St. Joseph the Artisan
Joseph was the husband of Mary and the father of Jesus on earth. He was a carpenter, not a powerful man in his community. Joseph was an ordinary man who lived a simple life. He was an honest worker and is known as the ‘Patron Saint of Workers’.
Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, he discovered that she was pregnant but knew the child was not his. Joseph was faithful to the law of the church but was also a caring and compassionate man and did not want to expose Mary to public disgrace, so he decided to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.
The later life of Joseph is unknown but he cared for and loved Jesus as his own son. He does not appear in Jesus’ public life so it is believed that he died before Jesus started his ministry. The Feast of St. Joseph is on March 19. Also, St. Joseph is the Patron Saint of Workers and this is celebrated on May 1st. He is also known as the Patron Saint of Peaceful Death.
Icon of St. Joseph courtesy of www.monasteryicons.com
Paddy Dillon Recalls the Opening of St. Joseph the Artisan Church
I have been asked to recount my memories of the day the church was opened and blessed by Archbishop McQuaid. I have very little memories of the day because, on the Friday night prior to the opening, Fr. Threadgold was conducting a tour around the new church and offhand informed me and the group in general that I was to do the readings at the Mass for the opening of the church. Lay Readers were not the norm at that time and it was my first time ever to read in public. While my memory may be very hazy about things in general it is very clear about the nerves I felt at reading for the first time in public and also very conscious of Dr. McQuaid behind me.
Before the new church was opened, Sunday Mass was celebrated in the school prefabs which were situated where the Greenlawn houses are today. The prefab used for Mass was a double room that was used as two classrooms during the week. On Sundays it had no seats except a few for elderly people and was always full with the overflow having to stand outside on a grassy mound near the prefab. On bad days a second room would be opened which was linked to the double room with a speaker but there would still be an overflow standing outside. At Communion time, people receiving Communion went to the top of the room, received Communion, went through the top door and back in through the lower door. Mass in the prefabs became a regular feature of Sunday mornings that we got used to and never gave it a second thought. In a way it was like Mission territory. The people looked forward to the new church with great anticipation because all knew that it would make a big difference to the parish.
On the day of the opening we were blessed with lovely fine weather and the day was also a very formal occasion because of the presence of Archbishop McQuaid and other dignitaries and politicians. The F.C.A. were also present on that day and acted as Guard of Honour to Archbishop McQuaid, they also rendered Honours at the Elevation of the Mass. That evening Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament was given by Bishop Carroll.
It was great privilege to have been asked or rather been told to read and I survived it and since that day this church has been a special place in the lives of so many people in the parish and also in my life. I have a special thought and prayer for the many great men and women who are no longer with us in this life and whose commitment and dedication made this parish the special place it is today, also the deceased Priests and Sisters who contributed so much to the life of the parish. May they be with us in spirit.