2021 offers a year of hope after a tough year in 2020
by Very Rev. Father Joseph Vigil
Jan. 23, 2021
The year 2020 was very tough for all of us. It seemed like the world just stopped and caught us by surprise. COVID-19 is taking many lives of the ones we love. We have lost parishioners to the pandemic at St. Joseph's, Sacred Heart in Avondale and St. Therese in Vineland. Over the past year, we have come to know extreme loss and sadness. Many families are missing love ones, leaving empty voids in their lives. We never lose hope, for the Lord continues to walk with us in our pain and suffering. Our Holy Father, Pope Francis announced a Year of St. Joseph on December 8th, 2020. This day honors the 150th anniversary of St. Joseph's proclamation as patron of the universal church. December 8th also concludes the year of St. Joseph. What a powerful year to celebrate him. As Our Holy Father said, "Each of us can discover in Joseph the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence, an intercessor, a support and a guide in times of trouble."
Remain hopeful during these troubling times. Come to St. Joseph! We are experiencing darkness in our country and in our world. We don't lose hope! During her early life, author Elizabeth Gilbert was a troubled woman. Deep personal despair led her to prayer. In Eat, Pray, and Love, she wrote: "What happened was that I started to pray. You know, like, to God."
As I reflect on my life, growing up in a community of rich Spanish culture and traditions, St. Joseph always had held a special place in my family. We celebrated his Feast day on March 19th. My father was named Joseph and it is my name as well. At St. Joseph's Parish, we honor our patron saint with the Table of St. Joseph following a week of preparation and devotion. The Blessing of the Table of St. Joseph takes place with a vigil on March 18th and the Solemn Blessing on March 19th. This celebration means so much to parishioners, the staff, to the community and to me.
The Men of Joseph was founded in 2013, bringing together Catholic men to grow in their faith, uniting in fellowship and stewardship to serve our parish and to reach out in service to our community. As we celebrate this year dedicated to St. Joseph, embrace hope. "Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer" (Romans 12:12).
We grow in the virtue of hope! We are encouraged to pray for the church and to be grateful that St. Joseph is also praying for and protecting the church and us. We take comfort in our community of hope!
Very Rev. Father Joseph Vigil, V.F. is the Pastor of St. Joseph's, Pueblo and the Dean of the Pueblo Deanery for the Diocese of Pueblo.