St. Joseph: Our Spiritual Father — a Knights of Columbus produced documentary for the Year of St. Joseph — is NOW AVAILABLE free of charge. Start or deepen your devotion to St. Joseph with this new film.
Our Spiritual Father
While the Gospel has not preserved any of his words, his actions have resounded through the ages. Joseph of Nazareth stands out as the model par excellence of Christian virtue, a brilliant example of obedience to God and trust in Divine Providence. His role as protector of families in the difficulties of life and Patron of the universal Church has never been more clearly needed. Now, in this Year of St. Joseph, the Church is seeking to deepen its understanding of the Guardian of Jesus and of the Holy Family.
Featuring interviews with leading experts and theologians, in addition to powerful first-hand testimonials — St. Joseph: Our Spiritual Father provides viewers with a glimpse into one of the most incredible lives in all of human history — a figure whose spiritual fatherhood remains open to all of us.
“In St. Joseph, we see our mission and mandate. Guard the family. Guard the truth. He led through service and creative courage. So must we. It is the only way to overcome the hurdles facing our families, the Church and our culture.”
— Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly
Beginning October 10, and running for six consecutive weeks, St. Joseph: Our Spiritual father will air on ABC affiliates across the United States through a partnership with the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission.
As a young man, Father Richard Conlin wanted to be a professional golfer. He excelled at the sport, but to him, as he put it, “golf was my God, in a sense.” Then one day during college, Richard’s mom asked him to go to confession, and he obliged. Receiving absolution, he felt joy and peace that “set my heart on a whole new path.” Instead of golf, he now wanted to help others have that same experience. Conlin entered seminary, and was ordained on Dec. 11, 2020 during the Year of St. Joseph. He models his vocation after Christ’s adoptive father, striving to be a spiritual father to those he serves.
Renzo and Monica Ortega have been married since 2012, and now have five children. But their marriage and family life haven’t been without their challenges. After the Ortegas’ second child was born, Renzo’s job kept him mentally and emotionally absent from his family. He realized he needed an authentic model of fatherhood, and he found it in St. Joseph. As Renzo states, “Seeing St. Joseph, who was all action, made me realize that I needed to start moving.” He took action by leading his family in devotion to the Guardian of the Redeemer, who serves as their model.
St. André Bessette, a lay brother of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, envisioned a place of pilgrimage dedicated to St. Joseph on Montreal’s highest peak, Mount Royal. Construction began in 1904, and his vision was fully realized with its completion in the 1960s. Today, the Oratory of St. Joseph is the largest church in Canada and the preeminent international center of devotion to the adoptive father of Jesus Christ.
Since she was a young girl, Ann prayed daily that God would send her a man to marry like St. Joseph. In Paul, she found a man who reflected St. Joseph’s qualities — someone who wanted to provide for his family and lead it to heaven. The couple married and happily raised children together. Then, in 2014, doctors detected tumours in Paul’s lungs. People around the world prayed for him, and Ann believes the prayers helped make possible a special moment the couple shared before Paul’s passing. Today, Paul serves as a model of holiness to his children, and to the many people who discover his story online.
In spring 1945, prisoners at the Dachau Concentration Camp sensed that the Allied victory of the Second World War was imminent; but they also believed the Nazis would not let them leave the camp alive. On April 14, they began a novena entrusting their safety to St. Joseph of Kalisz. Unbeknownst to them, on the same day, Heinrich Himmler signed an order for the execution of all Dachau prisoners. Nine days later, more than 800 prisoners consecrated themselves to St. Joseph. Dachau was liberated by Allied troops on April 29, only hours before Himmler’s order was to be carried out. Szymon Czyszek, whose grandfather was one of those prisoners rescued that day, reflects on the power of St. Joseph as an intercessor and role model.
Aaron Joseph is a photographer with the desire of capturing peoples’ devotion being expressed, especially at the Mass. However, he initially grew up with little-to-no religious formation as a ward of the state of Connecticut. He grew up in foster homes and two institutions without much religious education. Yet, he converted to the faith. In March 1995, he felt a call to devote his life to St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother; therefore, he founded St. Joseph: Our Patron, an apostolate dedicated to promoting the adoptive father of Jesus Christ.
For former All-Pro NFL player and Super Bowl XLVII Champion Matt Birk, St. Joseph is “a game-changer” in his vocation as a husband and father to his eight children. The earthly father of Jesus is a role model for men who are struggling to live a life of virtue. As Birk states, “This is my vocation, to be like St. Joseph.”
On the day of his installation, June 11, Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly consecrated his administration to the Guardian of the Redeemer.
On the feast of St. Joseph, college Knights at the University of Notre Dame consecrated themselves to the Patron of the Universal Church.
The Church’s appreciation for the head of the Holy Family has developed over millennia.
The deepest meaning of chivalry is to use one’s strength to defend the faith and the vulnerable, and to do so without any regard for one’s own self-interest. Nobility exists precisely in self-surrender, which is clearly exemplified in St. Joseph.
St. Joseph and Father Michael J. McGivney teach us how to be faithful protectors and humble men of God.
Because of his closeness to Jesus and Mary, St. Joseph has a personal relationship with all Christians. But in a particular way, Catholic husbands and fathers turn to St. Joseph as a heavenly model and friend.
Today, more than ever, we need the patron saint of fathers and of the Church
Opportunities to exercise the “servant leadership” exemplified by St. Joseph may frequently present themselves in men’s daily lives.
Consider these five “countercultural” qualities of Joseph that can be instructive to fathers and their families.
There is nothing more effective at evangelizing the culture than regular, everyday people choosing to live their faith in their homes, councils, community and parish.