Year 6 retreat – The year of St. Joseph – A Father in the shadows, centered on Mary and Jesus.


So who was St. Joseph? I think we definitely know the basics!  He was married to Mary and was Jesus’ father on earth?  But what more could we learn about the man who helped to raise the son of God?

Scripture Bank

If you would like to reflect on some more of the scriptures related to St. Joseph then you can use some of the scripture references below.

Most of these are taken from Open Bible – you can use their Topical Bible Search facility to find lots more ideas! Just remember to change the Bible translation to ‘Good News Translation’ when you click on the link!

If you have found any pieces of scripture that you think link to our theme this week then please add them in the comments box below to share the Good News so that we can all enjoy them!

As you will see from this and your own research, there isn’t an awful lot said about St. Joseph in the Bible.  Although he is mentioned and he plays a crucial part in Jesus’ life, we never actually hear him speak. What do you think this tells you about St. Joseph’s character or personality?

Matthew 13:55

Matthew 1:18-25

Matthew 1:19

Luke 2:16

Luke 3:24

Luke 3:23

Mark 6:3


Click here for the Music Resource

This week’s song gives us a little bit of insight into how Joseph might have felt being Jesus’ father on Earth.  It was a huge responsibility but one he undertook with love.


Listen to the words in the song and think about St. Joseph.

What does it tell us about how St. Joseph felt?

Would you be brave like St. Joseph and have complete faith to believe that the unbelievable had happened?

Could you put the needs of someone else before your own like St. Joseph?

Even though St. Joseph isn’t the most well known character in the Bible, do you think his role was important?

Do you think that a step dad can be just as important to someone as their real dad?

Click here for the Picture Resource

Have a look at this picture. We often seen pictures of St. Joseph by Mary’s side but I think we can forget about the role that he played in bringing Jesus up.

See the source image

Split into groups and research St. Joseph. You are going to create a presentation to deliver to the rest of the class.


You could try to research these things:

When was St. Joseph born?

What was St. Joseph’s job?

How many words did St. Joseph say in the Bible?

Which Angel visited St. Joseph?

What did the angel say to St. Joseph?

St. Joseph is the patron saint to many different groups of people, can you list three and explain why he was their chosen saint?

Click here for the Action

God’s people have lots of things in common. Although they sometimes make mistakes and make bad choices they always try to live as God taught them to.

This week your task is to make a person of God using St. Joseph as our example.

The first thing you must do is watch this video about St. Joseph so you can get a better understanding of what type of person he was.

Having watched the video, what words would you use to describe Joseph?  Look through the list below, whioch words do you think best describes St. Joseph.















In your groups, chose someone to draw around. This is going to be your template of St. Joseph.  Inside your outline, write down all of the words/characteristics you have chosen.  You must also write why you have chosen this, for example, what did St. Joseph do in order for you to think that he had this characteristic.

Decorate you St. Joseph, make it as colourful as possible and proudly display them in your school!

The Prayer to St Joseph

Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires.

Oh St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your divine son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, our Lord; so that having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.

Oh St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach while he reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss his fine head for me, and ask him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for us. Amen


Click here for the Video Resource

We all have God the Father, who we love and who loves us.

We all have ‘father figures’ in our lives, this might be our fathers, step-fathers, adoptive fathers, Uncle, big brother or even our best friend.  If you find the qualities in a person that St. Joseph had, then they are your father figure.  You could even be lucky enough to have more than one!


Anyone can be your father figure.  Your father figure will love you no matter what, will support you and want the best for you.  They will put your needs before their own.

Whilst you watch the next video, think about who is your father figure.


Let’s take the time to thank our father figures, whether they our our actual dads or someone who has been that person for us, our very own St. Joseph.

Draw a tie outline on a piece of paper. In the tie knot at the top, write the name of your father figure, who ever that might be.  On the rest of the tie, write down all the things this person does and why you are thankful for them. Make your tie as colourful as possible.  When you see this person next, give them the tie and say ‘Thank you for putting me first, I love you’.

See the source image


Dear God, Thank you for all the fathers and father-figures in this world and for the many ways you use them to lovingly guide others to Your heart. I ask that you would bless them and give them great joy and peace. May they see You and know You in new ways. Show them how much you love them and care about them

Click here for the Scripture Resource

This week’s scripture is the story of when Jesus went to the Temple.

Read the Scripture story or watch the video.

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.

(Glory to you O Lord.)

Every year the parents of Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. When Jesus was twelve years old, they went to the festival as usual. When the festival was over, they started back home, but the boy Jesus stayed in Jerusalem. His parents did not know this; they thought that he was with the group, so they travelled a whole day and then started looking for him among their relatives and friends. They did not find him, so they went back to Jerusalem looking for him. On the third day they found him in the Temple, sitting with the Jewish teachers, listening to them and asking questions. All who heard him were amazed at his intelligent answers. His parents were astonished when they saw him, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been terribly worried trying to find you.”

He answered them, “Why did you have to look for me? Didn’t you know that I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand his answer.

So Jesus went back with them to Nazareth, where he was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. Jesus grew both in body and in wisdom, gaining favour with God and people.

The Gospel of the Lord.

(Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.)

In this piece of scripture we can see how important the Temple is to Jesus. It was His Father’s house, God’s house, and therefore He had to be there to spend time with Him.

Mary and Joseph were worried about Jesus, although he was the son of God, to them he was still their little boy who could get lost, upset or hurt.

Mary and Joseph explained this to Jesus and he understood, he promised to never be disobedient again.


How can you support your parents?  What can you do to make sure that they don’t have to worry about you or what you are doing?

Have a class discussion about what it is to be a good child and what you can do to make your parents not only not worry but proud, just like Mary and Joseph were proud of Jesus.

Please help us Lord to always be the best children to our parents. Help us to understand that they always put our needs before theirs. Help us to be grateful to all of the mother and father figures in our lives.


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