Consecration to St. Joseph to take place beginning Feb. 15
To mark the 150th anniversary of St. Joseph being named “Universal Patron of the Church,” Pope Francis declared the Year of St. Joseph to take place from Dec. 8, 2020 through Dec. 8, 2021. Accordingly, the Diocese of Buffalo will participate in a diocesan-wide consecration to St. Joseph during the period of Feb. 15 through March 19.
The Diocese of Buffalo will begin the consecration Monday, Feb. 15 in each parish and will conclude with Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral in downtown Buffalo, on the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Friday, March 19 at 12:10 p.m. Bishop Michael W. Fisher will celebrate on both occasions.
“As your new bishop and shepherd, I am encouraging all of the faithful of our Diocese to join together with me in prayer during this very special period of consecration to St. Joseph,” said Bishop Michael W. Fisher. “St. Joseph provides a timeless example of faithfulness and trust in God, despite uncertainty and even unreasonable circumstances. We would do well to reflect on how his witness might inspire our own as we seek in our day and time to reveal Christ to our world.”
In his Apostolic letter, “Patris Corde” (With a Father’s Heart), Pope Francis calls Joseph a beloved father, a tender and loving father, and an obedient father. He also notes Joseph’s creative courage.
“Joseph was the man chosen by God to guide the beginnings of the history of redemption. He was the true ‘miracle’ by which God saves the child and his mother. God acted by trusting in Joseph’s creative courage. Arriving in Bethlehem and finding no lodging where Mary could give birth, Joseph took a stable and, as best he could, turned it into a welcoming home for the Son of God come into the world (cf. Lk 2:6-7). Faced with imminent danger from Herod, who wanted to kill the child, Joseph was warned once again in a dream to protect the child, and rose in the middle of the night to prepare the flight into Egypt (cf. Mt 2:13-14),” the pope wrote. Just as Jesus and Mary entrusted themselves entirely to the care and protection of St. Joseph as head of the Holy Family, others are asked to follow their example. “Jesus, living under the roof of St. Joseph and being his son, gave us a personal example of total entrustment to St. Joseph,” wrote Father Donald Calloway, MIC, in his book, “Consecration to St. Joseph.”
Much like last year’s Marian Consecration, people can take part with 33 days of readings, prayers and special devotions leading to a prayer of consecration recited on a feast day connected to St. Joseph.
Consecrating oneself to St. Joseph means an acknowledgement that he is a spiritual father, and that there is a want to be like him. This presents an opportunity for one to entrust themselves entirely to his paternal care so that he can help the individual to acquire his virtues and become holy. Total consecration to St. Joseph is to make a formal act of devotion to Joseph as spiritual father so that he can answer the concerns of one’s spiritual well-being and lead them to God. The person who consecrates themselves to St. Joseph wants to be as close to their spiritual father as possible, to the point of resembling him in virtue and holiness. St. Joseph, in turn, will give those consecrated to him his attention, protection and guidance.
St. Joseph has a special place in our corner of the world. He is not only the patron of the Universal Church but the patron of the Diocese of Buffalo and of our cathedral. Seven other parishes and oratories in the diocese carry that name.
If you do not have access to a printer, pastors have been asked to provide copies on request.
You can listen to a special message from Bishop Fisher inviting the faithful of the Diocese to participate in the Consecration. More information can be found at www.buffalodiocese.org/consecration-to-st-joseph.