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St. Joseph: model for today's fathers

St. Mary Cathedral takes Jesus' father 'into the neighborhood' on his feast day

MIAMI | In honor of the solemnity of St. Joseph, March 19, St. Mary Cathedral celebrated a trilingual Mass — English, Spanish and Creole — followed by a procession with a statue of St. Joseph.

Brian Ayala, Cody Nelson, Anthony Paz and Ray Camacho carry a statue of St. Joseph out of St. Mary Cathedral to Northwest Second Avenue where a short procession took place on his feast day, March 19, 2021.

Photographer: MARLENE QUARONI | FC

Brian Ayala, Cody Nelson, Anthony Paz and Ray Camacho carry a statue of St. Joseph out of St. Mary Cathedral to Northwest Second Avenue where a short procession took place on his feast day, March 19, 2021.

Sonia Cristancho walks in procession with her mother, Maria Cristancho, during the procession on the streets surrounding St. Mary Cathedral which took place on St. Joseph's feast day, March 19, 2021.

Photographer: MARLENE QUARONI | FC

Sonia Cristancho walks in procession with her mother, Maria Cristancho, during the procession on the streets surrounding St. Mary Cathedral which took place on St. Joseph's feast day, March 19, 2021.

The four young men who carried the statue on a wooden platform were recently married or planning to marry. They walked along Northwest Second Avenue as cathedral parishioners and people from other parishes followed. At 79th Street, they alternated with another four young men as the procession headed back to St. Mary’s School courtyard, where Father Christopher Marino, the cathedral’s rector, consecrated the statue.

“We chose these young men because one day they will become fathers,” said Father Marino. “The church needs men, like Joseph, to be good husbands and fathers. St. Joseph was a model for all fathers. Our procession is a display of our desire to follow in his footsteps.”

Pope Francis proclaimed the Year of St. Joseph beginning Dec. 8, 2020, which is the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, to Dec. 8, 2021. The pope wanted to mark the 150th anniversary of Pope Pius IX’s declaration of St. Joseph as the patron of the universal Church.

Pope Francis wrote an apostolic letter, Patris corde, “With A Father’s Heart,” to honor the anniversary. He said that this time of COVID 19 has helped the world to see the importance of ordinary people who exercise patience and offer hope every day. They resemble Joseph, a Vatican News article stated.

“St. Joseph was a guardian and protector of Jesus and Mary,” Father Marino said. “Despite the mysteries of Mary’s pregnancy, he brought her to a safe place. He risked life and limb for the sake of his family.”

Father Marino told fathers at the Mass to accept the gift that God has given them for their vocation of fatherhood.

“St. Joseph was open to the plan of God,” he said. “Joseph said, ‘I do!’ to God. He saw things from a total perspective. Joseph was a friend of God. Even in the most confusing of circumstances. As a man of prayer, he oversaw the religious life of his family.”

Today’s husbands and fathers need strong faith, Father Marino said.

“You are essential to society,” he said. “Catholic husbands and fathers bring something to society that it desperately needs. God entrusted his greatest treasure to Joseph.”

Father Marino added that the procession was a way to bring Jesus Christ and St. Joseph into the neighborhood.

Father Christopher Marino, rector of St. Mary Cathedral, leads the procession with the statue of St. Joseph through the streets surrounding the church to mark the Year of St. Joseph on his feast day, March 19, 2021.

Photographer: MARLENE QUARONI | FC

Father Christopher Marino, rector of St. Mary Cathedral, leads the procession with the statue of St. Joseph through the streets surrounding the church to mark the Year of St. Joseph on his feast day, March 19, 2021.

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