Pope Francis – Year of St. Joseph
I’m delighted to introduce you to Pope Francis’s proclamation of a “Year of St. Joseph” which commenced on 8th December 2020 and runs until 8th December 2021. This is especially relevant to us, The Saint Joseph’s Young Priests Society as St. Joseph is our Patron and has looked after us so well for the past 125 years and will no doubt continue to do so into the future. Our foundress Mrs. Olivia Mary Taffee had a lifelong and very profound devotion to St. Joseph and I’d urge you now to follow her example and reap all the special graces and blessings that are available in this Year of St. Joseph.
Hereunder our Chief Chaplain, Fr. Séamus McEntee gives us an insight and reflection on this special proclamation by Pope Francis.
John F Murphy,
Dear Members of St. Joseph’s Young Priest’s Society,
It’s really a great joy that Pope Francis has announced a Year of St. Joseph in honour of the 150th anniversary of the Saint’s proclamation as patron of the Universal Church. The year began on December 8th 2020, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and concludes on December 8th 2021.
This has even greater significance for us as members because St. Joseph is also patron of our Society. In establishing this special year of St. Joseph, in a decree entitled Patris Corde (“With a father’s heart”), Pope Francis wanted that “every member of the faithful, following his example, may strengthen their life of faith daily in the complete fulfilment of God’s will.” Pope Francis has also granted special indulgences to mark the year with the three conditions of receiving sacramental confession, the reception of Holy Communion and prayer for the Pope’s intentions.
As a Members of SJYPS, I think Pope Francis’ words speak directly to us and encourage us when he said that, “each of us 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. St. Joseph reminds us that those who appear hidden or in the shadows can play an incomparable role in the history of salvation.” I think this describes the important work of our Society. It goes on unnoticed and is hidden in the background yet it is essential because it supports hundreds of seminarians studying for the priesthood each year in Ireland and around the world.
In relation to vocations to the priesthood, Pope Francis also said that Jesus found in St. Joseph, his foster father, a great icon of his heavenly Father. He said, “In his relationship to Jesus, Joseph was the earthly shadow of the heavenly Father: he watched over him and protected him, never leaving him to go on his own way.” Just as St. Joseph modelled virtues of what it means to be a caring, protective and self-sacrificing father to Jesus, so he can be a great role model for those considering a vocation to priesthood and religious life today. Pope Francis said that, “Our world needs fathers…every true vocation is born of the gift of oneself, which is the fruit of mature sacrifice. The priesthood and consecrated life likewise require this kind of maturity.”
We thank Pope Francis for this year dedicated to St. Joseph and we look to the opportunities and graces it will bring to us individually and as a Society. We pray that by following St. Joseph’s example, we as members will be encouraged to renew our fidelity to prayer and be faithful and loyal in carrying out all we do as we continue to discern God’s will in our lives. Just as St. Joseph cared for and provided for the needs of Jesus during his earthly life, may he continue to intercede and provide for the needs of his Mystical Body, the Church, by sending more labourers into the harvest.
With every blessing,
Pope Francis proclaims “Year of St. Joseph” – Vatican News, please click on Vatican website link below to view