By Joseph Kenny | firstname.lastname@example.org | twitter: @josephkenny2
Outside, the kindergarten through fifth-graders were chatty, energetic and a bit difficult to corral at times.
But once inside Alexian Brothers Sherbrooke Village nursing home, the St. Mark School students were calm and focused. The difference? A couple big bags full of books and a task of reading the books to some of the residents at tables in a commons area.
VATICAN CITY -- Seeing the elderly only as a burden "is ugly. It's a sin," Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.
"We must reawaken our collective sense of gratitude, appreciation and hospitality, helping the elderly know they are a living part of their communities" and sources of wisdom for the younger generations, the 78-year-old pope said March 4.
Continuing a series of audience talks about the family, Pope Francis said he would dedicate two talks to the elderly, looking at how they are treated in modern societies and at their vocation within the family.
VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis warned against the abandonment and neglect of the elderly, calling it a "hidden euthanasia" rooted in today's "poisonous" culture of disposal and an economic system of greed.
In the presence of his predecessor, Pope Francis also thanked Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI for staying to live at the Vatican and being like "a wise grandfather at home."
"A people who don't take care of their grandparents and don't treat them well is a people with no future. Why no future? Because they lose the memory (of the past) and they sever their own roots," he said.
John Donne's famous quote, "No man is an island" has resonated with me in the last few months in notes and emails that I have received and in the lives of some beautiful people to whom I take Communion every few weeks.