Macau’s youngest Catholic church looks forward to the celebration of its 25th anniversary next year
With the same faith and the same reverent attitude, but without the ceremonial pomp of yesteryear – this is how the parish of Saint Joseph the Worker will celebrate this coming Monday the feast of its patron saint.
In 1955, Pope Pius XII declared May 1st to be the liturgical feast of Saint Joseph the Worker, as a way of strengthening the long relationship between Saint Joseph and the cause of workers in both Catholic faith and devotion. But, in the Iao Hon neighborhood, the celebration has an even broader meaning.
As the protector of the Church, Saint Joseph supports and defends all workers of the faith. Being able to hear God’s voice and be guided by His will, Jesus’ earthly father, has been, for most of the last quarter-century, the patron saint of Macau’s newest church.
The Church of Saint Joseph the Worker will celebrate a quarter of a century next year, and the commemoration of its silver jubilee is the reason, Father Carlos Malásquez Quispe told O Clarim, why this year’s celebrations won’t have the ceremonial magnitude of yesteryear.
“During the month of March, which the Church dedicates to Saint Joseph, we did not hold any specific celebration. You may have noticed that every Sunday, after Mass, we recite a prayer to Saint Joseph. But this has become a sort of an ordinary thing. This is a prayer that we pray throughout the year and not just during the month of March. This prayer is recited after Communion and before the final blessing. Our focus, in terms of celebrations, falls on May 1st, the day on which we celebrate our parish feast,” the Peruvian priest recalls.
“The feast will be, obviously, celebrated on the 1st of May. We already started making some preparations in March in this regard, but, nevertheless, we will have a more unpretentious celebration, a not-so-ceremonious feast. One of the reasons we have opted for this approach is because next year the parish will celebrate its 25th anniversary. Due to the relevance of such a date, we are trying to devise other events and activities to commemorate the 25th anniversary of our parish,” the Comboni missionary adds.
The silver jubilee celebration of the Church of Saint Joseph the Worker should give rise to a wide range of initiatives, most of them are family-oriented. Still dependent on logistical details and the green-light from local authorities, the first celebratory activity should take place in October.
“The first activity we are planning – we want it to happen in October, the World Mission Month. From that month on, we will organize a few activities with children who enrolled in catechism classes and their parents. We will try to take them camping. We hope we can bring these plans to fruition. We requested the facilities a few months ago, but we were told that they will only be able to provide us with an answer in September,” the parish priest of Saint Joseph the Worker reveals.
“But, in September – having in mind that the activity will take place in October – perhaps the room for maneuver that we are left with is too little. We have no other choice but to consider other locations,” Father Carlos Malásquez concludes.
(Image: St. Joseph the Worker Church in lao Hon district, Macau. Photo: Whhalbert. License: CC BY-SA 3.0. Source: Wikipedia)