Bishop focuses on family during Mass for Morris Hall residents
By Rose O’Connor | Correspondent
With handshakes and smiles, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., greeted residents of Morris Hall, Lawrenceville, following the Mass he celebrated on the feast of St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus and the patron of the universal Church and of workers.
Residents, employees and volunteers in Morris Hall came together for prayer, food and fellowship March 19 as the Bishop spoke on St. Joseph.
“Because of his special vocation from God, the Church has named him protector of our family, the family that is the Church,” Bishop O’Connell said in his homily, where he reflected on the Gospel of Matthew. “He’s also our protector and patron here, at Morris Hall.”
“It’s interesting that in the Scriptures they don’t really say too much about St. Joseph,” the Bishop said. “He had never spoken. There’s not a word in Scripture that’s attributed to him. After he and Mary take Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem, he is omitted from the Gospel texts.”
Bishop O’Connell – who was joined at the altar by Father Angelo Amaral, Morris Hall chaplain; Father Michael Wallack, priest secretary to the Bishop and diocesan director of vocations, and the priests living in Villa Vianney, the diocesan residence for retired priests – said St. Joseph built an appreciation of family life.
“He offers us a model of what it means to be a loving and protective husband, parent and patron. His feast is an opportunity for all of us to thank God for Joseph’s care and protection, and we pray to Him through Joseph’s intercession that we might live as loyal, faithful, loving members of God’s family.”
During the reception after Mass, Lee Tagliaferri, who has attended the event for the past four years, said the occasion is something everyone looks forward to each year. His wife, Maryellen, agreed. President of the facility’s resident council, she and her husband have been married 55 years and are currently the only married couple at Morris Hall.
“It was beautiful,” she said. “The Mass, the reception, the friendships and love is all evident here.”
Between taking pictures of the residents and sharing in the celebration, Father Amaral reflected on the significance of the Mass to the residents. “St. Joseph is the patron of families, and we consider ourselves a family here at Morris Hall.”[[In-content Ad]]