Thursday, 1 May 2008

St Joseph the Worker

Last night I really enjoyed my visit to the Beavers and Cubs of the 4th Sevenoaks (St. John's) Scout Group here in Sevenoaks. As the Parish Priest here I am ex-officio one of the trustees of their excellent meeting place.
I arrived just after 5.30pm to be greeted by Freddy (the son of one of the leaders) who prepared for me a good cup of coffee. He is a bright young man who is a credit to his parents and his troop.
I was introduced to the beavers and we had a little chat about the work of a priest and looked at their promise. We spoke about what it means to love God and how we can do that.
After the chat the beavers showed me around their garden, they pointed with pride to what they have been planting and walked me around their wonderful paths among trees while pointing out all the bird feeders that they have put up. I was also treated to a song! As the beavers left and the cubs arrived I had time to chat with some parents.
At 6.45 it was time to meet the cubs. After an introduction I was taken to see their grounds and also the open air chapel that they are building. It is enclosed, has pews made out of logs and a large cross that dominates the whole area. I look forward to blessing this space in July. I really enjoyed watching their activities and was really struck by their beaming faces and the dedication of their leaders. Well done! I look forward to work with them more closely. It is indeed a happy place.
For pastoral reasons we shall be keeping the Ascension of Our Lord on Sunday, this means that today we are able to keep St Joseph the Worker. This feast originated in 1955. It was the baptism, if you want, of May Day. On the continent, and I remember this very well growing up in a Malta dominated by Mr Mintoff, this day was a celebration by the anti-church and many atheists who formed the Socialist or quasi-communist parties. It was a stroke of genius to enable Christians to celebrate work and workers and to propose to them St Joseph both as Patron and model.
We pray today for all workers as they join in the creative activity of God. We pray that all workers may be fulfilled in their work and we pray for those who can not find work at all.
And finally: “The happy birds Te Deum sing, ‘tis Mary’s month of May”... The May edition of our Parish Magazine is also available on line, you can find it here:
May this month dedicated to Mary enable us to foster true devotion to the Mother of Our Lord by following her example of being open and faithful to God, come what may!
Virgo Dei Genetrix, ora pro nobis!

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