By Dave Jolivet, Editor
FALL RIVER — On May 1 Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V. will celebrate Mass at St. Joseph’s Chapel in Woods Hole, the oldest church on Cape Cod and the first dedicated to St. Joseph, at 10 a.m. for the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. Pre-registration for inperson attendance is required, and that can be done at http://bit.ly/ StJosephWorker. The Mass will also be live-streamed.
In an earlier message to diocesan faithful, Bishop da Cunha said, “Now more than ever we need his [St. Joseph’s] prayers and intercession and his example and model for us, individually and for our families.”
In his message announcing the Year of St. Joseph from Dec. 8, 2020 to Dec. 8, 2021, Pope Francis shared some personal reflections on St. Joseph the man, a model for everyone to emulate. In his Apostolic Letter, Patris Corde (With a Father’s Heart), the pope said, “For, as Jesus says, ‘out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks’ (Mt 12:34). My desire to do so increased during these months of pandemic.”
The pope went on to list how ordinary people were doing extraordinary things during the COVID-19 crisis worldwide. Quoting from a feature that ran in L’Osservatore Romano, “Meditation in the Time of Pandemic,” the pope shared, “People who do not appear in newspaper and magazine headlines, or on the latest television show, yet in these very days are surely shaping the decisive events of our history. Doctors, nurses, storekeepers and supermarket workers, cleaning personnel, caregivers, transport workers, men and women working to provide essential services and public safety, volunteers, priests, men and women religious, and so very many others. They understood that no one is saved alone.
“How many people daily exercise patience and offer hope, taking care to spread not panic, but shared responsibility. How many fathers, mothers, grandparents and teachers are showing our children, in small everyday ways, how to accept and deal with a crisis by adjusting their routines, looking ahead and encouraging the practice of prayer. How many are praying, making sacrifices and interceding for the good of all.”
David Carvalho, senior director for Faith Formation, Youth, Young Adult, & Family Life Ministries in the diocese, told The Anchor, “Pope Francis makes reference to the unsung heroes and workers of the pandemic. During the May 1 Mass, we can honor frontline workers and even the diocesan social services that kept working during this time.”
In his letter, the pope added, “Each of us can discover in Joseph — the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence — an intercessor, a support and a guide in times of trouble. St. Joseph reminds us that those who appear hidden or in the shadows can play an incomparable role in the history of Salvation. A word of recognition and of gratitude is due to them all.”
The May 1 Mass and consecration are the continuation or a year-long series of events celebrating the Year of St. Joseph.
More events are scheduled in the coming months, including A Holy Hour for the Year of St. Joseph on June 8 at 6 p.m. led by Father Jay Mello, pastor of St. Michael and St. Joseph parishes in Fall River, 1335 North Main Street, Fall River. Confession will be available (pre-registration is required); and a Holy Hour for the Family on July 12 at 7 p.m. at Holy Family Parish Center, 370 Middleboro Avenue, East Taunton, led by Father Richard Wilson, vicar general and pastor of Holy Family Parish. Confession will be available, and again, pre-registration is required.
For more information on upcoming events, to register, and for information on consecration to St. Joseph, visit the Office of Faith Formation website at fallriverfaithformation.org.