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Emulating courage and strength of St. Joseph leads to spiritual well-being

 112020Consecration to St Joseph

The book, Consecration to St. Joseph, by Father Donald Calloway, is one people can appreciate any time of the year. The book is an aid teaching about the importance of placing God above all things, maintaining a pure heart, and asking assistance from St. Joseph to accomplish these things. (Photo Illustration/Lynda Hemmerling)

 

BY LYNDA J. HEMMERLING

NWIC correspondent

 

        Establishing a strong devotion to St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus and chaste spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is something that can be done at any time of the year, not just in March – the month typically dedicated to this saint who is known as the “terror of Satan” and patron of a holy death.

St. Joseph is the patron saint of the Universal Church, and any time of year is a wonderful time to get closer to this third person of the Holy Family, according to Father Ted Mauch, pastor of St. Joseph in Dyer.

        “Especially today we are in need of prayers for good Christian men,” Father Mauch said, noting that St. Joseph provides the perfect example. St. Joseph embodies the “courage and strength” men and all people can implore in order to deal with the struggles facing society today, things such as pornography, racism and gender issues.

        “Saint Joseph is a very powerful patron saint to pray to for help to set oneself as a good example for others,” Father Mauch said. When there is an issue that requires a “strong response,” St. Joseph is the righteous one to which to turn, he suggested.

        Father Mauch noted that his own connection with St. Joseph is “very personal and very important.” Not only is his middle name Joseph and his patron saint St. Joseph, but Father Mauch grew up as a parishioner at St. Joseph in LaPorte, and the first parish he was assigned as pastor is St. Joseph in Dyer. “I have a great love and devotion to our patron saint,” he said.

      “Consecration to St. Joseph,” a book by Father Donald H. Calloway, vicar provincial of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, is intended to help people better understand St. Joseph and acknowledge him as a spiritual father.

      A person who wants to consecrate himself to St. Joseph wants to be like him, Calloway explained on his website. “To show it, you entrust yourself entirely into his paternal care so that he can help you acquire his virtues and become holy,” the website states. “Total consecration to St. Joseph means that you make a formal act of filial entrustment to your spiritual father so that he can take care of your spiritual well-being and lead you to God…St. Joseph, in turn, will give those consecrated to him his undivided attention, protection and guidance.” More information is available at consecrationtostjoseph.org.

      Father Doug Mayer, pastor of St. Paul in Valparaiso, has read “Consecration to St. Joseph” and said he appreciates the message and the prayers, especially the Litany of St. Joseph.

      “There are some powerful litanies in there,” Father Mayer said. “I liked the litanies of St. Joseph so much.” The different titles of St. Joseph are instrumental in understanding the qualities of the saint as a father and as a spiritual leader, he explained. “This book provides different perspectives. Many people have not gone very deeply into understanding St. Joseph, and this gives them some insight,” Father Mayer said.

      In the introduction to his book, Father Calloway stated, “My dear friend, you are about to embark on a journey that is going to change your life. To be close to St. Joseph is a special grace from God. By making this 33-day preparation and consecration to St. Joseph, you will be truly blessed.”

        According to the chart in Calloway’s book, there are nine times each year when people may complete the 33-day course for consecration to St. Joseph. For example, those who began on Nov. 8 will finish on Dec. 10, and those who would want to culminate on March 19, 2021 with the Solemnity of St. Joseph would begin on Feb. 15.

      There is one more time to complete the consecration during this calendar year. Interested participants may begin the consecration on Nov. 25 to conclude on Dec. 27, the feast of the Solemnity of the Holy Family.

        Father Mauch said St. Joseph is a chaste example of the fruitful faithfulness of human marriage. “There is no greater example of someone living a holy family life,” he said.  

      Father Mayer agreed. He noted the importance of recognizing Saint Joseph…and his “beautiful vocation” as chaste spouse of Mary and foster father of Our Savior. “We always think about Jesus and Mary when it comes to God’s divine plan of salvation,” he said. “We have to think about Joseph’s role…Marriages are made in Heaven.”

      He added that all people can benefit from establishing a stronger relationship with St. Joseph. “St. Joseph is a family man who can relate to your struggles and challenges. He is a prayer partner and intercessor.”

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