The Shepherd's Perspective

“I know my own and my own know me.” (John 10:1-18)

With March suddenly upon us come tomorrow, we are very excited about the up-and-coming feast of St. Joseph set to take place on Friday, March 19th! To commemorate the Solemnity of St. Joseph, coupled with recognizing that we are currently in the ‘Year of St. Joseph’, we will be providing a beautiful Novena Prayer next weekend that we encourage everyone to begin offering up on Wednesday, March 10th.

Also, ‘lambs of St. Patrick’ will receive an additional video presentation on ‘St. Joseph and The Dignity of Fatherhood’ on March 19th coupled with our ongoing Lenten Lecture Series, which will feature: ‘The Fifth Last Word of our Lord Spoken from The Cross.’ If you have yet to become a ‘lamb of St. Patrick’, and or would like to share this opportunity with others, please check out our new website and ‘UPDATE your email’ with us. All parishioners who provide us with their email on our website, will automatically begin receiving a weekly bulletin and become part of the ‘lambs of St. Patrick’ Ministry Outreach.

As we continue our Lenten Journey through March, with a special focus on the protection and intercessions of St. Joseph for families throughout the world, the Church has provided us with an incredible opportunity to receive a ‘Plenary Indulgence’ for ourselves and or, we also have the opportunity to pass on this special grace to a faithful departed dear to our hearts.

The Conditions for the plenary indulgence are as follows:

The plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the Pope’s intentions) to Christians who, with a spirit detached from any sin, participate in the Year of St. Joseph on these occasions and manners indicated by the Apostolic Penitentiary:

–   The plenary indulgence is granted to those who will meditate for at least 30 minutes on the Lord’s Prayer, or take part in a Spiritual Retreat of at least one day that includes a meditation on St. Joseph. “St. Joseph, an authentic man of faith, invites us”, the decree reads, “to rediscover our filial relationship with the Father, to renew fidelity to prayer, to listen and correspond with profound discernment to God’s will.”

–  The indulgence can also be obtained by those who, following St. Joseph’s example, will perform a spiritual or corporal work of mercy. St. Joseph “encourages us to rediscover the value of silence, prudence and loyalty in carrying out our duties,” the decree notes.

–  The recitation of the Holy Rosary in families and among engaged couples is another way of obtaining indulgences, in order that “all Christian families may be stimulated to recreate the same atmosphere of intimate communion, love and prayer that was in the Holy Family.”

–  Everyone who entrusts their daily activity to the protection of St. Joseph, and every faithful who invokes the intercession of St. Joseph so that those seeking work can find dignifying work can also obtain the plenary indulgence. On 1 May 1955, Pope Pius XII instituted the feast of St. Joseph “with the intent that the dignity of work be recognized by all, and that it inspires social life and laws, based on the fair distribution of rights and duties.”

–  The plenary indulgence is also granted to the faithful who will recite the Litany to St. Joseph (for the Latin tradition), or the Akathistos to St. Joseph (for the Byzantine tradition), or any other prayer to St. Joseph proper to the other liturgical traditions, for the persecuted Church ad intra and ad extra, and for the relief of all Christians suffering all forms of persecution. Because, the decree notes, “the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt shows us that God is there where man is in danger, where man suffers, where he runs away, where he experiences rejection and abandonment.”

A shepherd after our Lord’s heart