As noted before, Pope Francis has designated this year, between December 8th, 2020 until December 8th, 2021 as a Year of St. Joseph. This celebrates the 150th Anniversary of the declaration of St. Joseph as the “Universal Patron of the Church” by Pope Pius IX.
Each year we celebrate two feast days on the Church calendar focused on St. Joseph. One of those is this upcoming Friday, March 19th. So, in addition to our usual daily Mass at 8:35 a.m., we are planning to offer another Mass that day in the evening at 7:00 p.m. at St. Benedict Church, starting after the weekly 6:30 p.m. Stations of the Cross.
Another of the ways we have been trying to tap into the spiritual benefits of this year is by conducting faith discussion groups based on a recently published book, Consecration to St. Joseph. These groups have been meeting on Mondays at 9:30 a.m. and at 6:00 p.m. over these past four weeks. The participants have been reading several pages each day and offering the prayers associated with this devotion to St. Joseph. After the Masses on March 19th the participants will profess a “consecration to Jesus through St. Joseph.” This is a profound way to strengthen our relationship with Jesus by growing to appreciate the powerful spiritual gifts that St. Joseph was given to be the husband of Mary and the legal and foster father of Jesus. Please keep the participants in prayer this week as they complete the consecration.
I have discovered this book and the discussion groups to be very helpful and insightful. So, I would like to offer these groups again, if we have sufficient interest. We celebrate the feast day of St. Joseph the Worker on Saturday, May 1st. So, we could conduct another round of discussion groups, starting on Monday, March 29th and on successive Mondays (or some Tuesdays) until April 26th with the consecration after the 8:35 a.m. Mass on Saturday morning, May 1st. Or perhaps another group could meet on Wednesdays (in Lore City?) from May 19th until June 16th with the consecration after the Mass on Sunday, June 20th, which is Father’s Day. Again, please let me know if you are interested in participating in another group.
Our Bereavement Haven group is planning to meet this Sunday, March 14th at 2:30 p.m. in the St. Benedict Social Hall. Please note that the next two meetings are on Sunday, April 11th and on Sunday, May 16th, which is the 3rd Sunday of May since Sunday, May 9th is Mother’s Day.
Several years ago I mentioned a desire to form an outdoor activities group. I would like to go ahead and try to form this group now that the weather is getting a little warmer. How about planning for a couple of hiking outings along the trails at Salt Fork, one on Saturday morning, April 17th and another one on Sunday afternoon May 23rd? Please let me know if you are interested and I will let you know as this continues to develop.
May the Lord continue to bless us with joy and peace as disciples of Jesus and to help us to be always ready for the gift of eternal life in Heaven!