were many  people at Mass and, there was not a dry eye during these hymns:  (see below)                                                            In the afternoon a group of Legion of Marycame to animate afternoon devotions. At 3p.m. we had the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, followed by the Rosary animated by the Legion of Mary with beautiful meditations and of course singing in between.

We took the prayer written by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI for the Grandparents and Elderly translated into Samoan and we all recited together at the end of the Rosary.   It was a beautiful prayer time.

We came out of the Church and had fellowship time with an “Ice Cream Social.”  One business donated the Ice cream and a huge chocolate cake for the Grandparents day.  All the Residents and visitors were well fed and enjoyed the treats.

The Role Of The Father: 

As your life comes to its setting, the beauty of your life is like the rainbow,

the sufferings you went through, because you  want me to be successful

in my life.  No words can repay, only God will.

The Role Of The Mother:

Mother you are pebbles arranged and the iron that irons out the

difficulties and obstacles in the family. Your sufferings are sweet like honey

because you want the true freedom and happiness for the children.

MELBOURNE 

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Melbourne also displayed the talents of the elderly on this day.  Following Mass, and a celebratory meal, Residents and Sisters then gathered in the Hall. The afternoon commenced with all praying the special prayer for this day. Some utube footage and some excerpts of the Message of the Holy Father were viewed.  The screen then moved to footage showing the talents of elderly people. 

Then it was time to invite our Residents to show their talent.  There emerged from the audience:

a short history of past memories

songs by two Residents with exceptionally good voices,

fitting speeches where Pope Francis was thanked for starting this day and for his respect shown to the elderly.   

 

The afternoon tea, which had been prepared and cooked by  the Sisters the day before, (amidst encouraging wonder from the Residents), proved to be  a great success. Some final footage of the Holy Father delivering his Message was shown and a copy of this Message given to each one.

AUCKLAND NZ

PERTH WA

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Our Philipino staff did some activities for the residents in preparation for Grandparents day and prepared afternoon tea.  On Saturday 24th July, the Samoan staff and all the other staff had their turn. They prepared a lot of food (island food) The residents were delighted to taste the food from different countries. The family spirit was so evident, it brought joy all round.

On  Sunday 25th July,  we had a solemn Mass celebrated by Bishop Browne for the Grandparents and the Elderly. At the offertory, the Korean couple who usually come to Mass on Sundays, dressed in their Korean costume and carried the candles; 3 of the residents participated in the offertory procession. After the Eucharistic Celebration, a festive lunch was served in the Hall. All were invited, including the residents in the Independent Living Units.

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PERTH, Providence made it possible for the Residents to have a three-day retreat from July 21st to the 23rd. They were captivated by the simplicity and cheerfulness of Bishop Justin Bianchini, Bishop Emeritus of Geraldton, who helped them to meditate on “God’s gaze on us, from moment to moment”. Each day of the triduum was also marked by an animation.

 

Saturday the 24th was the Residents’ Family Day where they shared lunch with their elders in different rooms, depending on the number of guests. The son of a Resident sang, accompanied by a guitar, and a resident priest, who also has a beautiful voice, sang several songs. Joy was in the hearts of all!

The afternoon tea, which had been prepared and cooked by  the Sisters the day before, (amidst encouraging wonder from the Residents), proved to be  a great success. Some final footage of the Holy Father delivering his Message was shown and a copy of this Message given to each one.

NOUMEA NC

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In NOUMEA, the day was celebrated on Friday the 23rd, marked by a special menu, the “bougna”, a local dish cooked under fire by the staff. Before the dessert, each unit presented their own party item and it was a joy to see the elderly and the staff singing and dancing together! In the main corridor, an exhibition of the Residents’ photos, prepared by a Little Sister, was a tremendous success and helped the visitors to learn about this new World Day. It will remain up for the entire month of August. In  memory of this first day.

On Sunday, the actual day. the solemnity of the Liturgy completed our celebrations.

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