Payne begins her new position July 1
Many Consecrating to St. Joseph This Year
By Sharon Boehlefeld, Features Editor
April 23, 2021

Since Pope Francis declared the Year of St. Joseph last December, individuals in the Rockford Diocese have been consecrating themselves to the saint.

Several parishes conducted consecrations around March 19, the feast of St. Joseph.

A few more are planning ceremonies around May 1, the feast of St. Joseph the Worker.

St. Mary in Huntley is among those parishes.

“We are currently doing the preparation using Father Don Calloway’s book,” said Father Christopher DiTomo, pastor.

Father Calloway’s book is based on the more familiar 33-day consecration to Mary and has a similar timetable. The Marian consecration was developed by St. Louis de Montfort.

Most parishes with consecration groups this year are using Father Calloway’s book.

St. Thomas More Parish in Elgin sold more than 300 copies of Father Calloway’s book “Consecration to St. Joseph.”  

“Parishioners met weekly in Zoom group conversations of the book ending with all being consecrated to St. Joseph on March 19,” said Sharon Hall,  director of evangelization at the parish.

Father Ryan Browning, pastor, consecrated the parish to St. Joseph this year and dedicated the adoration chapel to St. Joseph, renaming it in his honor.

“Beginning in January St. Thomas More Parish in Elgin has chosen a prayer to St. Joseph to pray at the end of daily Mass,” Hall added. The prayers change each month.

On Wednesdays all year, they are also praying the Litany of St. Joseph, she said. That gives parishioners an opportunity to meet one of the requirements of the plenary indulgence for the Year of St. Joseph (see page B9).

St. Patrick Parish in McHenry consecrated several parishioners in March and will consecrate an additional group on the weekend of May 1 and 2.

Parishioners of St. Katharine Drexel in Sugar Grove, assisted by Father Steven Sabo, parochial vicar, went through the 33-day preparation using Father Calloway’s book.

The 31 parishioners also met weekly in person or online for “review, prayer time and mediation of these daily readings,” said Stephanie Heusinger, parish business manager.

 The group, she said, included “some who were still ‘snow birding’ in Arizona.” 

After Mass on March 19, Father Sabo lead the consecration at the foot of a St. Joseph icon.

“To conclude the morning, there was a small celebration with a St. Joseph table set up,” Heusinger said.

At Holy Family in Rockford, “Father (Robert) Blood is providing weekly reflections on the consecration.  One of my deacons and (I) also did weekly talks about St. Joseph during Lent,” said Father Phillip Kaim, pastor.

Father Kaim’s and Father Blood’s talks are at under Watch Mass then Bonus Features.

 “People are reading on their own each day then after the 8:30 a.m. Mass on May 1 we will consecrate our hearts as a large group,” said Barbara Beckett, director of religious education and family life ministry at Holy Family.

“When we consecrated our hearts to Mary we had roses for the participants to place in a vase to honor Mary. I’m working on something along those lines for St. Joseph. We have a large St. Joseph statue that we will place beside our altar to honor him. I will also have the consecration certificate for participants to sign and keep,” she added.

Father Timothy Barr joined a couple dozen parishioners at St. Joseph Parish in Freeport who spent 33 days learning about St. Joseph with Father Calloway’s book.

“Through the kind support of Cursillo we were allowed to use their Zoom account for a study group,” said Cynthia Saar, a Freeport parishioner who was part of the process.

They also timed their study for a March 19 consecration.

Both individuals and groups may work toward the consecration.

Check at your parish to see if there are plans underway.


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