A com­mu­nity of faith

Jamaica Gleaner - - MESSAGE -

“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

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