In an Apostolic Letter entitled ‘With a Father's Heart’, the Pope has proclaimed a special ‘Year of St Joseph’, which will run until 8 December 2021.  It is written against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, which, he says, has helped us see more clearly the importance of “ordinary” people who, though far from the limelight, exercise patience and offer hope every day.  In this, they resemble St Joseph, “the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence," who nonetheless played "an incomparable role in the history of salvation.”

Bishop David says “St Joseph doesn’t make a noise in the Gospel, he is gentle and hidden, full of humility and in so many ways a model for us, therefore of how we should deal with the world today.”

We will be honouring our parish patron throughout this special year.

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Novena to St Joseph

The month of March is dedicated to St Joseph and we celebrate his Feast Day on 19 March.  We are invited to pray a Novena to St Joseph where, in this special year dedicated to him, we can pause to ask for his intercession.

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Our beautiful banners that hang in the church are inspired by the Litany of St Joseph (see below).  It sums up the qualities that made him such an important part of the Holy Family.  Each month we reflect on one of his many virtues.

March 2021: Joseph as the Protector – Who better to protect us than the former guardian of the Child Jesus?

While God is always with us and stands by us as our ultimate protector, he also allows the saints and angels a unique role as intercessors, who can call upon his power to protect us in our time of need.

One of the most well-known and powerful protectors is St Joseph, who was the guardian of Jesus when he was a child.  He kept him safe from harm as long as he could, until he died a happy death in Jesus’ arms.

This protection is then extended to the Church, he likewise watches over and protects Christ’s Mystical Body, the Church.  In our parish the statue of St Joseph, which stands on the Sanctuary, unusually has him symbolically holding The Church.

How does Joseph respond to this calling to be the protector of Mary, Jesus and the Church?  By being constantly attentive to God, open to the signs of God’s presence and receptive to God’s plans and not simply to his own.  Discreetly, humbly, and silently, but with an unfailing presence and utter fidelity, even when he finds it hard to understand.  Let us protect with love all that God has given us!

St Joseph, pray for us.

     Father, you entrusted our Saviour to the care of Saint Joseph.
     By the help of his prayers may your Church continue to serve its Lord, Jesus Christ,
     Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


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Prayer to St Joseph

Pope Francis shares this prayer for each of us to pray:

     Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
     Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
     To you God entrusted his only Son;
     in you Mary placed her trust;
     with you Christ became man.

     Blessed Joseph, to us too,
     show yourself a father
     and guide us in the path of life.
     Obtain for us grace, mercy, and courage,
     and defend us from every evil.


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Litany of St Joseph

Lord, have mercy.  Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.  Christ, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.  Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of Heaven,  have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,  have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,  have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,  have mercy on us.

Holy Mary,  pray for us.
Saint Joseph,  pray for us.
Renowned offspring of David,  pray for us.
Light of Patriarchs,  pray for us.
Spouse of the Mother of God,  pray for us.
Chaste guardian of the Virgin,  pray for us.
Foster-father of the Son of God,  pray for us.
Diligent protector of Christ,  pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family,  pray for us.
Joseph most just,  pray for us.
Joseph most chaste,  pray for us.
Joseph most prudent,  pray for us.
Joseph most strong,  pray for us.
Joseph most obedient,  pray for us.
Joseph most faithful,  pray for us.
Mirror of patience,  pray for us.
Lover of poverty,  pray for us.
Model of artisans,  pray for us.
Glory of home life,  pray for us.
Guardian of virgins,  pray for us.
Pillar of families, Solace of the wretched,  pray for us.

Hope of the sick,  pray for us.
Patron of the dying,  pray for us.
Terror of demons,  pray for us.
Protector of Holy Church,  pray for us.

Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,  Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,  Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,  Have mercy on us.

V. He made him the lord of His house: 
R. And ruler of all His substance. 

Let us pray. 
O God, who in Thine unspeakable providence didst vouchsafe to choose blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Thine own most holy Mother: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may deserve to have him for our intercessor in heaven, whom we reverence as our defender on earth: who livest and reignest world without end.  Amen.