In this uncertain time, explore the wonders of our spiritual father, St. Joseph
Reviewed by Katie Bogner
Model of Workmen. Comfort of the Afflicted. Pillar of Families. Terror of Demons.
While “Foster Father of the Son of God” is the most important title of St. Joseph, it certainly isn’t the only name that describes the many roles he holds in the Kingdom of God. In “Consecration to St. Joseph, the Wonders of Our Spiritual Father,” a new book by Father Donald H. Calloway, MIC, each of the titles celebrated in the Litany of St. Joseph are expanded upon and used as an invitation to encounter the husband of Mary and adoptive father of Jesus in a profound new way.
From the same religious community and publisher that created the popular “33 Days to Morning Glory,” this impressive volume dedicates more than 300 pages to the sometimes-overlooked St. Joseph. Providing a reading plan for a 33-day preparation for consecration and an impressive collection of prayers, the real treasures of the book are the “Wonders” of St. Joseph and accompanying readings. Father Calloway has gathered a huge compilation of both well-known and obscure writings about St. Joseph and has woven them together under the organization of 10 different categories. This section of the book is a great supplement to the consecration plan, but also could function on its own. In fact, if someone were curious or even skeptical about Consecration to Jesus through St. Joseph, I would recommend that they first read Part II of the book and then go back to Part I.
The book concludes with a set of nine full color pieces of art commissioned by the author, each emphasizing various roles of St. Joseph, perfect for continuing prayer or displaying as an act of devotion.
GO TO ST. JOSEPH
During this uncertain time, I can think of no better response than to run to the Holy Family. We place our complete trust in Jesus, our Savior. We rely on the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary. But this might be the moment to look to St. Joseph more intentionally than before.
Joseph, who guided and protected the Holy Family in Bethlehem, Egypt, and Nazareth, can lead families learning a new normal at home during times of change. Joseph, who labored well and provided for those he loved, can intercede for those challenged by their current work or facing unemployment. Joseph, who was surrounded by Jesus and Mary at the end of his life, can comfort those who are sick or near the moment of death.
May we all go to St. Joseph, patron of the Universal Church, and ask for his fatherly hand to be upon our families, our Church, and our world.
Want to grow in devotion to St. Joseph? Here are a few other titles I would recommend:
- This Apostolic Exhortation is cited several times in Father Calloway’s book, but it is certainly powerful when read in its entirety: “Redemptoris Custos (Guardian of the Redeemer)” by Pope John Paul II, available on the Vatican Website or in print from publishers like Pauline Books and Media. You might also enjoy “Quamquam Pluries (Encyclical on Devotion to St. Joseph)” by Pope Leo XIII.
- Another option for consecration to St. Joseph provides 44 days of short readings and prayers with an emphasis on the Holy Family and includes room to journal as you read: “Consecration to Jesus through Saint Joseph, An Integrated Look at the Holy Family” by Dr. Gregory Bottaro and Jennifer Settle.
- These prayer books provide tools to help you pray like St. Joseph as well as to ask him to pray for you: “St. Joseph Prayer Book” from TAN Books or “Day by Day with St. Joseph” from Catholic Book Publishing Corp.
- And for your kids or grandkids, here are a couple of great books to help them get to know St. Joseph: “St. Joseph’s Story” by Geraldine Guadagno and illustrated by Maria Cristina Lo Cascio or “Joseph: Guardian of the Holy Family” by Marlyn Evangelina Monge.
KATIE BOGNER is the junior high faith formation teacher at St. Philomena School in Peoria and a member of The Catholic Post’s six-member book review team.