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Catholic Life

St. Joseph serves as a perfect model for vocations

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One can look to St. Joseph as a model for vocations. When he learned his virgin wife was carrying the Lord’s child, he discerned his part in the God’s plan and learned his role in the life of Jesus.  

In this Year of St. Joseph, our Buffalo seminarians look to St. Joseph as they prepare to head back to St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore for more theological study and discernment about their role in God’s big picture.

Here are some of their thoughts.

“St. Joseph’s faith and trust in God throughout his life serve as a model to me as a Christian and also as a seminarian,” said John Willett, now entering Theology II. “When I reflect on his trust and obedience in God when he took Mary as his wife and also when he led the Holy Family away from Herod and into Egypt, I am moved with wonder. Each of us can reflect on these instances in St. Joseph’s life and ask God for help in imitating his faith and trust in God in our lives. I am also grateful for St. Joseph’s intercession.”

“This year has been a marvelous awakening for me in terms of the great father St. Joseph was to Christ and is to His Church. How wonderful of an intercessor we have in him who stood faithfully, patiently, and courageously by the side of Mary and his son, Jesus. Consecrating myself to St. Joseph this year I have come to realize that he does not less for the Church, standing by Her and defending Her from the Evil One,” said James Bobak, who will begin his pastoral year this fall.

“Above all of the insights that I had during my preparation for consecrating myself to St. Joseph, the one that struck me most came while I was in eucharistic adoration on the Feast of St. Joseph. At the time I wondered why Christ, the Son of God our Heavenly Father, would cherish his earthly foster father so dearly. It was then that I realized that St. Joseph was the only one to hold the body of Christ in the gentle and assuring caress of an earthly father. As I said before, St. Joseph does not less for the Church and I am sure that he holds the diocese which has revered him as its patron dearly in his embrace.” 

Juan Sebastian Aristizabal Arias, who is also serving in his pastoral year, admires St. Joseph’s silent obedience.

“In the Gospels, we do not find a single word spoken by St. Joseph. However, we are told that St. Joseph, in obedience to the angel, protected Mary and the child and fled to Egypt,” he said. “St. Joseph thought only of the good of Mary and of defending her against her possible accusers. Nor did he worry about himself, nor about the many difficulties of the journey, when the angel told him to flee to Egypt. From the little we know of St. Joseph, we can deduce that he was a person always at the service of others, quietly and silently. This is a great and difficult virtue to practice because we like to proclaim our good deeds.

“Spontaneously, we think of ourselves first, before others. And we like others to know and appreciate the good things we do. These virtues of humility and vocation of service that St. Joseph had are virtues that we should imitate and ask God to grant. I believe these are the virtues that inspire me in my priestly life.”

To learn more about the Year of St. Joseph in the Diocese of Buffalo, visit http://www.buffalodiocese.org/year-of-st-joseph/

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