By Mouna Roche (Education Officer, Church Engagement, Mission and Identity, Sydney Catholic Schools)
In this, the Year of St Joseph – Father’s Day is an opportunity for our Sydney Catholic School communities to look towards St Joseph for inspiration and hope.
In Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter, Patris Corde, he writes, “Each of us can discover in Joseph – the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence – an intercessor, a support and a guide in times of trouble.”
Now more than ever this statement resonates with us as we celebrate the fathers, grandfathers, uncles, significant father figures and our Parish Priests during this challenging period of isolation from our extended families and communities we cherish.
The Family Educators across Sydney Catholic Schools have been working tirelessly to ensure their communities are connected during the Sydney lockdown.
This week celebrating fathers and their connection to St Joseph is at the forefront of their minds.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, Family Educators recognised quickly that their Family and Faith initiatives needed to shift to online platforms, and since then have opened the door to connecting to families in fresh and exciting ways.
In celebration of all fathers this weekend, Family Educators are working with their school and parish communities to provide opportunities for online Masses, Prayer Services, Blessings for Father’s via Zoom, posting recipes for the perfect Father’s Day and have created video reflections for Youtube, Facebook and Padlets that include photos, artworks, memories and prayers for Fathers this Sunday.
Some school and parish communities will gather for Father’s Day virtual trivia nights, opportunities for formation through the Men Alive Program and groups like John the Baptist Men’s Group hosting ‘Pizza in Pandemic – fatherhood during difficult times’ that will feature an evening with Sydney Catholic Schools’ Head of the New Evangelisation Dr Robert Haddad.
Although we may not be able to connect physically with our fathers, grandfathers, uncles, significant father figures and our Parish Priests this Sunday, Family Educators are ensuring that all fathers feel loved this Sunday especially during this challenging lockdown.
Our fathers will feel gratitude for the support and guidance they provide their families just like St Joseph.