Marian Helper Spring 2024

Father Joseph Writes It’s an honor and privilege to be the new, 21st “Father Joseph, MIC,” the director of the Association of Marian Helpers. It’s a blessing to be taking on the role after my Marian brother, the Very Rev. Chris Alar, MIC, has had such a successful and productive time in office. Having known Fr. Chris, especially as his novice master and then as his seminarian director for one year, I am not surprised at the fruits God has brought forth through his priestly service as Fr. Joseph. The ability to be an effective leader and priest was always there, and it has been a joy to witness how the Lord has utilized his talents as the leader of the Association to help both the Church and the Marians. Parish service I come to this office after serving for several years as administrator at Our Lady of Peace Parish in Darien, Illinois, founded by the Marians in the 1930s. My time with that community was a great blessing. I loved being able to walk with people in their daily lives and minister to their spiritual needs. I also enjoyed witnessing the great love that people had for Our Lady of Peace. Many parishioners had worked with Fr. Al Micka, MIC, the first pastor, to help build and grow it into a large parish. Though I enjoyed serving in that community, and in many ways was content in doing so, God has now called me to a different labor in His vineyard through my superiors. So here I am! I look forward to meeting many of you and working alongside you in service to Christ and His Church. The times are tough, it’s true, but we’re given such extraordinary gifts in our Marian charism. Serving the Church where the need is greatest, we practice and promote devotion to Mary Immaculate, spiritual assistance for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and preach in parishes and missions, especially the message and devotion of Divine Mercy. Be a dish rag I really love the “dish-rag” mentality of our Marian Renovator, Bl. George Matulaitis (1871-1927). He wrote that he just wanted to be a dish rag in the hands of our Lord, wiping up the messes as needed in His House. That’s central to being a Marian. I really believe that in order to be happy and fulfilled in life, you have to have that dish-rag mentality. God can't work through you without this kind of humility. Pray for me, that I may live this spirituality in my work in service to you all. May God bless you! AN HONOR AND PRIVILEGE “Father Joseph, MIC,” is the honorary title of the director of the Association of Marian Helpers. The current director is Fr. Mark Baron, MIC. Marian Helper • Spring 2024 • 3 I’m so pleased to be writing to you, our Marian Helpers, in my first issue as publisher of this esteemed magazine. We Marian Fathers couldn’t begin to live in service to Christ and His Church as consecrated religious without your prayers, encouragement, and support.