Pope Francis has declared a special Year of St Joseph to mark the 150th anniversary of Bl Pius IX’s proclamation of St Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church.
The Year of St Joseph will run from Tuesday, 8 December 2020, to Wednesday, 8 December 2021.
Pope Francis has also decreed a plenary indulgence for the Year of St Joseph, available to the faithful under the usual conditions, for various acts of devotion detailed in a report from Vatican News.
In an Apostolic Letter, Patris corde – With a father’s heart – Pope Francis describes the guardian of Our Lord as beloved, tender and loving, obedient, accepting father; one, who is both courageous and industrious, content to live and work “in the shadows” while he protected and provided for our Lord and Our Lady.
“His patient silence was the prelude to concrete expressions of trust,” Pope Francis wrote in the Letter. “Our world today needs fathers,” he said. “It has no use for tyrants who would domineer others as a means of compensating for their own needs,” and “rejects those who confuse authority with authoritarianism, service with servility, discussion with oppression, charity with a welfare mentality, power with destruction.”
Vatican News explains that Pope Francis wrote the letter “against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic” and seeks to articulate some of the manifold ways in which the global emergency has laid bare to us out interdependence and our common humanity.
“Each of us,” Pope Francis wrote, “can discover in Joseph – the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence – an intercessor, a support and a guide in times of trouble. Saint Joseph reminds us that those who appear hidden or in the shadows can play an incomparable role in the history of salvation.”
“A word of recognition and of gratitude,” Pope Francis wrote, “is due to them all.”
The Letter concludes with a prayer to St Joseph, reproduced here below in its official English translation:
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.
Pope Francis challenges us to consider the kind of world we want to leave to those who come after us. It discusses the damage being inflicted on the Earth by humans and calls on ‘every person living on this planet’ to make urgent changes to our lifestyles.
It’s not just an ‘environment encyclical’, it leads us to ask ourselves about the meaning of existence and the values at the heart of social life: “What is the purpose of our life in this world? What is the goal of our work and all our efforts? What need does the earth have of us?” (Bishops’ Conference- The Catholic Church in England and Wales)
We have been looking at ways in which we can care for our common home and making our school community aware of global goals and the important part we all play in looking after our world.
Visit the link below to see Laudato Si’ – CAFOD animation for schools.
At St Bernadette we have dedicated this year to be ‘Our Year of the Word’. Throughout the year we shall be seeking opportunities to celebrate, live and share God’s word with our children, our parish and our school community. We are all invited to listen afresh to the word of God, to encounter anew the presence of that word, and to proclaim it afresh in the Church and the World.
There is also a website dedicated to ‘The God Who Speaks – A Year of the Word’ which can be found using this link – The Catholic Church - The God Who Speaks
Below you will find a powerpoint with additional useful information.
Sacred Scripture, the Bible, the word of God, the Holy Book is at the heart of everything the Church says and does. It is permeates our prayer and worship, how we understand the world, how we are called to live and how we relate to each another. With this in mind, we have organised for the children to have their own personal Matthew’s Gospel which they can keep for their own reflection.
Pope Francis wants to hear from you. He is listening!
Pope Francis is planning a special meeting called a ‘Synod’, to discuss how we as a Church can be better at journeying together. This is a special Synod because he wants to hear from everyone and especially those who don’t always feel that they have a voice.