Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father

In the midst of crisis, confusion, and a world at war with the Church, it's... Read more


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Amidst Crisis, Go to St. Joseph

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By Marc Massery

The first day Donald Calloway ever walked into a Catholic church was March 19, 1992, the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. At the time, he had no idea who St. Joseph was. Back then his life revolved around sex, drugs, and rock and roll. But that day, grace had just begun to transform his heart, and he's been following Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church ever since.

"After I had my conversion, I fell in love with the saints and [St. Joseph] in particular," Fr. Donald said. "I went to Mass every day, and I would kneel before this beautiful statue of him [at Our Lady of Victory Chapel at Norfolk Naval Air Station in Norfolk, Virginia,] and ask him to help me be a good man. When I joined the Marian Fathers, during my novitiate in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, every day after Mass I went to the St. Joseph altar in the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy and knelt down before that statue and asked him to help me live my call."

Today, the foster father of Jesus continues to inspire Fr. Donald. In fact, Fr. Donald is now leading nothing less than a worldwide movement of Catholics who are consecrating themselves to St. Joseph through his new book, Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father (Marian Press).

So inspiring has Consecration to St. Joseph been that seven bishops in the United States have declared a "Year of St. Joseph" for their dioceses: Bishop Peter Jugis of Charlotte, North Carolina; Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay, Wisconsin (see sidebar); Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel of Lafayette, Louisiana; Bishop Joseph Bambera of Scranton, Pennsylvania; Bishop Terry LaValley of Ogdensburg, New York; Bishop Joseph Dewane of Venice, Florida; and Bishop William Callahan of La Crosse, Wisconsin. Father Calloway said several other bishops are hoping to do likewise.

But that's not all. Catholic leaders throughout the country are raving about Fr. Donald's book. World-renowned theologian Dr. Scott Hahn, who teaches at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, said that the book "is a marvel ... a summary of the whole study of St. Joseph. ... And yet it is readable and accessible to anyone."

Film star Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus in "The Passion of The Christ," said:

Years ago, I was given a copy of True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis de Montfort. That book impacted my spiritual life like no other, and I have recommended it to many people. I believe that Fr. Calloway's Consecration to St. Joseph will have a similar impact in the spiritual lives of people around the world. If the Blessed Virgin Mary is our spiritual mother and refuge, St. Joseph is our loving spiritual father and the missing piece needed in a world searching for truth, peace, and hope.

"Right now, we have a lot of crises going," Fr. Donald said. "There's gender confusion. People are confused about what it means to be a man, a woman, a family. Of course, this global pandemic hasn't made anything easier. So now is the perfect time to stress St. Joseph as the head of the Holy Family and to entrust ourselves to him so that he can bring clarity to us and help us endure."

Father Donald's book was published on Jan. 1, and it immediately became a Catholic best-seller. It's already sold more than 80,000 copies. "A lot of people had to get the e-book because they were sold out of the hard copies," he said. As the global pandemic began, Marian Press made sure to offer the e-book at a reduced price to make it easier on those in quarantine who wanted to read it. "It's already been translated into Spanish, French, and Polish, and we're working on the Italian. There's talk about an Arabic translation as well," he said.

Father Donald isn't surprised that Consecration to St. Joseph has become so popular. "I did think it would get this big," he said. "I told everyone it would be. Saint Joseph is like the unknown, undiscovered saint. So many love him, and people have been waiting for something like this to come on the scene."

He felt inspired to write Consecration to St. Joseph after the publication of his book St. Joseph Gems (Marian Press), a collection of hundreds of quotes about St. Joseph from venerables, blesseds, saints, popes, and mystics presented as daily meditations.

"When I put out St. Joseph Gems, I was realizing how much material there is on St. Joseph," he said. "I thought that we could really use something like St. Louis de Montfort's Preparation for Total Consecration, but for St. Joseph, something spiritually deep. I asked people in different countries if a book like this existed, and everybody said, 'No, it doesn't exist.' So basically, I spent three years doing the research and the writing."

While he was writing Consecration to St. Joseph, it was clear to Fr. Donald he was on to something special. "People would say things like, 'What? This is going to be amazing! Do you know how much the Church is going to eat this up?' When I kept hearing this sort of response, I knew," he said.

Father Donald also saw things fall into place at just the right time. Consecration to St. Joseph was ready just in time for 2020, which just so happens to be the 150th anniversary of Pope Blessed Pius IX declaring St. Joseph the Patron of the Universal Church. In fact, language used in the Church decree issued on Dec. 8, 1870, declaring St. Joseph Patron of the Universal Church, paints a picture of the world reminiscent of today:

And now therefore, when in these most troublesome times the Church is beset by enemies on every side, and is weighed down by calamities so heavy that ungodly men assert that the gates of hell have at length prevailed against her. ... Pope Pius IX, in order to entrust himself and all the faithful to the Patriarch St. Joseph's most powerful patronage, has ... declared him Patron of the Catholic Church.

"That's why I keep saying, 'Now is the time of St. Joseph,'" Fr. Donald said.

Another divine happenstance helped Fr. Donald realize that the hand of God was at work. While Fr. Donald was thinking and praying about how to structure the book, he had been meditating on the Litany of St. Joseph, a prayer that dates back to the 15th or 16th century. It consists of 31 invocations, mostly reverent titles given to St. Joseph by the Church.

"I was praying the Litany every day, and I said, 'Wait a minute. How many of these [invocations] are in the Litany?' I went through, and it added up perfectly," he said. Father Donald took this as a sign to structure Consecration to St. Joseph as a 33-day preparation to total consecration with each day dedicated to one invocation taken from the Litany of St. Joseph (plus an introduction and a conclusion). "It worked out perfectly. It was like Heaven said, 'Here, use this,'" he said.

Father Donald hopes that this book will inspire all Catholics to start going to Jesus through Mary and Joseph.

"If the problem today and the major crisis is that families are being attacked and bombarded with all kinds of confusion, we really need a family as a model to help us get things back to normal," he said. "We've got our Lord, we've Our Lady, but St. Joseph is the missing link. I think when people realize that they need to model themselves after him, I feel we will see some restoration of order when it comes to family life."

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- Jun 17, 2020

St.Joseph has been my spiritual father for 35 years and their is nothing in all those years that he has refused me.I always tell everyone how important he is and I’m sure most think I’m cracked but I know how wonderful he has been to me and my children and my children can bare witness to that.I would be grateful if you could tell me where to get Fr.s book.St.Joseph truly is the perfect example of what a husband and Father should be and we need him more now than ever.

- Jun 17, 2020