A community of faith
“A LL YOU lands, acclaim the Lord! Enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise. Give thanks to him
and bless His Name.” [Psalm 100: 1, 4]. This psalm sums up what comes to mind when we consider how God’s tender mercy and abundant graces have been the buttress of the St Joseph Catholic Church.
At its inception, St Joseph could rightly boast of being the Catholic presence in the then nation’s capital, Spanish Town. It was only in 1872 that the capital was relocated to Kingston. It must have been very difficult in those days to witness to the Catholic faith, which had been banned from 1655 until 1791. And yet, notwithstanding the accompanying challenges faced, St Joseph grew as a community of faith. The faithful who were encouraged and led by its various pastors witnessed – and are still witnessing – to Christ’s presence through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
Aspects of those works of mercy were exercised in the establishment of Catholic schools, catechetical programmes, and other outreach services to bring enlightenment and hope to others and to enthrone Christ in hearts and homes.
But what of the present situation? More than ever, the Holy Father is inviting one and all – priests, deacons, religious, and laity – to read the signs of the time and to reach out in true missionary spirit in order to let the light of Christ shine through our lives as a sign to others that there is hope and greater possibilities. With the track record of the St Joseph faith community, I am sure that Christ’s light will penetrate even the hardest challenges that the people of God face in these trying times. St Joseph holds out to you the child Jesus in his hand. Now, it’s up to you to offer Jesus to others through Christian words and actions.
May the faithful of St Joseph measure up to the challenge, for the Lord is with you! AD MULTOS ANNOS! Most Rev Donald J. Reece, D.D., O.J., GCM Archbishop Emeritus of Kingston