By the grace of God we start yet another year – 2021! We thank God that, despite 2020 being a tough year, we are still alive and able to see a new year. This year due to COVID-19, there will not be any big public ceremonies and parties to welcome the New Year. But as we start it in a simple and quiet way, we do it with hope. First of all, we hope that there is an end to this pandemic and unlike 2020, 2021 will be a better year. We start a new year by wishing one another a happy new year. With God, not only every year but every day and every moment is a new beginning. We do not know what this year holds for us but God never promised a trouble free life and we cannot expect this year also to be a year of smooth sailing. But we are people of hope and pray that with Jesus, Mary, and Joseph on our side, year 2021 is a year of hope, peace, good health, and of many blessings.
With the Apostolic Letter “Patris corde” (“With a Father’s Heart”), Pope Francis has proclaimed a special “Year of Saint Joseph” beginning from December 8, 2020, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, tothe same feast on December 8, 2021. The Pope’s Letter marks the 150th Anniversary of Blessed Pope Pius IX’s declaration of St. Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church.
In his Apostolic Letter Pope Francis describes Saint 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. At the conclusion of his Letter, he adds a prayer to St. Joseph. As we begin a new year, let us entrust ourselves to the care of our Heavenly Father through the intercession of St. Joseph by making Pope Francis’ prayer our own:
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 fatherand guide us in the path of life.Obtain for us grace, mercy, and courage,and defend us from every evil.Amen.
On behalf of Father Russ, Deacons Andy, Emmet, Paul, and the rectory staff, and my own behalf, heartfelt thanks for your Christmas and New Year Greetings, prayers, lovely cards, delicious cookies, and thoughtful and kind gifts.
Happy New Year and may God bless each and every one of you and your loved ones and keep you healthy and happy in the New Year. May Blessed Virgin Mary, our mother and mother of the church, and St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, continue to guide, protect, and keep you always in their loving embrace!
Father Birendra Soreng