Encountering the Father’s Heart of Saint Joseph

By Christian Rada

In Pope Francis’ new apostolic letter Patris Corde, he expounds upon the qualities of Saint Joseph’s fatherhood and how his fatherhood was an icon of God, the Father’s heart for us, His children. During this Advent season and during this Year of St. Joseph, may our hearts be led to reflect upon the Father through the fatherhood of St. Joseph!

One of the most astounding and mind-boggling works of the Eternal Father was to send His Only Son Jesus, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, and to allow His Son to become a little Baby, who was vulnerable, weak and totally dependent upon a human mother and a human father, Mary and Saint Joseph. Indeed, Saint Joseph was and always will be the earthly father of Jesus! This was the will of the eternal Father for all eternity. And of course, Saint Joseph was the best of all earthly fathers. He is an example for all men, especially fathers.

Saint Joseph was a faithful son of the Eternal Father. God reveals in Saint Joseph that a father is a man who is obedient to God in an uncomplicated, sacrificial, and steadfast way. Saint Joseph was a faithful and loving spouse. Joseph trusted in the angel’s words to him and lovingly accepted Jesus as his own son. He provided a protective home for Mary and Jesus and accepted his call to be a husband to Mary and a father to the Son of God, even when he believed himself unworthy to do so. “Joseph’s attitude encourages us to accept and welcome others as they are, without exception, and to show special concern for the weak, for God chooses what is weak” (PC, 4).

Saint Joseph was present to his child and to his wife. God entrusted the Holy Family to Joseph and worked through his creative courage to guide and protect the Holy Family. “Arriving in Bethlehem and finding no lodging where Mary could give birth, Joseph took a stable and, best he could, turned it into a welcoming home for the Son of God come into the world” (PC, 5).

Saint Joseph was willing to sacrifice for his family. Work is a means of participating in the work of salvation. Joseph’s work as a carpenter provided a means for the Holy Family to thrive and to remain hidden in Bethlehem. Joseph taught this work to Jesus. “Saint Joseph’s work reminds us that God himself, in becoming man, did not disdain work” (PC, 6).

At the conclusion of Pope Francis’ letter, he added a prayer to St Joseph, which he encourages all of us to pray together. Let us pray for the grace to imitate his uprightness of life and his obedience to God’s commands

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. Amen.

How Can I Increase My Knowledge of My Faith?

Have you ever been asked a specific detail of your faith and found yourself unsure of the answer? Does your understanding of Catholicism give you confidence to defend your faith or educate your children? For these reasons and possibly others, many have wondered how to learn more but unsure exactly where. The Diocesan Office of Faith Formation wants you to know that it’s not just for the Parish Religious Education programs, but they also offer help, guidance, and classes in the faith that range from those that want to become Catholic to those that just want to learn more.

The Living and Leading by Faith program has long been established as a faith formation program for adults seeking more knowledge, curiosity over catholic traditions, or wanting a way to get closer to Jesus Christ by knowing and understanding more. The program has evolved and has changed names, but in the end, the same course purpose still exists to evangelize and share the knowledge of our faith.

We have had an online course available since 2013, which grew at a slow pace over the years. It wasn’t until the Covid-19 pandemic that more people turned to online learning because we could not come together in a classroom. The core pillars of our faith, Creed, Life in Christ, Prayer, and Sacraments, are needed to understand our faith.

Go to bqonlineforamtion.org and skim through our various choices of online classes. The Initial component of Living and Leading by Faith starts with Creed, Life in Christ, Prayer, the Sacraments, Introduction to the Bible, and Ministry of Catechesis. Or you might choose to explore other courses like History of the Church or the Gospels. Our online classes have video, vocabulary, printed text, and it is in small manageable chapters. You can start and stop anytime and pick up right where you left off. We even have a collaboration with Catholic Distance University for FREE online classes.

The responsibility to expand what we know of our faith, grow closer to Jesus Christ, and do what He has asked, to go forth and evangelize. We hold those three things in our control. The Secretariat for Evangelization and Catechesis wants to help you on this path.

If you have any questions on where to start your journey, contact our office.

Young Adults can contact our Director of Adult Faith Formation, Joann Roa 718.965.7300, ext. 2440 or jroa@diobrook.org.

Couples and parents can contact our Director of Marriage, Family Formation, and Respect Life Education, Christian Rada 718.965.7300, ext. 5541 or crada@diobrook.org.