Back in 1964 when the Second Vatican Council promulgated Lumen Gentium and described the family as a domestic church, no one envisioned the COVID-19 crisis and just how crucial the nurturing of faith in the home would be.

‘Consecration to St. Joseph’

Author: Fr. Don Calloway, MIC
Publisher: Marian Press
Length: 320 pp.
Release Date: Jan. 1, 2020
Cost: $14.95
($9.95 e-book)
Promo code “Calloway” to receive 15% discount.

With public Masses suspended in the Diocese of Phoenix and in countless areas around the world, families have temporarily lost the ability to worship the Lord in their brick-and-mortar parishes. While the livestreaming of Masses, Rosaries, missions and Stations of the Cross have helped connect families with their parishes, the bishops of Phoenix saw the need to take things one step further.

In an open letter to the husbands, wives, mothers and fathers of the Phoenix Diocese, Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted and Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo A. Nevares said they were aware of the many difficulties families are facing and “your dignity and calling as the leaders of your ‘little church’ in the home.”

During times of national and global crisis, families are called to live the fullness of the Christian life, the bishops wrote. Providentially, they noted, this year marks the 150th Anniversary of the declaration of St. Joseph as the Patron of the Universal Church. The bishops invited priests of the diocese to participate with them in a special consecration to St. Joseph and extended that invitation to families.

The prayers of consecration began March 30 and will be completed May 1, the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. The bishops pointed to a new book, Consecration to St. Joseph, penned by Fr. Donald H. Calloway, MIC, and available in paperback and as an e-book.

“Through this consecration, done together as brothers and sisters in union with the clergy of the diocese, our hope is that St. Joseph will bring each of us under his protective care, enrich the spiritual and family life of each family in imitation of his virtues and bind us more closely together,” the bishops wrote in their letter.

This statue of St. Joseph the Worker is found at the St. Joseph the Worker employment ministry in Phoenix. The consecration to St. Joseph ends May 1, the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. (Courtesy of St. Joseph the Worker)

In an interview with Catholic News Service, Fr. Calloway recommended the faithful entrust themselves to St. Joseph’s spiritual care during this time of crisis, noting that the saint “protected the Child Jesus from the wicked intentions of Herod, so he is more than able to protect us in the difficulties we find ourselves in today.”

The letter from the bishops made the rounds as an attachment to an email from Mike Phelan addressed to “Friends of Life, Marriage and the Family.” Phelan, director of the Office of Marriage and Respect Life, encouraged fathers to join the bishops and lead their families in the 33-day Consecration to St. Joseph.

“We can expect a shower of graces in our marriages and families, parish and diocese from this,” Phelan wrote. “It can be done solo, together with our spouse, or perhaps also with our children in our homes. Discern what is ideal for you and the family.”

What to do if you’ve already missed the start date of March 30 for the consecration? “Begin anyway and make the days up when you can,” Phelan said.