The Year of St. Joseph and the Year of the Family

The year of St. Joseph began on the 8th December 2020 and finishes on 8th December 2021. Leading up to the Feast of St. Joseph we offered a Novena to him that finished on his feast day. We continue to remember him in a special way during the rest of the year dedicated to him.

Pope Francis has also called for a ‘Year of the Family’ — it began on March 19th, the Feast of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary and finishes on June 26th, 2022. The 19th March marked the fifth anniversary of the Apostolic Exhortation ‘Amoris laetitia’, on the joy and beauty of familial love. Pope Francis will inaugurate the Year “Amoris Laetitia Family,” which will conclude on 26th June 2022 on the occasion of the 10th World Meeting of Families in Rome.

This special year is intended to spread the message of ‘Amoris laetitia’ and it is in that exhortation that the objectives of the Year can be found. The first is to share the content of the exhortation more widely, in order to help people “experience the Gospel of the family as a joy that fills hearts and lives (Amoris laetitia, 200).” The brochure published by the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life says, “A family that discovers and experiences both the joy of having a gift, and of being a gift for the Church and society, ‘can become a light in the darkness of the world’ (AL,66).” A second objective is to announce the precious value of the sacrament of marriage, which has “in itself a transforming power of human love.”

Further objectives include enabling “families to become active agents of the family apostolate,” and making “young people aware of the importance of formation in the truth of love and in the gift of self.”

Lastly, there is an invitation to broaden the vision and action of pastoral care for the family during the Year, so that it can become more transversal and include all family members, including married couples, children and young people, the elderly, and those in difficult family situations.