Fr. Donald Calloway and his book Consecration to St. Joseph form the basis of an online consecration to the earthly father of Jesus being held this fall. Photo courtesy of Danielle Gonsalves

St. Joseph consecration inspires young adults

By 
  • September 8, 2021

Feedback for an online consecration to St. Joseph this past winter was so positive that Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Catholic Young Adult Events is slated to operate the program a second time beginning Sept. 22.

For six Wednesdays, participants will log onto a Zoom conference to engage in prayer and group discussions about spiritual wisdom, insights about St. Joseph and devotions contained in the book Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father. This spiritual literary work, released in 2020, is authored by Fr. Donald Calloway, vocations director for the Marians of the Immaculate Conception based in Steubenville, Ohio. It has already sold more than one million copies.

Calloway wrote in his book that “consecration to St. Joseph means that you acknowledge he is your spiritual father, and you want to be like him. To show it, you entrust yourself entirely to his paternal care so that he can lovingly help you acquire his virtues and become holy. St. Joseph, in turn, will give those consecrated to him his loving attention, protection and guidance.”

Danielle Gonsalves coordinated the GTA Catholic Young Adults online consecration gatherings earlier this year and is assuming that role again for the upcoming 33-day program, fitting in nicely in this Year of St. Joseph which was proclaimed by Pope Francis last December.

Just as the Feb. 14 start date of the previous session enabled for the liturgical journey to end on March 19, the Solemnity of St. Joseph, the autumn consecration program is slated to conclude just before the Nov. 1 All Saints feast day.

Gonsalves says it was a treat for program attendees to dive into St. Joseph’s role in the Holy Family.

“There is biblical reference to St. Joseph, but the text is not there,” she said. “St. Joseph does not speak in the Bible. Fr. Calloway’s research filled in the gaps and really described St. Joseph’s role in salvation history and enabled each of us to understand him in a deeper way.”

Each of the online meetings attracted a strong base of over 20 participants per week, but the interest in the program increased throughout the six weeks to the point that young Catholic adults (19+) from the United States were logging in to engage in the group discussions.

“We had one person who spoke about how she prayed for the intercession of St. Joseph and that helped her secure a job, and so many began to naturally include the Litany to St. Joseph in their day-to-day prayer life,” said Gonsalves, an event planner for DG Worldwide Events.

Gonsalves says this online consecration program could be deemed particularly appealing for the 19-30 young adult demographic because of its easy online accessibility and because a greater understanding of St. Joseph can translate into a richer relationship with Jesus Christ.

“After Mother Mary, as Fr. Calloway explains, St. Joseph was the next best thing. He was the head and protector of the Holy Family. There is a lot of power with this saint. And he was a virtuous man. If (young) people are struggling with vices, and are wanting to have support from the heavenly realm, St. Joseph’s intercession is powerful.”

She adds that St. André Bessette and St. Teresa of Avila publicly stated they prayed to St. Joseph for support.

See gtacatholic.com for more information. The deadline to register is Sept. 20. Each participant will be responsible for attaining Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father.

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