Joseph, A Father in the Shadows

Here is the final guided reflection on Pope Francis’ apostolic letter Patris Corde, With a Father’s Heart. You can use this series on your own for person reflection, or you can use it with your family or friends. It works very well for short zoom gatherings online!

Joseph, A Father in the Shadows

Opening Prayer

With a father’s heart, you showed your love for Jesus by helping him to grow in wisdom.  With a chaste heart, you did not seek to possess or hold him back. 
You are a model for parents who desire to help their children grow
and acquire what they need to live healthy and fruitful lives.
St. Joseph, help us to become parents who love our children freely. 
Intercede for us so that we may know the Father’s love freely offered and given to us.
In Jesus’ name, we pray!

Video Reflection

In this video clip, Dr. Anne Jamieson, Executive Director, Institute for Catholic Education, reflects on St. Joseph as a father hidden in the shadows.  She considers questions such as
– What qualities of love do we see in Joseph’s approach to fatherhood?
– How does St. Joseph’s as a person in the shadows inspire us in our lives, work, relationships?

For further reflection

Take some time to consider these questions. If you are reflecting on your own you may wish to journal. If you are using this reflection with a group, perhaps give time for personal reflection as well as optional sharing.

Pope Francis speaks about how we have learned how interconnected and interdependent we all are during the pandemic. He suggests how we are learning how important those who have worked and walked in the shadows are. Anne lists some of those people.
– Who would you add to the list?
– How might the pandemic help us to reflect on our interconnectedness with those in other countries?

Closing Prayer

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.

Prayer: © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Thank you for joining us for these guided reflections on Pope Francis’ apostolic letter, Patris Corde, With a Father’s Heart.