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School procession honours St Joseph on his feast day

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The students and staff of Patrician Brothers College Fairfield on the feast of St Joseph. Photo: Supplied

Students and staff at Patrician Brothers College Fairfield have honoured St Joseph on his feast day in a beautiful display of popular piety through the school grounds.

Close to 200 students and over 20 staff members gathered on 19 March during recess at the College Marian Chapel with a statue of St Joseph before processing through the school playground as they prayed the rosary.

Religious education teacher and youth mission coordinator at the college and organiser of the event Joel Capinig said the aim was to honour St Joseph and “spread his devotion to the college.”

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“Being an all-boys school, St Joseph is a perfect model of masculinity through his obedience and faith in God,” Capinig said.

“A lot of the boys as a result of their studies look up to St Joseph and have a deep interest in him. I wanted to allow the boys an opportunity to display that faith on his feast.”

Students not participating also showed great reverence as the procession passed them, with ball games and conversations halted before they stood to venerate the statue.

“Also being harmony week, and St Joseph being the patron saint of the universal church, it was fitting to have many of the staff recite the Our Father for us in multiple languages,” Capinig said.

“Many students have adopted his patronage within their lives as Patrician men.”
The procession comes on the back of the success of the rosary group at the college organised by Capinig which meets every Tuesday at lunch for students and staff to join.

Year 7 student Joseph Tarabay who held the flag of St Joseph throughout the procession said he was honoured to participate in a role that may have traditionally been reserved for older students.

“I see St Joseph as a man of God and an earthly father to all children of Christ leading us to eternal life.”

Carrying the statue was Year 11 student Charbel Hechme, who said the day was a reminder of the strong and faithful community present at the college.

“St Joseph inspires me to express the virtues of he had of love, hard work, faith and obedience to God.”

Oliver Facer from Year 10 took part as a way to thank God for the blessings he has given him.

“God was calling me to showcase his father to everyone. St Joseph is a profound pillar of the church and is someone I can look to when facing difficulties,” he said.

“I have taken away from this the lesson to face my fears, to profess my faith in public and be unashamed.”

The event is an example of increasing displays of popular piety across Sydney as a way to evangelise and promote faith to young people.

“Bishop Umbers in 2023 at a forum for youth leaders that I attended stated that ‘public procession is a must to showcase the beauty of our faith,’” Capinig said.

The playground procession has now inspired the youth mission coordinator to continue in a similar fashion for major Marian feasts and Corpus Christi.

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