A detail from a graphic promoting the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life campaign. Credit: Vatican Media.
A Vatican dicastery launched a new campaign Friday urging young people to share wisdom gleaned from the elderly facing Christmas alone because of the pandemic.
In a press statement released yesterday, the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life said that Christmas presented youngsters with the chance to “receive a special gift” from elderly people.
“Today, in the difficult circumstances of a Christmas still overshadowed by the pandemic, we are proposing that young people post on social media a memory, a piece of advice, or a ‘gift of wisdom’ they have received from one of the elderly people with whom they have formed a bond in recent months,” the dicastery said.
The Vatican department, which was formed in 2016 from a merger of the Pontifical Council for the Laity and the Pontifical Council for the Family, said it had decided to launch the new campaign following the success of a similar initiative in July.
The dicastery invited young people all over the world “to do something that shows kindness and affection for older people who may feel lonely,” after Pope Francis urged Catholics to “send a hug” to the elderly who had not seen their loved ones for months.
It said: “Following the success of our campaign, ‘The elderly are your grandparents,’ in which we collected virtual hugs sent by many young people to both their own grandparents and to ‘adopted grandparents,’ the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life now invites boys and girls from all over the world to send a message to the elderly and to receive in return the gift of their wisdom.”
The dicastery encouraged participants in the new campaign to use the social media hashtag #aGiftOfWisdom and said it would promote the best posts on its Twitter account, @laityfamilylife.
“Unfortunately, in many cases, because of the health regulations in force, visiting can only take place remotely, via telephone, video calls, and messaging. But it is possible to participate in this campaign by posting the wise words of grandparents and the elderly on social media using the hashtag #aGiftOfWisdom,” the dicastery said.