Beginning the Year of St Joseph and the FamilyFriday 19th March 2021
Today is the Feast Day of St Joseph.
To celebrate the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, on the pastoral care of families, Pope Francis is calling for a Year of the Family from 19th March 2021 – 26th June 2022. The Church has always taught the importance of the Domestic Church and throughout the year we will be providing resources for families to pray together at home.
Pope Francis has also called for the Year of St Joseph from 8th December 2020 – 8th December 2021. St Joseph has two feast days, 19th March (Saint Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Solemnity) and 1st May (St Joseph the Worker) and Wednesdays are associated with St Joseph.
In our diocese, we’ll be celebrating the Year of St Joseph and the Family.
To introduce this special year, Bishop John has written a short message of introduction.
The Year of St Joseph & the Family
March 2021 – 2022
“Although it may not be frequently mentioned, St Joseph is a Principal Patron of our Diocese. We will be celebrating his feast day on 19th March and we need to mark that day in a special way this year because Pope Francis has dedicated this year to St Joseph and the Family. That announcement was probably overshadowed by so much news about the pandemic but we have the year to remind ourselves of the important role of St Joseph in the history of our Faith and his example to us in his role as a protector and guardian of Mary and the child Jesus. In the secular age in which we live, we have a special need to “protect” the sense of Faith and all that it can provide for our world when we put gospel values into action to establish peace, the dignity of every human being, the sanctity of life from conception to its natural end and to eradicate poverty and suffering.
“It is too easy to think of St Joseph as just one of the saints whose statues we see in many churches, or in the crib at Christmas. But his influence is strong, as a model of the best qualities of manhood, in providing security and well-being for his family and for his trust in all that God was asking of him. He has been the inspiration in the founding charism of several religious orders, including the Mill Hill Missionaries and the Franciscan Missionaries of St Joseph, founded in this Diocese.
“We marked his goodness for many years in this Diocese particularly in what was known as “St Joseph’s Penny”, a collection for the poor and the needy, which became a foundation of the present valuable work of Caritas and its wide range of projects and programmes for those most in need in our towns and cities.
“In this Diocese we will mark The Year of St Joseph and the Family together from 19th March 2021 – 19th March 2022.
“St Joseph, pray for us.”
Bishop John Arnold