“The elderly are your grandparents” – A campaign of virtual hugs and love.
A wonderful campaign of love, strengthening bonds, giving our heart to those who need our affection.
Father Alexandre Awi de Mello, secretary of the dicastery of the Laity, Family and Life and a Schoenstatt Father, invites us to participate in this project which grew out of a desire of Pope Francis: to express our love online to our own grandparents, from the neighborhood or from the parish, who are alone: let us be creative in love: a phone call, a video call, or whatever your creativity inspires you to do.
Below is the invitation. Let's participate using the hashtag #sendyourhug. The most significant hugs will be published in the social media of the mentioned dicastery: @laityfamilylife. Use the inventiveness of love: make phone or video calls, listen to them!
It is possible to reduce the isolation felt by elderly people while also strictly observing health guidelines for Covid-19. The pandemic has hit the elderly particularly hard and it has disconnected the already weak links between generations. However, respecting social distancing rules does not mean accepting a destiny of loneliness and abandonment.
That is why the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life has decided to heed the words spoken by Pope Francis after the Angelus and to launch a campaign called “The elderly are your grandparents”. It invites young people from all over the world to do something that shows kindness and affection for older people who may feel lonely.
In recent months many Episcopal Conferences, associations and individuals have been using “the inventiveness of love” to find ways to bring the ecclesial community closer to the elderly who are lonely. We have received news of contacts being made via telephone, internet and social networks, and even of serenades to the residents of retirement homes.
Young people have been doing this to help alleviate the loneliness being felt by many people who are obliged by the pandemic to stay at home or remain confined in residential care facilities.
In this phase of the campaign, in order to respect the health regulations in force in different countries, our invitation to young people is to reach out to the loneliest elderly people in their neighbourhood or parish and send them a hug, according to the request of the Pope, by means of a phone call, a video call or by sending an image. Wherever possible − or whenever the health emergency will allow it − we invite young people to make the embrace even more concrete by visiting elderly in person.
The campaign is associated with the hashtag #sendyourhug in order to disseminate the initiative. We ask you, if possible, to post the “hugs” on the socials with the hashtag #sendyourhug. The most significant posts will be circulated on the social media of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life @laityfamilylife. For information and to send material please refer to Dr. Vittorio Scelzo (email@example.com +39 328 5938388).
On the memorial of the Saints Joachim and Anne, Jesus “grandparents”, I would like to invite the young to perform a gesture of tenderness towards the elderly, especially the loneliest, in their homes and residences, those who have not seen their loved ones for many months.
Dear young people, each one of these elderly people is your grandparent! Do not leave them by themselves. Use the inventiveness of love, make telephone calls, video calls, send messages, listen to them and, where possible, in compliance with the healthcare rules, go to visit them too. Send them a hug.
They are your roots. An uprooted tree cannot grow, it does not blossom or bear fruit. This is why the bond and connection with your roots is important. “The blossom of a tree comes from what it has underground”, says a poet from my homeland. Therefore I invite you to give a big round of applause for our grandparents, everyone!
P. Alexandre Awi Mello, I.Sch.
27 July 2020