A parish in the "Nazareth style".

The Year of St. Joseph invites attention to the many ways in which the Holy Patriarch is present in the life of the whole Church. In a popular neighborhood of Madrid, Vallecas, there is a modern parish dedicated to the Patronage of St. Joseph.

José María Casado-March 11, 2021-Reading time: 3 minutes
san jose

Photo: Alejandra Inés Arias / Cathopic

This year we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the Patronage of St. Joseph. It was Pope Pius IX who, on December 8, 1870, placed the Church under his intercession and protection. 

Pope Francis, to help us live this anniversary, has written a beautiful letter, entitled Patris Corde, and encourages us to "go to Joseph" in this hard time: to live his virtues, to become aware of the need for the figure of the father and to welcome his intercession. St. Teresa already said "that there is no thing that is asked of him that he will not grant it.".

In the district of Vallecas, specifically at 78 Pedro Laborde Street, we find the only parish in Madrid whose titular is the Patronage of St. Joseph. In the parish baptismal books we find the first inscription on January 1, 1966, date of the beginning of the parish, similar to many others that began their journey at that time of the diocesan life, and specifically in the first floor of San Anselmo Street. In Alto de Palomeras there was a colony with the name of St. Joseph, and currently remains as a memory of that time the St. Joseph School: for this reason, the parish was also placed under the patronage of St. Joseph, collecting the feeling and life of the neighborhood, who lived in the shadow of St. Joseph.

 Twelve years ago the new parish church was built, very bright, which dignifies and beautifies this sector of Vallecas. With a taste of home, open doors and serenity, we live day by day with the certainty that we are on a pilgrimage towards the goal of which St. Joseph is a witness.

"With a Father's Heart"says the title of Pope Francis' letter. And, indeed, in the parish facilities live families who have migrated in search of prosperity and receive support on this path to move forward and progress. We feed materially a good number of families, with the sole desire to be a balm, and we offer them a point of support to overcome and move forward. To clothe those who are cold is the purpose of the humble closet, which dignifies life.  

A small, humble and simple grain of sand that transmits something essential and that is born from the entrails of Nazareth: to accompany, to make together this path towards the Homeland that knows no sunset. The ardent charity is a very Nazareth aspect, very much of St. Joseph, who at the head of this family strove and struggled to make family.

Home of health, integral health of body and soul. Our parish consists of two floors and a visible tower, connected by a staircase, with a great luminosity, as indicating the desire to unite, to put in communication and integrate heaven and earth. Faith gives meaning and opens horizons to the earthly journey. The architectural structure thus helps us to understand the challenge we have in our hands, and of which St. Joseph is the patron and protector, since it is not in vain that he resounds as the patron of the parish of the Patronage of St. Joseph. This parish in the style of Nazareth wants to be a neighbor among neighbors, and one of its desires is the spirituality of the neighborhood.

With our working hands, aware of challenges, difficulties, obscurities, successes and failures, conscious of reality and the new era, we wish to make visible and real what iconography and painting present to us of St. Joseph with the Child Jesus in his hands. 

We do not exhaust ourselves in our problems, everything does not end at the end of the street, violence and abuse do not have the last word. Valuing so many efforts and hopeful gestures, we wish to contemplate the Presence of the One who has not left us alone and is our strength: Christ Incarnate and Alive among us.

With different activities, in the desire to integrate the human and the divine, we will accompany this year of St. Joseph, understanding that Nazareth is home for all, a school of fraternity.

With the Novena to St. Joseph, monthly meetings of catechesis on the Holy Patriarch, some charitable work and a carving by popular subscription that we want to put in a garden of the parish, we want to bring life to this year dedicated to St. Joseph.

The authorJosé María Casado

Parish Priest of Patrocinio de San José, Vallecas (Madrid)

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