Dear Family of Joseph,
Today we celebrate the feast of our beloved Patron. Joseph has always served as a model and inspiration for us but even more so in the past year that has been filled with pain and challenges for so many. As we watched our sisters, families, and friends succumb to the coronavirus, we prayed to St. Joseph to accompany them in death. We asked Joseph, the Patron of Refugees, to console those at our closed southern boarders. We raised up the model of Joseph the Worker to give hope to displaced workers and protect essential workers from harm. As we move ahead into this new year, we turn now to Joseph, the Dreamer. May he enable us to keep the dream of an inclusive beloved community alive. May he inspire us to live out the dream of Jesus that all may be one.
This year, we also celebrate the Year of St. Joseph. In Pope Francis' Apostolic Letter "Patris Corde," Pope Francis writes about the importance of "ordinary" people during the COVID-19 pandemic. Though they don't all grab the headlines or adoration of the world, they resemble St. Joseph, "the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence," who nonetheless played "an incomparable role in the history of salvation."
We are honoring Joseph this year in many ways. Today, we are launching an "In Remembrance" page to honor all the lives — throughout our Federation — that we lost to the coronavirus. If you would like to include a loved one on this page, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to include their name on this page. Included on the webpage is a prayer card for this Year of St. Joseph, written by our executive director, Sr. Maryellen Kane. We've also attached this prayer card to the email for you to use throughout this year.
We're also releasing our CSSJ Heritage calendar today on our Year of St. Joseph page. This calendar is the culmination of months of work between CSSJ artists, archivists, and communicators throughout the U.S. and Canadian Federations. This calendar dates all the way back to our start in Le Puy, France and traces our rich history through our congregations and ministries to today. Please feel free to download and share the calendar. We also have plenty of resources for this year of St. Joseph and we will continually be updating this page with additional resources, prayers, and more honoring our heritage to St. Joseph all year long.
On this feast of St. Joseph, we share with you the words of one of our favorite poets, Langston Hughes:
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken winged bird
That cannot fly
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow
May we honor St. Joseph by holding fast to our dreams!
Happy Feast Day,
Sr. Maryellen Kane, Kristen Whitney Daniels, and Julia Morris