A Year with St. Joseph

A Year Devoted to St. Joseph -- May 1, 2020 - May 1, 2021

The Diocesan “Year of St. Joseph” has been extended to December 8, 2021 With the Apostolic Letter Patris corde (“With a Father’s Heart”), Pope Francis has proclaimed a “Year of Saint Joseph” from 8 December 2020, to 8 December 2021. This year recalls the 150th anniversary of the declaration of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. The Holy Father wrote Patris corde against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, which, he says, has helped us see more clearly the importance of “ordinary” people who, though far from the limelight, exercise patience and offer hope every day. In this, they resemble Saint Joseph, “the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence,” who nonetheless played “an incomparable role in the history of salvation.”

Votive Mass of St. Joseph on Wednesday
A long-standing tradition in the Church has designated each day of the week with a particular theme to be recognized at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Priests are encouraged to offer a Votive Mass in honor of St. Joseph every Wednesday, so long as the liturgical calendar allows (see GIRM 374-376 or the ordo). Prayer texts for the Votive Mass of St. Joseph can be found in the Roman Missal. This Votive Mass of St. Joseph every Wednesday will help parishioners to draw closer to our spiritual father. In light of the titles from the Litany of St. Joseph, “Head of the Holy Family”, and “Pillar of Families”, a suggested prayer intention at the Votive Mass could be for a strengthening of marriages and family life.

St. Joseph’s Powerful Intercession: In this diocesan Year of St. Joseph, it is inspiring to note that St. Teresa of Avila was miraculously healed through his intercession, and she had this to say: “To other saints, the Lord seems to have given grace to help us in some of our necessities. But my experience is
that St. Joseph helps us in them all … I only request, for the love of God, whoever will not believe me will test the truth of what I say, for he will see by experience how great a blessing it is to recommend oneself to this glorious patriarch and to be devoted to him.” diolc.org/year-of-st-joseph

Time to Turn to St. Joseph Our diocesan Year of St. Joseph comes as our nation is in crisis, facing the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on our economy, and more recently the brutal killing of George Floyd and the violence that has come in its wake. Who better to turn to than the man who protected and provided for Jesus and Mary as they faced dangers and hardships? In everything, St. Joseph sought to know and do the will of God. Noble, strong, quiet, pure: these are some of the traits he exemplified. For a beautiful prayer card and more on the Year of St. Joseph, visit diolc.org/year-of-st-joseph/.

The Importance of St. Joseph God the Father chose Joseph, from among all men, to take care of and nurture Jesus – the Son of God! During our diocesan Year of St. Joseph, we want to grow in understanding the importance of Joseph in our own lives as spiritual father. One significant way is to undertake a 33-day consecration, which involves 15 minutes of compelling reading about St. Joseph during those days. This is available in a new book entitled Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father, by Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC. If you are interested in forming a parish group to embark on this initiative, visit consecrationtostjoseph.org for information and to purchase a book and speak with your pastor. For further assistance, you can also contact diocesan curia staff members Ann Lankford [email protected] or Christopher Ruff [email protected].

Year of St. Joseph Prayer Card The Year of St. Joseph is being celebrated in the Diocese of La Crosse from May 1, 2020 to May 1, 2021. You are invited to print a beautiful “Year of St. Joseph” Prayer Card for personal and/or family use. Go to diolc.org/year-of-st-joseph/ for a single downloadable Prayer Card, and/or 4 Prayer Cards on one sheet. Why go to Joseph? We know from Scripture that St. Joseph watched over and protected Jesus as He grew up. This is the 150th Anniversary of St. Joseph being declared the protector of the Catholic Church. Through Baptism, we became a child of God and a member of God’s family, the Church. Therefore, as members of the Church, St. Joseph is our spiritual father and protector. It is Time to Go to Joseph, invoking his powerful spiritual fatherhood before God to help us protect marriage and the family, which is under serious attack in our culture.

Year of St Joseph Live Mass

May 1, 2020 via livestreamed Mass, diolc.org/live, beginning at 12:00 noon,

from the Cathedral.

This Mass will begin a special year of thanksgiving, petition, and honor to St. Joseph. In the year ahead, the diocese will offer prayers for his blessings upon our families (Patron Saint of Husbands, Fathers, and Families), our beloved dead (Patron Saint of a Happy Death), and the special needs of our Diocese (Patron Saint of the Universal Church). As we make our way through the year, several events, prayers and novenas will be available for publication in parish bulletins. It is, of course, painfully obvious for all of us to know that our plans often turn to dust in the midst of possible tragedies and sicknesses that come our way. So, please open this singular year with Bishop Callahan at noon on May 1, and follow the Diocesan website diolc.org/year-of-st-joseph for further information and possible events. 

Bishop Callahan will be live streaming the celebration of noon Mass on Friday, May 1, to start the diocesan celebration of the year of St. Joseph.

Here is the diocesan Facebook link to this event. facebook.com/events/231728821384317


St Joseph … “He was chosen by the eternal Father as the trustworthy guardian of his greatest treasures, His divine Son and Mary. He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying ”Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord” — St. Bernardine of Siena—sermon.

A carpenter and a descendant  of the house of David, Joseph was the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ’s adoptive father. He is known for his willingness and obedience to follow Gods wishes. Known as the Protector of the church his patronages are numerous. The feast of St. Joseph is March 19th.


Why We are Celebrating a Year of St. Joseph?
This year marks the 150th anniversary of Blessed Pius IX’s decree naming St. Joseph Patron and Protector of the Universal Church. He is also the primary patron of the Diocese of La Crosse, and our Cathedral is named after him. In this challenging time of COVID-19, we can turn to St. Joseph with great hope:

  • We can turn to him as protector from harm, even as he protected Mary and the child Jesus from Herod’s wrath;
  • St. Joseph was worker and provider for the Holy Family, so to him we can entrust ourselves and our nation in the face of unprecedented unemployment and economic distress;
  • As model husband and father, we turn to St. Joseph at a time when good examples of both are so desperately needed. We can ask him to help strengthen our families – as well as the bonds of our “parish family” – at a time when these can be fragile.
  • As patron of the dying, we can invoke the intercession of St. Joseph on all who are in their last moments of life, including the elderly in nursing homes and others with terminal disease.

 Visit the diocesan Year of St. Joseph website, diolc.org/year-of-st-joseph/, to watch Bishop Callahan’s opening Mass and read his comments about this special year.  Christopher Ruff- Diocese of LaCrosse