St. Joseph - A Quiet Man with Much to Say

by Archbishop Donald Wuerl

Father’s Day, in the United States especially, has become a day to recognize the important place of dad. While the celebration itself may be focused on a Father’s Day card, a gift, or a special meal, at its heart is the recognition that a father plays a singularly important role in the life of a family. Children need a father. Fathers have a God-given responsibility to their children.

Recognizing this, Pope John Paul II took action, holding up St. Joseph as a model of modern manhood. On August 15, 1989, he issued an apostolic exhortation on St. Joseph and the Catholic understanding of fatherhood – Redemptoris Custos (Guardian of the Redeemer: On the Person and Mission of St. Joseph in the Life of Christ and the Church ).

Just as we call Mary “Mother of the Church” because she is mother of Jesus who is head of the Church, so we look to St. Joseph, who was foster father of Jesus and his protector, as the “Patron of the Universal Church, Protector of the Church.”

We can rejoice that St. Joseph through his marriage to Mary was caught up in the mystery of spiritual fatherhood and became a model of marriage, care of one’s child, and an exemplar of the Holy Family. St. Joseph is a model to every believer and particularly for men in their role as father.

We are called to be actively engaged in our vocation, our calling from God, in a way that quietly but effectively spreads the faith and extends God’s kingdom in everyplace and age.