Catherine Wiley – A Testimonial
Catherine Wiley, a grandmother from Mayo, now living in Walsingham, Norfolk, the national shrine of Our Lady in England, addressed the 50th International Eucharistic Congress today.
Catherine founded the Catholic Grandparents' Association in 2002 to give recognition to the vital role grandparents play in children’s lives. She explained how she was inspired, at Walsingham on Our Lady’s birthday (8 September) to do more for grandparents who found themselves, like her, with children who no longer practiced their faith and therefore with grandchildren who were also missing out.
Catherine explained that she asked the Pope for a prayer for grandparents, and that the key was to ensure that the Pope received her request, as she knew he would respond. 18 months later she received the Pope’s prayer for grandparents, focusing (in part) on the fruits of mature human spiritual experience.
After her testimonial, I turned and spoke to pilgrims sitting behind me. The lady I spoke to was one of a group of 13 from Canada. She explained that she is in a similar position to Catherine regarding her children and grandchildren and so was very pleased to have the prayer, which she had been unaware of until then. She was pleased to be able to help and pray for other grandparents and grandchildren.
We spoke about the previous Eucharistic Congress, held in Canada, which they had all attended. They felt both were very good and were pleased that the weather was holding up this time, having expected it to be much worse. They are from Prince Edward Island, called the Ireland of Canada – as it has soft days too!
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