A week after the Easter Triduum, we celebrated a 3-days Novena (from 28 – 30 April) and a Thanksgiving Mass to St Joseph, the Worker, on 1st May 2019. Our celebrations went on well, as planned and the Lord gave us success to the work of our hands, (cf. Psalm 89). Through the intercession of St Joseph, the Risen Lord has given us ample blessings for our efforts to bring our celebrations into accomplishment once again this year.
In our nation, Churches like Sts. Anne, Anthony, Jude and Our Lady of Lourdes are known to be the most popular, and crowds throng for their feasts. As for St Joseph, it is not really the same and it has remained a small scale celebration at parish levels. Over the years, we, the parishioners of St Joseph, have made known our Parish patron’s devotion in many hearts of the people through our personal and communal journey of growth and transformation. This year we had a wonderful feast day celebration at KL North District level. The parishes in our district gave their full support by coming together to celebrate our parish feast.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI had declared St Joseph, as the Father of New Evangelisation in his message on the feast of St Joseph, the Husband of Mary, on 19 March 2012. We chose his sentiment as the theme for our Parish’s Feast Day celebrations this year. We had great celebrants and preachers throughout our novenas and Feast Day celebrations. They spoke mainly of St Joseph’s obedience, his integrity, honesty, virtues, loyalty, wisdom, etc. These characteristics are to be practiced and to be lived out in our lives as we imitate St Joseph and take the task of evangelisation and mission in our families, Church and the world.
Five years ago we purchased a 6-foot height statue of St Joseph, the Worker and we erected its shrine just next to the parochial house. Year after year the colours of the statue began to fade away. There was once when someone even threw a stone at the statue, which left a few scars on its face and neck. We also have another statue of St Joseph, which is 4 feet high, which we placed at the Grotto. It needed to be repainted as well. Three weeks ago I sent them to an iconographer to repair and repaint the statues. He repaired both the statues well, but personally I am not happy with the last finishing works. The colours are a bit distorted.
On Friday, 26 April, 2019, about 350 of our parishioners gathered at the Shrine of St Joseph after the evening Mass and Holy Hour. We had a re-blessing of the statues just two days before we began our novena to St Joseph. Many of our parishioners as well as outsiders have learnt about this great saint and ask for his intercession to live a holy life.
Some of our old parishioners probably still remember that there was a statue of St Joseph made of marble which was placed at the little fountain which was once located in the middle of our church car park area. I still remember seeing it while I was a seminarian doing pastoral work for a month in this parish in 1996 when the late Fr Edward Soosay was parish priest. To my knowledge it existed more than 35-40 years on the fountain but was removed more than 10 years ago and kept in storage. However, recently, after we completed the set up of St Joseph’s Adoration Room, I sent this marble statue for polishing and set a base for it. This marble statue is now placed in a most prominent place in the Adoration Room.
During this month of the Rosary, as we gather in your BECs for the Rosary, I encourage you to include the novena to St Joseph and ask him to intercede for yourself and others. O Glorious Saint Joseph, hear our prayers and keep us under your continual protection so that by your help and example, we may lead a holy life.