The Year of St Joseph
This is the first newsletter of 2021 and so on behalf of all the priests I wish you all a very Happy New Year. I think we are probably all glad to see the back of 2020 as a lot of people have had a very tough time of it, and we have all had some sufferings and trials. Let us offer them up in union with the Cross of Christ and invoke the help of Our Lady and St Joseph for an end to the pandemic that has been plaguing the whole world this past year and for a good solution to all the problems of Brexit. We also thank God for the blessings we have received in 2020 and that we were able to celebrate Christmas Mass together publicly. This was not the case everywhere in the world.
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Pope Francis has declared a Year of St Joseph to mark the 150th anniversary of the declaration of St Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. It runs from 8th December 2020 to 8th December 2021. I think it is great news and is very timely with the situation in which we find ourselves in the Church and the world today. The Church today needs the protection of St Joseph more than ever as She is under attack both from the outside and the inside. When the Church is in trouble, so will the world be. Pope St Paul VI famously said in 1972, “the smoke of Satan has entered the Church”, and we have seen so much evidence of that in recent decades with many scandals reaching even to the highest levels of the Church. But this is the Parable of the Wheat and the Weeds (Matthew 13:24-30). In God’s own good time the wheat and the weeds will be separated and a new period of glory will be given to the Church, the Bride of Christ. God can always bring good out of a bad situation. Let us invoke St Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church to bring about the new reign of Christ in the world and the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, promised by Our Lady of Fatima. Here is a lovely prayer to St Joseph by St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) which seems very apt for our times:
Glorious St Joseph, Spouse of the Virgin Mary, we beseech you through the Heart of JESUS Christ, grant to us your fatherly protection. O you, whose power reaches all our necessities and who knows how to make possible the most impossible things, open your fatherly eyes to the needs of your children. In the confusion and pain which press upon us, we have recourse to you with confidence. Deign to take beneath your charitable guidance this important difficult affair, the cause of our worries, and make that its happy outcome serve for the glory of God and the good of His devoted servants. Amen.
St Joseph, Protector of the Holy Church, pray for us!
Fr Paul Gillham, IC
Regrettably it has not been possible to provide the Liturgy for 3 January.