My Dear Parishioners,
I hope that you were able to celebrate the real joy God’s presence among us, even though the situation was less than ideal this year because of the coronavirus. In some sense, perhaps we can identify even more with the Holy Family who also had to endure “less than ideal” conditions at Jesus’ birth. We have been consistently praying for all those suffering from the coronavirus whether from illness, isolation, or anxiety. Now is also the time to pray for a Healthy New Year. Pope Francis has also made a special declaration, so it is also a good time to pray to St. Joseph. This is an excerpt from the Vatican website: www.vatican.va
In a new Apostolic Letter entitled Patris corde (“With a Father’s Heart”), Pope Francis describes St. Joseph as a beloved father, a tender and loving father, an obedient father, an accepting father; a father who is creatively courageous, a working father, a father in the shadows.
The Letter marks the 150th anniversary of Blessed Pope Pius IX’s declaration of St. Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. To celebrate the anniversary, Pope Francis has proclaimed a special “Year of St. Joseph,” beginning on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception 2020 and extending to the same feast in 2021.
At this time of year, I like to take the opportunity to thank those who made this year’s celebration a worthy expression of faith. In particular I would like to recognize all of our musicians and cantors. Thank you to Mrs. Maria Lennon, our Music Director for all her time and effort in coordinating our worship while admirably handling various obstacles and restrictions due to the virus. I also traditionally thank the priests who have helped us out throughout the year including Msgr. Richard Bolger, Msgr. Jim McCoy, and Fr. Rich Connors, even though we haven’t seen much of them this year. I also want to thank my friend, Fr. Tim Christy who has been able to help out quite a lot.
Special thanks to all the other Ministers of the Mass including our altar servers (both Student and Adult), Lectors, Ushers, and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Everyone had to make accommodations because of the virus and I am so grateful for your cooperation. Thank you also to those who help to count the collection and do other supportive things behind the scenes. Thank you also to Mrs. Carla Venditti, Mrs. Karen Baranowski and their team of helpers for working with a modified Christmas flower budget and making it look special for the Christmas season. Please remember to pray for all those names listed on our “Christmas Flowers” envelopes.
Your memorial envelopes will be placed in the manger for the duration of the Christmas Season. I also want to thank a student who has been responsible for recording our Sunday Masses, editing them, and putting them up on our website. Mr. Carter Junod has done an excellent job seeing that the people of the parish can still attend church virtually. I am also grateful to his parents, Joe and Kim Junod, who have helped him in this effort. Finally, I thank all who sent cards, gifts, and/or food to the rectory; your expressions of care, love and concern are sincerely appreciated. In addition I want to recognize and thank those who continue to make financial sacrifices for St. Joseph parish especially in these difficult circumstances. Your generosity at Christmas and throughout the year is a true testament to your faith and witness of God’s blessings.
May God Bless You and Happy 2021!