Greetings on the Feast of St. Joseph 2021


   My dearest Family and Friends, and all Alumni of St. Joseph’s Convent School Zanzibar,

                     Greetings on the Feast of St. Joseph 2021, The Year of St. Joseph.

As this is a very special year, I am writing in celebration of St. Joseph’s Zanzibar, which undoubtedly touched our lives, via  our school and cathedral in the name of St. Joseph.
As I hail from Zanzibar, I have fond memories of my childhood school days at St. Joseph’s which have come to the foreground this year , especially. I share my thoughts with much love.

With this,  I salute all the early French Missionaries, the Holy Ghost Fathers from Ireland , and the Precious Blood Sisters from Germany, who founded our school and built our cathedral, and who were our teachers, including the lay people who taught at our school, in Zanzibar, for starters. Viva All!

These people with vision, consolidated all that our parents who hailed from Goa, and who were the beneficiaries of the teachings of St. Francis Xavier, and before him, St. Thomas the Apostle who brought Christianity to Goa in 70AD , had wanted for us, their children. How can we ever thank them? Our parents gave us the road map for our spiritual well-being as well, over and above our educational needs , to assure our place in heaven someday. Cudos to all our parents for their foresight and splendid gifts to us their children. We , in our time, are the beneficiaries of a rich heritage of the Faith and Education that was imparted to us, and that molded us into what we are today. I am so proud of this history in my life.

Pope Francis declared 2021 as the Year of St. Joseph. I feel sure that The Holy Spirit inspired Pope Francis to select St. Joseph as patron saint  for this year, of all years ever, as God’s envoy to conquer COVID-19, and save the world’s peoples, just as Moses was sent to free the Israelites from the bondage of slavery in Egypt in Biblical times. I feel very positive about this, and I revel in this thought, e’en as I trust, that St. Joseph, Foster Father of Jesus, cares for all of us as our very own foster-father as well, if we but invite him and so wish it. I do so with all my heart.

Since Pope Francis’ s announcement , I’ve been remembering the influence of St. Joseph in my life, as my heart goes back to Zanzibar the wonderful island that housed our beloved St. Joseph’s Convent School, and St. Joseph’s Cathedral. Their influence has been outstanding as evidenced by the wonderful stories of all our fellow Zanzibaries , products of St. Joseph’s, who are spread around the world.

In an effort to do something special to honour and dedicate to St. Joseph on his feast day,  in appreciation , I decided to draw and paint the main portal of St. Joseph’s Cathedral Zanzibar, to honour all my former teachers, religious , classmates and friends , including our non-Catholic friends who attended our school, and  who like many of us , dispersed from the Zanzibar of yore, and now  hail from around the globe as well. How fortunate we were to have been born and brought up in such a cosmopolitan isle as Zanzibar , a British Protectorate with an Arab Sultanate. Hope you like my humble painting tribute to St. Joseph’s Zanzibar on the feast of St. Joseph, our patron Saint.

So my dearest Family and Friends, have a wonderful feast day celebrating the feast of St. Joseph on the 19th of March 2021, and sing as we in Zanzibar once sang :-

How great art thou worth,
The one chosen shadow of God upon earth,
The foster-father of Jesus,
Ah, then wilt thou be,
Sweet spouse of our Lady,
A father to me.

With much love and blessings.
Yvette de Souza-Muise
Nova Scotia Canada

My humble rendition of the portals of St. Joseph’s Cathedral Zanzibar East Africa