Dear Sister and Brothers in the Lord,
Many of us have grown up in places that are different from where we now dwell. Some of us have also had the experience of being a part of more than one parish family. I was fortunate to be a part of two loving parish families during my childhood and teenage years which fostered and nurtured the faith that is a great part of my life. Years later, I have come to a deep appreciation that my earliest memory of “church” was at Our Lady of Grace Church in Johnston, Rhode Island, where I received the Sacraments of Initiation and even experienced ministry for the first time as an altar server! When my family moved to the “other side” of town, my teenage years were spent as a part of Saint Joseph Church in North Scituate, Rhode Island where I participated in Mass nearly every day, became a catechist and heard my first call to the priesthood through the voices of the people of that loving community.
Little did I know that the Blessed Mother and Blessed Saint Joseph were looking after and over me way back then!
This year we will celebrate Father’s Day in the Year of Saint Joseph. While the Lord Jesus called God “Abba”, he called Joseph “Daddy!” We see this so beautifully depicted in our shrine to Saint Joseph where he sits with his young “son” and listens to him with absolute attention and love. We, too, learn from this great Saint who is the spouse of the Blessed Mother, the daddy of Jesus, and the Patron of the Universal Church.
As we gather to celebrate the Eucharist on “Father’s Day,” June 20, 2021, we offer our prayers in thanksgiving to God for the gift of the life of Saint Joseph that, as he was the first person to hold the infant Jesus in his hands, he too will hold the church in his hands as we journey to eternal life. We also pray in thanks to God for the gift of our fathers, who held us gently in their hands, fostering and nurturing our growth in faith, hope, and love.
May God, who, through the grace of the Holy Family, willed to redeem the human family, be pleased to enrich you and those you love with every blessing!
Sincerely in Christ,
Unite yourself with us in prayer on
Father’s Day and throughout the month of June.
Please list the name(s) of those you wish honored/memorialized this Father’s Day. We will include these names in the Basilica’s Father’s Day Honor Roll.