As I write in this ‘Year of St Joseph’ as proclaimed by Pope Francis, I’d like to share a little with you from the Holy Father’s apostolic letter ‘Patris Corde’ (With a Father’s Heart).

In this letter Pope Francis enlarges on the man who Blessed Pius IX proclaimed as Patron of the Catholic Church on 8 December 1870.

Pope Francis reminds us that Joseph was a just man, also an obedient man, ever ready to carry out God’s will as was revealed to him. This doesn’t mean that Joseph was passively resigned, but rather courageously and firmly proactive.

Joseph was an ordinary man – one of those people often overlooked. They don’t appear in the media, they aren’t lauded, but quietly go about shaping the decisive events of history, as so many have done during the Covid-19 pandemic.

And here I would like to pay tribute to those ‘ordinary people’ who, through their dedicated services, continue to see the world through the crisis that the virus has brought on all of us. ‘

The Heart of a Father’ like Joseph’s is present in many ways in the Church. I see it in the generosity of your Mission support. I hear it each time someone on the Missions addresses their parish priest as ‘Baba’ (the Zulu word for father). And I feel it in my own heart. God bless you for your ‘heart’.

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