ONITSHA ARCHDIOCESE INAUGURATES THE YEAR OF ST JOSEPH
In a new Apostolic Letter entitled Patris corde (“With a Father’s Heart”), 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.
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.
The Holy Father wrote Patris corde against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, which, he says, has helped us see more clearly the importance of “ordinary” people who, though far from the limelight, exercise patience and offer hope every day. In this, they resemble Saint Joseph, “the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence,” who nonetheless played “an incomparable role in the history of salvation.”
Following the Holy Father’s proclamation of “Year of Saint Joseph”, the Archdiocese inaugurates her Year of St. Joseph on 19th March, 2021 with the Solemnity of St. Joseph, husband of the blessed Virgin Mary.
The followings are the approved programs for use for the Year of St. Joseph in the Archdiocese.
- 19th March, 2021 – Archdiocese inaugurates the Year of St. Joseph. While Dunukofia and Nnobi regions will join in the mass to be celebrated at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Special Science and Secondary School by the Archbishop, other regions will celebrate at the various Parishes bearing the name of St. Joseph as indicated by the Archbishop at the Fathers’ plenary meeting.
- 1st May, 2021 – A day set aside for Lectures/Talks on St. Joseph exploring the various aspects highlighted by the Apostolic Letter, Patris Corde.
- His Eminence Francis Cardinal Arinze will be requested to deliver his 2021 Annual lecture on the personality of St. Joseph.
- Episcopal regions will use one of their days of recollections to meditate on the virtues of St. Joseph.
- At the parish level, every Wednesday of the week without any particular memorial is to be set aside for the celebration of votive mass of St. Joseph. To say prayer to St. Joseph and prayer for the Pope’s intention with a view to gaining plenary indulgence.
- To say the Litany of St. Joseph after the rosary on Sunday evenings before Benediction.
- Parishes are to organise a day Talk on St. Joseph on a day to be set aside by the Parish Priest. Afterwards, there would be penitential service and Confessions with a view to assisting the faithful obtain an indulgence.
- Closure of the Year of St. Joseph – St. Joseph’s parish, Aguleri being the oldest Church with the name of St. Joseph could be used as a venue where the Archdiocese can conclude the Year of St. Joseph with Holy Mass and other celebrations.