Father Erik's Letter -Year of St. Joseph
January 18, 2021
Dear CTK Parishioner,
As I mentioned recently Pope Francis has declared a Year of St. Joseph. We plan to honor St. Joseph in particular ways in the parish and invite you to bring him into your homes as well. St. Joseph was chosen by God for an extraordinary role in the plan of salvation. He was entrusted with the care of Jesus and his Mother. The scriptures record no words of St. Joseph but portray his quiet and faithful service. Pope Francis cited these qualities as motivation for declaring this year of devotion, saying, “My desire to do so increased during these months of pandemic, when we experienced, amid the crisis, how our lives are woven together and sustained by ordinary people, people often overlooked.”
You can read the Holy Father’s beautiful reflection on St. Joseph HERE
St. Joseph is held up as a role model for our particular time with all the uncertainty of global pandemic. We are called to respond with faith to the reality of our situation and St. Joseph points the way. Pope Francis says, “Joseph is certainly not passively resigned, but courageously and firmly proactive. In our own lives, acceptance and welcome can be an expression of the Holy Spirit’s gift of fortitude. Only the Lord can give us the strength needed to accept life as it is, with all its contradictions, frustrations and disappointments.”
The practice of devotions in the Church offers concrete ways to turn our attention and actions to the power of God. Devotions also help us draw together as a community in shared prayer and concern for others. Because we are members of the Kingdom of God we can be joined to the saints in a real way. The separation of time and space does not hinder God and our efforts to connect with saints reminds us of the spiritual, but very real world where God is at work for our salvation.
To honor St. Joseph during this year we will move a statue into the church from the ministries building and decorate around the statue up and to the right of the altar. Prayer cards and pamphlets will be available for you to take. Our CTK book store will make various materials available for purchase.
In addition we will highlight the two annual feast days of St. Joseph on March 19 and May 1. Details of those celebrations will come later. There are also traditions of honoring St. Joseph in the month of March and Wednesdays each week.
Here are a series of links to help with various ways to celebrate St. Joseph. In particular I highlight what has been developed in the Diocese of Charlotte. They have a wealth of information:
Diocese of Charlotte
Wednesday devotion: https://aleteia.org/2018/04/11/what-wednesdays-mean-to-catholics/
Family celebrations (including food, books, kids activities):
I close this letter with the prayer composed by Pope Francis for this year.
Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son;
in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ became man.
Blessed Joseph, to us too,
show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage,
and defend us from every evil. Amen.