Year with the Saints: Holy Family
Feast • Dec. 27
Church • Essex Junction
Celebrated on the Sunday within the octave of Christmas, this feast commemorates all three members of the Holy Family — Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The official recognition of this feast began in earnest in the 17th century. It quickly spread from Europe to Canada, thanks in large part to Bishop François de Laval, the first bishop of Quebec. The Redemptorist Order was also instrumental in forming confraternities under the patronage of the Holy Family in both Europe and America. On Oct. 26, 1921, the feast of the Holy Family was instituted for the Universal Church. In 2020, it is celebrated on Dec. 27.
Holy Family Church in Essex Junction was built in 1893. The first Mass in the completed church was celebrated on Christmas Day in 1893. It was the only Catholic church in all of Essex for 68 years until St. Pius X Church was completed in 1961. Holy Family Church is part of Holy Family/St. Lawrence Parish, which is part of the larger Essex Catholic Community with St. Pius X Parish. The church itself is more than 100 years old but has been expanded and renovated many times to accommodate the growth of the Essex Junction Catholic population.
—Originally published in the Winter 2020 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.