Message of Superior General for the Opening of the Year of St. Joseph
To the Oblates of St. Joseph and to the Josephite Marellian Family
Dear Confreres and Cooperators,
On the 19th of March we will celebrate the annual Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Virgin Mary. However, this year, the annual liturgical celebration will take on a very special meaning for the Family of the Oblates, because it marks the opening of a Year dedicated to that Guardian of the Redeemer, whose name we are proud to bear.
Our holy Founder chose St. Joseph as our Patron and exhorted us to keep him before our eyes along the way of holiness and dedicated service to the Church. In the draft for a “Company of St. Joseph”, he left us this precious directive: “Let each one take his inspiration from his Model, St. Joseph, who was the first upon the earth to care for the interests of Jesus, he who cared for Him as an infant and protected Him as a child and who had the place of a father for the first thirty years of His earthly life.” (Letter 83).
The celebration of the 19th of March and especially of the Year of St. Joseph, as explained in the Letter of Inauguration, offer us an occasion to re-discover the figure of our Patron in the Universal Church, and to recognize in him the principle elements of that vocation which associates us, as his Oblates, with his name. The Guardian of the Redeemer, model of the interior life, is a reminder to us of the essentials and of the relevancy to us of some of those values which, lately, may have been overlooked or forgotten.
One of the major challenges of our time is the integration of the interior life (prayer and contemplation) and mission (apostolate and ministry). We always run the risk of remaining enclosed in a spirituality isolated from reality, or of abandoning ourselves to frantic activity and to the superficiality of material things. The Guardian of the Redeemer teaches us that an intense and profound interior life and loving, spiritual closeness to Jesus and Mary are sources of motivation, dedication and zealous service.
St. Joseph presents himself as a man capable of harmonizing the daily life of a laborer with the awareness of living in the presence of the Son of God. His daily work is in harmony with the contemplation of the mystery “hidden from the ages” which “has come to dwell” in his home. (cf. Redemptoris Custos, 25).
We truly believe that the intercession of St. Joseph on behalf of the Universal Church is also a help and support for each of us, in the journey of holiness specific to our state of life. We also invoke this help and support for all the Laity who faithfully collaborate with us in our spiritual ministering and our human and social works, so that they may also experience in their daily lives filled with sufferings and testings, the joy of living in the presence of God and serving their brothers like St. Joseph our Patron.
May God, in this Year of St. Joseph, by re-discovering the life of prayer and of silence and through various initiatives (liturgical, pastoral, cultural and of service) bring new enthusiasm to our Christian lives and infuse renewed zeal in the pastoral ministry of our parish communities.
Happy Feast Day and Happy Year of St. Joseph!
March 19, 2019 Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Virgin Mary.
P. JAN PELCZARSKI, OSJ
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