Bishop W. Shawn McKnight is inviting families throughout the Jefferson City diocese to carve-out a special place for prayer in their homes and their schedules this month in observance of the Year of St. Joseph.
He’s encouraging people to join him in praying a special March 10-18 novena leading up to the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The prayers and readings in English and Spanish for each day, as well as a newly composed song and videos from various churches throughout the diocese, can be found at diojeffcity.org/year-st-joseph and diojeffcity.org/novena-en-honor-a-san-jose.
A printable, bilingual booklet containing the prayers can also be downloaded from the site, along with information about how to create a “St. Joseph Altar” for the feastday in the home.
“The husband of Mary and protector of the child Jesus was a man of deep faith and action,” said Bishop McKnight. “His courage and conviction stemmed from knowledge and obedience to God and fellowship with His Son. Together, we seek his inspiration and intercession in the sight of God’s majesty.”
Bishop McKnight believes it would be especially helpful for families to pray the novena together each day, possibly at meals or in the evening, as a way to help strengthen the Domestic Church in the home.
Each day, the Diocese of Jefferson City Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds and the diocese’s Year of St. Joseph webpage will feature reminders along with videos in English and Spanish of people from various parishes named in honor of St. Joseph, praying the novena prayers.
Videos will feature the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Jefferson City on March 10 and 18; St. Joseph Church in Edina on March 11; St. Joseph Church in Pilot Grove on March 12; St. Joseph Church at Hurricane Branch near Mendon on March 13; St. Joseph Church in Salisbury on March 14; St. Joseph Church in Westphalia on March 15; St. Joseph Church in Martinsburg on March 16; and St. Joseph Church in Fayette on March 17.
The St. Joseph Altar is an old tradition that began in Italy and was brought to this country in the 19th century.
Some families use a St. Joseph Altar not only as a gathering place for prayer in the home but also a collection point for food and alms for the poor.
As such, it combines spiritual and corporal works of mercy.