Year of St. Joseph

May 1, 2020 - May 1, 2021

Year of St. Joseph Image used with permission of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M

Year of St. Joseph Prayer Cards
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Bishop Callahan Announces “Year of St. Joseph”

April 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Christ is Risen, Alleluia! He is Risen, Indeed. Alleluia!

Well, I sure do wish I could announce another form of joyful news: our release from the “lockdown” we have endured because of COVID-19. We will endure our sequestration for another month! Yes, this means we enter May with fervent prayers to the Loving Mother of the Redeemer and Her Husband, our Diocesan Patron, and Patron of the Universal Church, St. Joseph.

I invite you to celebrate and pray with me to Our Mother, Mary, and Our Patron, Joseph, starting on 1 May, the Solemnity (for us) of St. Joseph, the Workman. The Holy Mass was celebrated in our Cathedral that bears his name at 12:00 noon.  This Mass marked the beginning of a year of thanksgiving, petition, and honor to St. Joseph along with many prayers of special intention for his blessings upon our families (Patron Saint of Husbands, Fathers, and Families) and upon all our beloved dead (Patron Saint of a Happy Death) and special needs of our Diocese (Patron Saint of the Universal Church).

Several different spiritual events, prayers and novenas will be available throughout the year for publication in bulletins or special occasions as we make our way through the year. It, of course, is 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 watch our Diocesan website for further information and possible events—some of which may be live-streamed. I am hopeful that in the Fall we may be able to put together a pilgrimage to the St. Joseph Shrine at St. Norbert Abbey in De Pere and then stop at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Hope in Champion (the only authentic Shrine of an apparition of our Lady in the USA.)

So, please keep these thoughts in your prayers along with all the other pressing intentions for the sick and dying. St. Joseph, pray for us!

In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, I am,
+William Patrick Callahan, OFM Conv.
Bishop of La Crosse

Why Turn to St. Joseph?

The year 2020 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 of course, the Cathedral of St. Joseph the Workman is named for 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 and others with terminal disease.

A recent book, Consecration to St. Joseph, by Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, is a highly popular resource for learning about, and making a consecration to, St. Joseph.  The photo above is taken from the cover of that book. You can visit his website for a wealth of information and to obtain the book.

Shelter Me

Reflecting on St. Joseph, as depicted in the stained glass window of St. Patrick Church in Mauston, Cassandra Thayer offers this song “Shelter Me” by composer Father MIchael Joncas, accompanied by Ann Benz. This is her prayer of thanksgiving for front line workers and also for church leaders as they guide us through this time of uncertainty.

Catholic Life Blog Posts

  • St. Joseph

    PATRON of THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH and OUR DIOCESAN PATRON Throughout my life, I have always looked to St. Joseph as the perfect patron—the one to whom I could confidently turn in time of difficulty and need. Believe me, I sure did—many, many times! St. Teresa of Avila (to whom we really owe a great deal

Year of St. Joseph Image used with permission of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M