Lasallian Year of Saint Joseph | 2021

PATRON OF THE LASALLIAN FAMILY

Convocation

15 March 2021

Dear Brothers and Lasallians,

In 1871, Pope Pius IX declared Saint Joseph Patron of the Catholic Church. On the 150th anniversary of the declaration, Pope Francis declared 2021 a special Year of Saint Joseph “in which each member of the faithful, by his example, can daily strengthen his or her own life of faith in the full fulfillment of the will of God”.

The devotion of our Founder to Saint Joseph is well known. Days before his death, John Baptist de La Salle urged his Brothers to have a special devotion to this Guardian of Jesus and the Patron of our Institute. Saint Joseph is our model: Joseph, the man of confidence and faith in God; Joseph, the just and humble man. With Mary he raised and educated Jesus.

In his biography of the Founder, Canon Blain explains De La Salle’s devotion to Saint Joseph:

What struck him most in the admirable life of the holy spouse of the Mother of God was his great docility to the action of Divine Providence, his submission to the most vexing commands, his prompt obedience to the voice of the Lord, his hidden life, his angelic chastity and, finally, his tenderness and love for Jesus and Mary. Virtues of this great saint that he longed to imitate.

I invite you to join the People of God and the entire Institute in celebrating the Year of Saint Joseph. In a special way, let us ask our Patron to accompany us as we compassionately respond to the sickness and suffering caused by the pandemic.

During the coming months, the Brothers of the General Council and I will offer on the lnstitute’s web site a variety of related resources and suggestions for their use. I invite Districts and Lasallian educational communities to plan creative and joyful celebrations of the Year of Saint Joseph and I invite all Lasallians to actively participate in these activities. I suggest that you to share your activities on social media.

Fraternally,

Brother Robert Schieler, FSC Brother Superior

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 “WITH A FATHER’S HEART”

Celebrating the Year of  St. Joseph, Patron of the Church and of the entire Lasallian Family. 

 30 SUGGESTIONS FOR THE DISTRICT 

The General Council, during the month of January, asked a group of Brothers and lay Lasallians to “brainstorm” proposals and possible actions that could energize the celebration of this Year of St. Joseph at the level of the Institute and the Lasallian Family. A total of 22 people from all the Lasallian Regions took part with very enriching suggestions. Obviously, the General Council in its programme of celebration had to focus and make choices (see the specific programme). However, given the variety and richness, we thought it appropriate to make them known, in case any of them could serve as a guide or suggestion when it comes to celebrating this Year of St. Joseph at District and/or local level, bearing in mind what is planned from the centre of the Institute.

 Reflection papers, studies and research: 

01. To offer some books and/or articles at the theological, pastoral, anthropological level on St. Joseph, including some recension specifying the novelty that the renewal of the devotion to St. Joseph brings today.

02. To disseminate the meditation 110 of St John Baptist de La Salle for 19 March among educators and families. To work at all educational levels on the three characteristics of St. Joseph: just, obedient and tender love to Jesus.

03. To study in depth the Apostolic Letter “Patris corde” from a Lasallian point of view.

04. To highlight, in the morning reflection, the figure of St. Joseph.

05. To conduct a simple reflection with Lasallian educators on the vocation and work of St. Joseph based on De La Salle’s mantra: “those entrusted to you” Who, how and when and for what reason?

06. To study in depth the values that Saint Joseph generates and represents: understanding, work, faith in the face of the inexplicable, family, submission, austerity, trust in Mary; or from the characteristics presented by Pope Francis in “Patris corde”: beloved Father, in tenderness, in obedience, in hospitality, in creative courage, discreet worker, and to see what applications it has in our educational mission.

07. To promote academic reflection on the figure of the father and the crisis of fatherhood, especially in Western culture.

08. To promote educational actions in our ministries by placing the father figure at the centre, since it is often forgotten in the educational actions of our students.

09. One or more conferences for fathers in our schools with St. Joseph and Lasallian spirituality as inspiration, offering material from the District.

10. To disseminate the message of the Convocation of Brother Superior General for this Year of St. Joseph.

11. To promote the figure of St. Joseph as Patron and Protector of the Lasallian Family on the District’s website.

12. To make a video of a prayer to St. Joseph with passages from his life together with Jesus. (The one provided from Rome could help).

13. Some action among the different schools in the District that bear the name of St. Joseph.

14. To participate in the requests that come from the Institute’s Communication Service: testimonies, prayers, celebrations, books, images…

15. To take advantage of his figure as an element within the ministry of vocations with a series of testimonies of different ways of living the Lasallian vocation in each work of the District in the form of a video or other means, taking into account Circular 475.

16. Text with prayer that can be sent to families in printed bookmark format. (Whether it is the one from Rome or another. In case of a new prayer, please send it to the Communication Service in Rome to be shared).

17. To ensure that in every classroom and in every community and even in every family there be an image of St. Joseph. If the District has a Lasallian artist, a new model of Saint Joseph could be created, be it a painting, a sculpture… 

18. Develop a sign, medal, pin… for the District. 

19. That St. Joseph be remembered in the publications of the District and/or our educational works. 

20. To retake the litanies to St. Joseph that were traditionally recited in the Institute. 

21. A novena to St. Joseph, what could end with the streaming to Rome and Bethlehem on March 18th and 19th. (see programme). 

22. To invoke St Joseph at the end of or within the invocations that are held in Lasallian institutions and communities, especially during this year.

23. A celebration to be held in the classroom, for educators or for Lasallian communities. 

24. An online Lasallian rosary in the District in honour of St Joseph (6 decades). 

25. To provide spiritual retreats inspired by St Joseph. 

26. To propose that the spiritual retreat of the Brothers for the Year 2021 be focused on Patris corde or that the figure of St. Joseph be very present in it. 

27. Forums to highlight virtues (faith, prudence, love, work, daily sanctity…) and apply them to young people. 

28. A poetry competition at district level. 

29. To unite in a network all the Lasallian Schools and Ministries of the District after the name of St Joseph and that all do their bit during this year dedicated to Saint Joseph, perhaps with a common solidarity project, which could be called: Saint Joseph, very present in the Lasallian Family in 2021. 

30. To associate this celebration of the Year of St. Joseph with a specific project in which the District is more involved at a solidarity level.

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“Take Saint Joseph as your model, for he is your patron, and strive to be worthy of your ministry and to excel in virtue by following the example of this great saint.”

MF 110,1

Pope Francis declared 2021 a special Year of Saint Joseph “in which each member of the faithful, by his example, can daily strengthen his or her own life of faith in the full fulfillment of the will of God”.