CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — St. Mary’s Grade School celebrated National Grandparent’s Day on Sept. 9, at an 8 a.m. mass held at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.

St. Mary’s loves to incorporate family into everything it does, so it wanted to invite the grandparents to mass to celebrate them. More than 100 grandparents attended the morning mass alongside their grandchildren. Students celebrated and honored their grandmothers with carnations and grandfathers with prayer scrolls.

Fr. Chris Turner said a special blessing over the grandparents and family members that were in attendance, as well as those who are remembered through prayer requests that were submitted but the students. He walked around the Church and asked a few kids what they are thankful for. Most of them shared, “family, Jesus, parents, grandparents, and everything.” To close out the mass ceremony, the St. Mary’s students sang a song to show their appreciation for their grandparents.

After mass finished, grandparents and students were taken to the Parish Center for photo opportunities, refreshments, and fellowship.

Pam Leonard, Vice President of the St. Mary’s Home and School Association, was very happy to not only be celebrating their faith but to be able to celebrate it with the grandparents and students. When discussing why she felt the celebration was important for both students and grandparents.

“This is a really special time in our students’ lives to make sure that there is a presence of family, and that’s something that is really important to us,” Leonard said. “So for grandparents to come in today, you know, these students are really their legacy, and a legacy of our faith.”

She feels blessed that the parents and grandparents can be active and involved in the foundation of the school. Leonard believes that it was the right decision in choosing to have her son go to St. Mary’s, and was pleased to spend the day with him, his grandparents, and extended family.

The first Grandparents’ Day was held in West Virginia in 1973 when Gov. Arch Moore proclaimed it. In 1978, the first Sunday after Labor Day was proclaimed as “National Grandparents Day,” after passing legislation from the United States Congress. Grandparents’ Day falls on Sunday, Sept. 11 this year.

The grade school has hosted the Grandparents’ Day celebration for years before the COVID-19 pandemic came about. Leonard mentioned that the school was confident to open its doors back up for the grandparents and students to gather together for the special celebration. This is the first celebration for grandparents that they have been able to have, in which they will have another one next year if everything permits them to.