Bishop da Cunha’s Easter Message 2021
As we celebrate another Easter, we are reminded that, even in the midst of a pandemic, this is a time of renewal and rebirth, of hope and joy. This past year, we have seen many difficulties, but the crisis brought by the pandemic can also become an opportunity for transformation. If we focus on how our struggles and our circumstances can strengthen our faith, hope, and love of God, we will truly be embracing the message of Easter.
When we encounter a crisis in our lives, we can, with Christ’s help, find an opportunity to emerge more faith-filled and encouraged. As St. Paul teaches us, “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2).
In the Paschal Mystery of Jesus’ Passion, death, and Resurrection, we witness eternal life spring forth from death, suffering turned into joy, and despair replaced with hope. Happily, Easter always takes place in spring, a time when the once barren quiet of winter melts away and signs of new life emerge.
The past year has been, at times, bleak and perhaps even desolate for some, yet, in this Easter season, like nature itself, we are called to recognize that all things are made new again and be an integral part of this renewal. The Resurrection of Jesus brings new life to us all. May we recognize and be receptive to God’s plan of sheer goodness (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1), prepared for a spiritual renewal of ourselves and our Church.
Diocesan Consecration to Saint Joseph
Yesterday, March 30th, our Diocese began a 5-week preparation period for the Consecration of Saint Joseph, which will take place on May 1st, the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. Pope Francis declared December 8, 2020, through December 8, 2021, the Year of St. Joseph in honor of Blessed Pope Pius IX’s declaration of St. Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. The prayer of Consecration to St. Joseph will take place during a special Mass on May 1—more information on that to come.
Personally, I have always had a special devotion to St. Joseph. He is a friend that I can turn to especially in difficult moments. Now more than ever we need St. Joseph’s prayers as well as his model and example of humility and faith. The preparation and Consecration serve to help us to remember and commemorate St. Joseph as an important friend and intercessor in heaven.
Each Tuesday during the preparation a reflection on one of the many titles of St. Joseph, as well as the prayers to recite daily, will be posted on the Diocese of Fall River Website (and social media). For week one you will find my reflection on Saint Joseph, Protector of the Church Reflection, along with a prayer to St. Joseph as Protector of the Church and the St. Joseph Litany.
A daily quote from either a Pope, Church Father, or Saint, will be posted for us to reflect upon and assist in learning more about our friend, St. Joseph. This is a wonderful activity for our Diocese to share together, to pray each week (or daily if you choose), please visit the special Consecration to St. Joseph page on the Diocese website.
As we enter tomorrow into the Triduum and Easter Seasons, my blessings on you and your family. May we all experience the peace and joy of the Risen Christ in our hearts and home. My prayers and best wishes for a blessed Easter to all of you.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha