By Fr. Benedict Mayaki, SJ
Picking up Pope Francis’s appeal to young people on the 32nd World Youth Day – in which he reminded them that they need the “wisdom and vision” of the elderly – the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life is launching an initiative called “A Gift of Wisdom” as the Church approaches the season of Christmas.
In a statement on Friday, the Dicastery emphasizes that in spite of the “particular climate in which we are living” due to the pandemic, young people have the opportunity to receive a special gift through bonding with elderly people – many of them living alone because of the ongoing health crisis.
“We can create bonds with each of them,” the statement notes, “this is a treasure waiting to be discovered!”
Closeness to the elderly
This “Gift of Wisdom” initiative comes after the success of the July 2020 campaign, “The elderly are your grandparents.” During that campaign, the Dicastery collected virtual hugs sent by many young people to both their own grandparents and to “adopted grandparents.”
With this latest initiative, however, young people from all over the world are invited to “send a message to the elderly and to receive in return the gift of their wisdom.”
Share on social media platforms
More precisely, the Dicastery proposes that young people post on social media “a memory, a piece of advice, or a ‘gift of wisdom’ that they have received from one of the elderly people with whom they have formed a bond in recent months.”
As health restrictions are still in force in many countries, the Dicastery encourages that participation in this campaign be done via social media using the hashtag #aGiftOfWisdom.
The best posts will be shared on the social media accounts of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life (@laityfamilylife).