I fire up my computer for an early morning Zoom on the first and second Fridays of each month. There, with coffee in hand in Zoom on the screen, a group of men and women (men on the first Fridays and women on the second) pray with me and look over a little booklet on St. Joseph prepared each month. It is our way of celebrating the Year of Joseph.
When the Pope proclaimed a Year of St. Joseph last December, the proclamation took me by surprise. I was well aware that Scripture does not say much about the foster father of Jesus and so I wondered how a year could be devoted to him. But I also knew that St. Joseph plays a role in the devotional life of the Church far beyond what those scant few verses in the Gospel would indicate. The Pope's letter accompanying the proclamation, Patris Corde, revealed new insights into the mind, the motivations and the life of St. Joseph which justified the proclamation.
Then it became a challenge to figure out how we might celebrate this year. To do just one event seemed a bit lackluster as a way to celebrate an entire year. And to not draw attention to the letter the Pope wrote and go over it in a thorough way seemed to ignore the very reasons for the celebration that had won me over. These considerations led me to a yearlong program where once a month we would check in with St. Joseph and provide material for prayer and reflection for the rest of the month. Coffee with St. Joseph was born!
As my devotion to St. Joseph grows during this year, I hope to help others follow in this path illuminated by Pope Francis' own dedication to the man who became a father to Jesus. If you are interested in joining us for the second half of our year with St. Joseph, feel free to sign up on our Retreats and Programs tab of the website.
St. Joseph, pray for us!
Fr. John Auther, SJ is a Jesuit for 42 years and a priest for almost 30 years. In his pastoral ministry he has devoted a good deal of time to Spanish-speaking work, detention facilities and retreats. He began working at JRC in January 2020.