Day for Life is the day in the Church’s year dedicated to raising awareness about the meaning and value of human life at every stage and in every condition. The Church teaches that life is to be nurtured from conception to natural death.
The ‘Day for Life’, will take place on Sunday 19 June 2022 in England and Wales. This year the focus is on caring for and valuing the elderly.
Do not cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent.
The COVID pandemic highlighted the desperate plight of many older people, especially those in care homes and those struggling with long-term chronic conditions such as dementia.
They carried a significant burden which included prolonged isolation, the distress for families being unable to visit, delayed medical interventions and tragic, isolated, deaths followed by shortened, minimal, funeral rites. Many family members and friends continue to bear the wound of deep grief which hurts and is still in need of healing.
Catechesis on Old Age
In 2022, over a number of weeks, Pope Francis used his weekly Wednesday audience to offer in-depth catechesis on old age. There are many pearls of wisdom in this series including this one:
“The little ones learn the power of tenderness and respect for frailty: irreplaceable lessons that are easier to impart and receive with grandparents. For their part, grandparents learn that tenderness and frailty are not solely signs of decline: for young people, they are conditions that humanise the future.”