ECM Celebrates year of St Joseph

ECM Celebrates year of St Joseph

The President of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa, has urged the Church in Malawi to celebrate the year of Saint Josephy joyously by championing various Spiritual and developmental initiatives within the church, as it was proclaimed by Pope Francis.

The archbishop made the call as the church celebrates the year of St Joseph which formally began on the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, from 8th December 2020 which will end on December 8, 2021.

Making reference to the Apostolic letter by the holy father, Pope Francis, titled Patris Corde (With the fathers’ heart), he described Saint Joseph as a beloved Father, a tender and loving, an obedient, accepting, and a father in the shadows of works of salvation for all in silence among others.

He further says that this celebration comes as the Church is also celebrating the year of the Family which started on 19th March 2021 and will end on 26th June 2022. The Year of the Family comes on the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’s letter entitled ‘Amoris Laetitia’ which means the ‘Joy of Love’ and the year of St Joseph comes 150 years since Pope Pius the ninth declared St Joseph as the patron of the Church in 1870.

Pope Francis hopes that the years will help people to see clearly the importance of ordinary people who, though far from the limelight, exercise patience and offer hope every day, especially during Covid-19 pandemic.

The Pontiff says this resembles St Joseph the man who goes unnoticed and has a daily, discreet and hidden presence, but nonetheless played an incomparable role in the history of salvation. He adds that the pandemic experience has highlighted the central role of the family as the ‘domestic Church’ and the importance of community ties between families, saying such ties make the Church an authentic ‘family of families’.

“It is necessary that we celebrate the year of St. Joseph as we reflect on the value and beauty of family Life in the Church and the Society, adding that the family deserves a year of celebration, so that it can be placed at the centre of commitment and care from every pastoral and ecclesial reality,’’ he said.

And on Friday 19th March 2021, the pope inaugurated the Amoris Laetitia family year on a theme “Our daily love”. In his reflection the pontiff said “reiterating the value of the document is not enough.

Rather we must become custodians of the beauty of the family” we are called to accompany, listen and bless the journey of families. Not just to chart the direction, but to make the journey with them; to enter the home with discretion and love, to say to the couple: The Church is with you; the lord is close to you, we want to help you safeguard the gift you have received.

And in his letter to all priests, religious and the laity, president of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi ECM Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa says the Catholic Church in the country will launch the year of St Joseph on Sunday March 21, 2021 in all dioceses, parishes and churches.

Chikwawa diocese held the double launch during Eucharistic celebration at St Michaels Cathedral. The celebration was led by bishop Peter Musikuwa. In his homily, the bishop asked the faithful to follow the example of St Joseph as a beloved father, tender and loving, obedient and accepting father, a father who is creatively courageous, and a hardworking father.

On Amoris Laetitia, the bishop noted that families are in a crisis especially youthful families. During this year therefore, families have to be united, not only families comprising husband and wife, but also single headed families.