By: Hamilton Khoza
Click here for the photo album of the launch
The day began in earnest very early in the morning with Parishioners and Guests from other Parishes streaming in towards St. Joseph from all directions as early as 0600hrs.
The working teams were busy tying the loose ends and pitching up additional tents, ensuring that since the weather was threatening with an early morning cold front, all guests would be comfortable as much as possible.
The tempo changed at about 09:15hrs when the Fathers began to arrive in their vehicles; some in pairs and others in three some in the vehicles. One could tell that a big event was about to take place at St. Joseph. Joseph the Father of Jesus Christ, St. Joseph the Worker… St. Joseph the Patron of our Faith was at work already! It was his Feast!
Holy Mass began at 10:20hrs and all the expected guests in attendance; social distancing was fully observed under the watchful eyes of the Catholic Nurses Guild.
During his Homily the Right Reverend Bishop Jose Luis Ponce de Leon IMC, talked passionately about St Joseph…that St. Joseph is such highly venerated person in our Christian Faith yet he is not even once quoted in Holy Bible…that he was a very good listener…he listened when the Angel told him that Mary was to conceive with the Holy Spirit…’here the Bishop illustrated the natural feeling that any man would feel if he were to be told that his Fiancée that he is about to marry is to be pregnant of a child that is not through him…’ but he continued and said St. Joseph listened and obeyed without second questions…and went on to take care of Mary and the child when he was born.
The Bishop said the next stage of obedience and being a good listener was when immediately after the birth of Jesus Christ the Angel came at night and told him to wake up pack everything and take Mary and the child and escape to Egypt for there were people who wanted to kill the child. Joseph did as he was told at that point in time…accepting a status of being a refugee at that instant! He implored the St. Joseph Sodality to think hard on their next action plan which should include playing a significant role in contributing towards helping our refugees in the country.
We have seen and heard the Bishop during his Homily .. but this time I couldn’t help but marvel in the way he talked Joseph into our hearts and mind. After Holy Mass had ended…the next big item on the Programme of the day was the handing over of Icons of St. Joseph, The Holy Virgin and the Child Jesus to the Parish Representatives of the Diocese. First to be called was Mater Dolorosa Parish followed by St. Joseph Parish and others in their order of establishment in the country. This event was presided over by Fr. Pius Magagula who is Chairperson of the Organising Committee of the activities and events of the Year of St. Joseph in the Diocese. This he did after having said his vote of thanks on behalf of the Organising Committee.
Mr Fidelis Nxumalo said his vote of thanks on behalf of the St. Joseph Parish.
Refreshments were galore!
Date: 01 May 2021
Venue: St Joseph’s Parish (Mzimpofu)