By Father Dustin Dought

This month, we begin our diocesan celebration of the Year of St. Joseph, and St. Joseph offers us a leg up, just like my dad did when I was little.  St. Joseph invites us to sit on his shoulders and there, together with Christ and the Holy spirit, presents us to our heavenly Father.

On St. Joseph’s shoulders, we ADORE the face of God more clearly.
We OBEY, letting down our nets and receiving the grace of God more abundantly.
We SERVE, humbling ourselves like children.

St JosephThis year is an occasion for us to devote ourselves to our heavenly guardian and to practice these three virtues: adoration, obedience and service.  It’s an occasion for us to proclaim and to live the fact that we never outgrow St. Joseph.

On hundred fifty years ago, Blessed Pope Pius IX declared St. Joseph as the patron of the Universal Church.  We begin our year by reflecting on that theme, Joseph and the Universal Church. Each Sunday at Mass, we profess that the Church is one, holy, catholic and apostolic.
To declare that the Church is catholic is to declare that she is universal.
One way that she is universal is that she has been sent by Christ to all the nations.
In other words, “All human beings are called to the new people of God. What a consoling message this is! Jesus has been sent to all. The Church has been sent to all.  All are called. There is no people, no culture, no time, no place and no kind of person that is excluded from Christ and the Church’s universal mission.

If Christ and the Church posses an universal mission, so too, does St. Joseph. He is sent to all; each of us is called to find a father in the spouse of Our Lady and the guardian of Christ. Whether we be young or old, rich or poor, ordained, religious, married or single, each of us is invited to take St. Joseph as a model, a companion and a sure support.

May this year be a moment of encounter with person of St. Joseph for you and your family.  In communion with him, may you adore, obey and serve the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Together, let us heed the words of Blessed Pope Pius IX: “God to Joseph! Have recourse with special confidence to St. Joseph, for his protection is most powerful, as he is the patron of the Universal Church.





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St. Bernadette Catholic Church