The Bishop who oversees the work of evangelisation in England and Wales is inviting Catholics to share joy on 19 March, the day that Pope Francis celebrates his inauguration.
Speaking ahead of the Solemnity of St Joseph, which falls on the same day as the inauguration, Rt Rev Kieran Conry (Arundel and Brighton), Chair of the Bishops’ Conference for Evangelisation and Catechesis, said:
“During the last few days we have seen expressions of hope and joy shared across the world at the news of the election of Pope Francis. On the day of his inauguration please do consider ways in which you can make Christian joy visible wherever you might find yourself – at home, work or elsewhere. It’s proposed that anyone – Christian, people of other faiths and of no faith – who wants to share joy and happiness considers doing something to bring light to someone else’s day. Many people in our communities are struggling and suffering in different ways, so let’s make 19 March a day to remember through our prayers and kind, helpful and joyful words and actions.”
Bishop Conry added:
“It is wonderful that the inauguration falls on the Solemnity of St Joseph who is the Patron of the Universal Church. St Joseph is the foster father of Jesus, a carpenter who left his home for his faith, a humble and caring man, who loved Jesus. These are qualities of Christian love – faith, humility, care – that we have already seen in the new Pope who is our Holy Father, our spiritual guide, to lead us through the time ahead. Let’s all pause for a moment to pray for him on Tuesday and to give thanks too for the Lord’s unending love and mercy for everyone.”
Some simple ways to share joy on 19 March
• Yellow is a colour associated with joy, so perhaps wear a yellow flower, ribbon or item of clothing
• Take fresh fruit, sweets and / or cakes into work, sharing with others the reason for your joy
• Bake a cake and visit someone who lives alone
• Take a bunch of flowers to someone who is unwell
• Phone a family member for a catch up and tell your children that you love them.
• Thank your teachers
• Make or buy some Easter cards ready to distribute later in the month
• Make a donation to a local charity and / or find out about volunteering opportunities