Catherine Wiley is on a mission. She wants to combat the isolation and frustration felt by many grandparents, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

So the founder of the Catholic Grandparents Association is inviting those in our Archdiocese to her online Zoom talk on Wednesday (04 November).

"I want to give them confidence and remove some of the fear and anxieties that they may be feeling, particularly now when they may be isolated in their homes."

Covid-19 has amplified the usual challenges faced by grandparents. "Before we had Covid, the recent problems for grandparents was the complexity of different marriage and partner arrangements, child caring arrangements and trying to face the challenges peaceably and with integrity.

"A lot of grandparents sit to one side and can be afraid to open their mouths. Being afraid to speak affects their faith. So this event is to give them the courage and confidence to face the challenges of family life we find ourselves thrust into. We are always there to support our grandchildren."


She added: "We’re all praying for a vaccine, and please God we’ll get one soon, but we’ve already been baptised against despair. Our baptism ‘vaccine’ is against that despair and floundering, and we can forget that.

"Of course the recent eucharistic 'famine' has come at a terrible cost to many grandparents; it’s usually the grey-haired brigade who go to daily Mass.

"Sometimes they have lonely lives, so people need to know they are not on their own. People can be too proud or ashamed to reach out, so we have to reach in, and the only way to do that is through communication."

She added: "It’s about refining the art of being a grandparent in these troubled times. It’s using every gift that God ever gave you."

Grandparents: Our Mission with Catherine Wylie takes place on Zoom at 7pm on Wednesday 04 November. Register here