A Review of Fr Donald H Calloway's book on Consecration to St Joseph by Didi Fraser.
Part of my own life story is a five year period in the Cenacolo Community where at the end of each rosary we would say ‘San Giuseppe, Grazie e provvedi per noi’- St. Joseph, Thankyou and provide for us- and right enough only once can I remember being sent to a shop to buy something- pectin for the jam making!-maybe he thought it superfluos to our needs. We lived off Divine Providence and St. Joseph never failed us. We were discouraged from being specific when good people would ask ‘Is there anything you need?’-rather novenas were said when we ran out of toilet paper. Despite all this evidence I remained distant from him probably due to a fear of taking away from that which was due to God the Father Almighty.I think my Scottish Catholic Faith has had more Protestant influence than I am aware of. Whereas Our Lady has no, as if it were, heavenly competition, I could always give her my all and all but I would remain a bit apart from St. Joseph in that I would say why do I need him if I can have God the Father. This book explains how St. Joseph , like all the saints, but in an extra special way can bring us closer to God the Father.
Father Donald Calloway says we especially need his help in our times. He has even written to the Pope to ask for a ‘Year of St. Joseph’.He says that in these times of attack on the family we need more than ever the example of the Holy Family and to be aware of the authority given to St. Joseph to protect and safeguard Jesus and Mary. If he was entrusted with this authority over them how much more can he protect and safeguard us if we accept him as our guardian and foster-father.Jesus and Mary are already in heaven. Joseph’s job of looking after them is done. Now he wants to bring us home.
This book is a 33 day preparation for the Consecration to St. Joseph and each day the Litany is said and each title of St. Joseph explored and explained. Father Calloway uses quotes from many saints and blesseds who had a devotion to St. Joseph. St. Josemarìa Escrivà wrote;
‘ Love St. Joseph a lot. Love him with all your soul because he together with Jesus, is the person who has most loved our Blessed Lady and been closest to God. He is the person who has most loved God after our Mother. He deserves our affection and it will do you good to get to know him, because he is the master of the interior life, and has great power before the Lord and before the Mother of God.’
St. Andrè Bessette, that humble doorkeeper from Montrèal, who founded St. Joseph’s Oratory in Canada suggests;
‘when you invoke St. Joseph you don’t have to speak much. You know your Father in Heaven knows what you need; well so does his friend St. Joseph. Tell him ‘If you were in my place St. Joseph, what would you do?’
Father Calloway writes that ‘ husbands and fathers need to imitate St. Joseph’. He says that ‘ families around the world will experience a revolution of holiness if husbands imitate St. Joseph’.It seems to me where there is devotion to St. Joseph there is no need for feminism, man will take his proper place as head of the household and head of the family and woman will be happy with that.
Another question I had was if I am already consecrated to Our Lady do I need to be consecrated to St. Joseph as well? According to Calloway consecration to St. Joseph will increase your love of the Virgin Mary. He assures us that Mary wants us to consecrate ourselves to St. Joseph, that we are not a member of a single parent spiritual family and that just as Mary and Jesus needed St. Joseph so do we.
Sr. Lucia dos Santos the longest living of the Fatima visionaries said. ‘The final battle between the Lord and the kingdom of Satan will be about marriage and the family.’ This is why, according to Calloway in these confusing times we must turn to the Head of the Holy Family, who is also the Terror of Demons.
In 1989 in his apostolic exhortation on St. Joseph St. John Paul II reminded us; ‘This patronage [ of St. Joseph] must be invoked as ever neccessary for the Church, not only as a defence against all dangers, but also and indeed primarily, as an impetus for a renewed commitment to evangelization in the world and to re-evangelisation in those lands and nations where religion and the Christian life were formerly flourishing and are now put to a hard test.’