Marian Helper Spring 2023

children to Christ and to teach your children Truth? We are the thin red line. We are the “few.” Unfortunately, our margin for error seems to be getting smaller and smaller, too, as the institutions we have so long relied on also come under attack. We have to be perfect parents. Despite all our weaknesses, inadequacies, and defects as parents, our children and grandchildren need us to be perfect. “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48). But how? How is this possible? There were only ever two perfect parents. Mary and Joseph. The Immaculate Virgin Mother and St. Joseph. My wife and I have found that it is possible to overcome our many failings as parents. All our imperfections as mothers and fathers can be hidden within Mary’s mantle and beneath St. Joseph’s cloak. This is the heart of consecration to Jesus through Mary and Joseph. Please consecrate your families. Father Donald Calloway, MIC, and I have created a Consecration to St. Joseph for Children and Families to do exactly this. Number one reason Why should you entrust your family to St. Joseph? What’s the number one reason? Because God Himself did. God entrusted the Holy Family to St. Joseph to keep them safe. Jesus has provided us a champion and protector — the very same man who protected Him as a child, the man under whom He “increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man” (Lk 2:52). I have five children (and counting). Their ages are 10, 8, 6, 4, and 1. I tried leading my family in Fr. Donald’s Consecration to St. Joseph around the dinner table. Let’s just say, it didn’t go smoothly. Maybe a food fight or two. My copy of Fr. Calloway’s book still bears some food stains. Eventually, my wife, “far more precious than jewels,” turned to me. I wiped the smashed English peas from my glasses so I could see her. She said, “Maybe we should write a version of Fr. Calloway’s book for children.” When I brought the idea to Fr. Donald, he said that, among all the thousands and thousands of people he has spoken to around the country and world about his Consecration to St. Joseph, there has been one request repeated over and over. People had been asking him for a version for children and families, and he didn’t know when he would find time to write it. So Fr. Donald and I created a followup to his book together. Our Consecration to St. Joseph for Children and Families also includes a “consecration calendar” and stickers. My dinner table experience has taught me that the kids need a focal point during our 33 days of consecration readings and prayers. My kids always know what day of the consecration we’re on, because their turn to place a sticker on the calendar is extremely important to them. Time to consecrate A special opportunity to consecrate your families is fast approaching. Besides Sundays, there is only one solemnity — a feast day of the highest possible rank — that always occurs during Lent. It is our oasis in the desert of Lent. A feast among all the fasting! It is the Solemnity of St. Joseph on March 19. The solemnity should be a feast of special magnificence for our families. It should not merely be the day a couple days after everybody wears green on St. Patrick’s Day. Please don’t allow the craziness of St. Patrick’s to overshadow the Solemnity of St. Joseph. Prepare yourselves and your families for this very special day. How? Consecrate your families to St. Joseph this March 19. The 33 days of family prayer begins on Feb. 15. If you miss that window, there’s another start date on March 30, leading to the feast of St. Joseph the Worker on May 1. Now more than ever, we need parents, especially fathers, leading their families in prayer around the dinner table. Please make the most of this opportunity. To order Consecration to St. Joseph for Children and Families, visit ShopMercy.org/b57 (Product Code: B57-CJHB). Marian Helper • Spring 2023 • Marian.org 19 We invite you to send us your intentions for the St. Joseph Novena. See the attached envelope or visit Marian.org/b57 to have your intentions remembered.

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