Cardinal Gregory to Celebrate Mass for First World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly

Pope Francis announced the Church-wide celebration in January

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Washington Cardinal Wilton Gregory will celebrate the first annual World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly with Mass on July 25 at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle. The celebration comes in response to Pope Francis’ institution of the day, to be held each year on the 4th Sunday of July, around the feast day the grandparents of Jesus, Saint Joachim and Saint Anne.

Mass for the World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly

Sunday, July 25, 2021

10 a.m. EDT

Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle


As part of the day, Pope Francis has granted a plenary indulgence to grandparents, the elderly, and Catholics who participate in a solemn celebration and who spend time, in -person or virtually, with an elderly person on the day. A plenary indulgence, a remission of the temporal punishment a person is due for sins, is granted under the usual conditions: sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion, and prayer for the pope’s intentions.

As part of this year’s celebration, each parish in the archdiocese is invited to dedicate one Mass on Sunday, July 25, to honor grandparents and the elderly.

In a video message for the day, Cardinal Gregory said the theme of this year’s celebration, “I am with you always,” from the Gospel of Matthew (28:20), expresses the closeness of Jesus to the elderly.

“Grandparents and the elderly are pillars in our families and in our Church,” he said. “To highlight the importance of grandparents, Pope Francis has chosen to give them a well-deserved moment in our liturgical calendar.”