The way Susan Commini sees it, a great approach for evangelization is when “grandparents share their faith with their grandchildren – as well as their children – the blessings we, as Catholics, have in our rich faith and each other.
“This faith that brings us closer to God, guides us and consoles us in our journey to heaven,” she said.
PHOTO GALLERY: Mass for Feast of St. Anne and St. Joachim in Our Lady of Sorrows, Hamilton
PHOTO GALLERY: Mass for Feast of St. Anne and St. Joachim in St. Joachim, Trenton
Commini shared thoughts about the special relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren following the July 26 Mass celebrated in Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Hamilton, for the Feast of Sts. Anne and Joachim, the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and grandparents of Jesus.
The annual event, prepared by the marriage ministry in Our Lady of Sorrows-St. Anthony Parish, Hamilton, brought together parishioners from Our Lady of Sorrows-St. Anthony and from other parishes of the Lumen Christi Cohort, St. Raphael-Holy Angels, Hamilton, and St. Gregory the Great, Hamilton Square.
Father John Paul Del Rosario, parochial vicar of St. Rose Parish, Belmar, the principal celebrant and homilist, remarked on how “certainly fitting it is that we acknowledge the importance of Joachim and Anne who prepared the Virgin Mary for her role as the mother of the Messiah.
“They raised the Blessed Mother so well that she became the handmade of God so obedient, so pure, so accepting of the Divine Providence,” he said. “… We thank them for doing an amazing job as the parents of the Blessed Mother.”
During the luncheon that followed the Mass, Barbara Dohrenwend, a member of the marriage ministry who helped to coordinate the Mass, said she thought about her 13-year-old granddaughter throughout the day saying that “As grandparents, we have a greater influence on our grandchildren as they witness our faith in action, through words and deeds with Christ at the center.
“What better place is there than the Mass to celebrate our relationships – our relationship with our grandchildren and our relationship with God,” she said.
Among other parishes around the Diocese that commemorated the Feast of Sts. Anne and Joachim with Masses and prayer experiences included Our Lady of the Angels, Trenton, where a late afternoon bilingual Mass in English and Spanish was celebrated in St. Joachim Church by Father Carlos Aguirre, pastor. Before the Mass, the congregation and visiting priests joined in an outdoor procession during which large statues of St. Anne and St. Joachim were carried around the parish grounds.
“God called Joachim and Anne to be parents,” Father Aguirre said, “and through instruction, passion, love and example, the mother of our God, had parents who were role models of love, sacrifice, perseverance and prayer.”
“This day, of all days tells us how important the strong faith and example of our parents and grandparents” Father Aguirre. “God bless the mission of our grandparents and parents. God bless our families.”
Families celebrate the Feast of Sts. Anne and Joachim during Mass on July 26. Mike Ehrmann photo