On the Road

Imitating St. Joseph the Worker

Written by: Denise Serafini on Wednesday, May 17, 2017

In 1955, Pope Pius XII added the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker to the Catholic calendar adding to St. Joseph’s title as patron of the universal Church. This silent saint, in whom God entrusted the care of the Virgin Mary and Jesus, was also entrusted with watching over the Church and serving as model for the dignity of human work.

Beginning in the Book of Genesis, the dignity of human work has long been celebrated as a participation in the creative work of God. By work, humankind both fulfills the command found in Genesis to care for the earth (Gn 2:15) and to be productive in their labors.

We presented “Call from the Crucified Heart” at a church in West Jordan named in honor of St. Joseph the Worker on Monday, May 16 while on tour in Utah. I have to say the parish ministers, parishioners and ministries at St. Joseph the Worker Church are a testament to celebrating the dignity and holiness of human work as an element of the creative work of God.

Deacon Sunday, that’s his real name, was on hand to help support the program with exposition of the Holy Eucharist for the meditative portion of the event. The music ministry was by far one of the best we’ve seen in our many presentations across the country. We witnessed a well-engaged group of Knights of Columbus Color Guard that not only helped present the relics but also took the opportunity to explain the nature of each relic during the veneration, explaining elements of the Passion to enhance the faithful’s encounter with the Crucified Christ.

I also noted that there were many families with children in attendance, attesting to the great Catholic parents engaged in guiding and educating their children in the story that forms the very foundation of our faith.

Although many, if not all, of these people are engaged in professional roles that are the source for their financial stability using their God-given skills, they extend the fruits of their gifts to work in the community of the Church. Although they might not be consciously aware of it on a day-to day basis, these individuals are engaged in demonstration of the example of St. Joseph the Worker. Pius XII emphasized this when he said, “The spirit flows to you and to all men from the heart of the God-man, Savior of the world, but certainly, no worker was ever more completely and profoundly penetrated by it than the foster father of Jesus, who lived with Him in closest intimacy and community of family life and work.”

What we had the privilege of witnessing in our visit to this church, was an active community very productive in their labors for their parish community. Based on Pius XII’s thoughts on the subject of St. Joseph the Worker, these parishioners are profoundly penetrated by the spirit that flows to them to share with their church community to enhance their closeness with Jesus as an extension of their family life and work.