PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE: Grandma, grandpa rocks of faith

By FATHER JIM CESTA

Two little boys were figuring out the perfect life. They finally agreed to be bachelors, until old enough to be grandpas.

Grandparents are a gift to the household of faith and an important influence in fostering our Catholic faith, especially in young families. They can spoil kids more than actual parents, feed treats, allowing to stay up late, give gifts for no special reason.

Though there are exceptions and unfortunate situations of distance or “split-up” families, the relationship between kids and grandparents can be special and fruitful for the growth of our faith. Sometimes, youngsters are happy and willing to talk about spiritual things with Grandpa or Grandma, rather than with mom or dad.

St. Paul wrote of this in his epistle letter to the young follower Timothy: “I recall your sincere faith that first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother, Eunice, and that I am confident lives also in you.” (2Timothy 1-5.)

Good grandparents get frustrated if the kids do not go to church. In those cases, a cheerful example, more than nagging, or too many words can bear fruit even if it comes some years later.

A religious education teacher asked her class of youngsters, “Why do you believe in God?” She got a variety of answers, but none so touching as from one boy who said, “I believe in God because it just runs in our family.”

Faith does run in the family, or it can, when grandparents who are faithful offer to others what the Lord has given already to them over many years — love, courage, stories, a cherishing of sacraments and the seasons of our faith.

We are blessed with an abundance of seniors who carry the exalted title of grandparent. They are what I like to call the wisdom community, a rich and diverse and splendid treasure among us. If they shrink from the task of sharing and fostering the Catholic faith, shame on them.

There is no time to be timid or shy.