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Year of St. Joseph


A statue of St. Joseph from St. Andrew in Waterbury.

“On Dec. 8, 2020 Pope Francis declared a “Year of St. Joseph” to commemorate the 150th anniversary of St. Joseph being named patron of the Universal Church. The year began that day and will end this year on Dec. 8, 2021. Love and devotion to St. Joseph are particularly close to us here in the Diocese of Burlington as our cathedral is named for him and places us under his protection. There is much to consider and ponder concerning St. Joseph and his importance to the Church. Much will be offered for our devotion to him during this patronal year  St. Joseph, patron of the Church, pray for us.” – Bishop Christopher Coyne


Prayer to St. Joseph
by Msgr. John Lynch


O good St. Joseph, in your name we ask for grace and light to live a better life each day by doing what is right. inspire us to holiness and virtue unashamed. Instill in us the zeal with which your spirit is inflamed. Watch over us in happiness and when our hopes are dim. Protect us from all harm and hurt as you protected Him. O good and kind St. Joseph, be our foster-father, too and let us bring our problems and our troubled hearts to you. Teach us to work for Jesus Christ with every deed and breath. Help us to live a holy life and die a happy death.





Year of St. Joseph Initiatives & Stories

​A man does not become a father simply by bringing a child into the world but by taking up the responsibility to care for that child. Whenever a man accepts responsibility for the life of another, in some way he becomes a father to that person.” And so it was with St. Joseph, the father to whom God entrusted His only son. Read the full article here.

​Celebrating the Year of St. Joseph will not solve the crisis of Fatherhood en masse. Yet it does provide a valuable opportunity to be encouraged and to pray for the healing of God to be given to families and fathers in crisis.​ Read the full article here.

It would be well for us in our modern busy times to recall the “Sabbath rest” of the Holy Family and make it our own in Christian Sabbath, Sunday. I have in my home a statue of the “Sleeping Joseph.” It is literally St. Joseph lying down and taking a nap. I bought it after I read about Pope Francis’ own devotion to the icon. Read the full article here.

St. Joseph loved Jesus until he breathed his last on Earth. I will never read the parable of the prodigal son again in the same way without wondering if Jesus was thinking of St. Joseph when he made up this story. One never forgets the hugs and kisses of one’s father. Read the full article here.

In honor of St. Joseph, the St. Joseph the Provider Initiative was created to increase the Catholic Church’s capacity to feed the hungry in Vermont in response to the increasing need due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Learn more about this initiative here.
What is it about St. Joseph that continues to draw people?  Nary a word of his is recorded in Scripture, and yet he was an essential part of the story of salvation.  We do not know when or how he died, and yet he continues to be present to the world.  We can hear St. Andre Bessette’s continuous mantra to all who shared their troubles with him, “Go to Joseph.” Read the full article.
The Year of St. Joseph carries special significance for the community at Mount St. Joseph Academy in Rutland, the only Catholic school in the Diocese of Burlington named for him. Read the full article here.


The bishop’s primary objective, however, was more than just historical. He wrote, “The following pages have been written with a view to promote devotion to St. Joseph and also with a desire to preserve the memory of graces received through his intercession in the Diocese of Burlington.”​ Read the full article here.
St. Joseph was chosen to teach Jesus, in His humanity, how to be a good man.​ God put good, courageous men in my life. It is because of these good men, their example, their protection, their courage and their love that I am your respect life coordinator and a lost lamb no more. Read the full article

The feast of St. Joseph the Worker reminds us that for all of us, exercising our skills and labor quietly for the good of ourselves, our families and our communities is a positive good. It is something this great saint of the Church did not disdain to do. It is something his charge, Jesus Christ, did not disdain to do. It is a way in which we praise God and reflect His goodness in the world. Read the full article here.
When Pope Francis declared a Year of St. Joseph to mark the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of St. Joseph as the patron of the Universal Church, he was again encouraging the faithful to go to Joseph—St. Joseph, husband of Mary and foster father to Jesus, for intercession in times of need and to honor the saint’s role as humble protector of the Holy Family. The Year of St. Joseph runs from Dec. 8, 2020, until Dec. 8, 2021. Read the full article here.
In honor of the Year of St. Joseph, this issue of Vermont Catholic  features respondents named Joseph (or a form of the name) who answered the question, “What characteristic of St. Joseph do you want to emulate?” Read their responses here.
Our Lady of the Lake Parish — which serves towns in the northwestern corner of Vermont along Lake Champlain — has two churches named in honor of St. Joseph. Although these two churches are only miles apart, they share the name, St. Joseph. The answer as to why isn’t definitively known. ​Read the full article here.
Sometimes, I wonder about the high standards set by individuals in the bible. How I would measure up if I had lived in the time and circumstances of that person? And I speculate about how that person from the bible would handle the circumstances in which I now live. Read the full article here.
For Father Joseph Sanderson, his name — Yosef in Hebrew, which translates to “may God add or increase” — brings special meaning to his priesthood. “I hope and pray that through me God may increase in all those whom I may encounter throughout my life,” said the parochial vicar of St. Francis Xavier Church in Winooski. Read the full article here.
​​Valerie (Carpenter) Parzyck has deep roots that ran to the former St. Joseph School in Burlington; her maternal and paternal grandfathers attended the school — originally called Nazareth School — and her parents and their siblings did too. Read the full article here.


Like many of those who have a particular devotion to St. Joseph, Pope Francis keeps a statue of the saint in his study. What may not be familiar to some, however, is the image the Holy Father has chosen— St. Joseph sleeping.​​​ Read the full article here.


Just as God the Father places trust in Joseph’s ability to love and protect Jesus, so too, does the Church encourage us on this feast day to place our trust in St. Joseph’s loving care. Read the full article here.
Dr. Kevin Parizo lamented as “a rather sad commentary” that in today’s life and worship, the hymns that reference St. Joseph are not often heard except primarily around the Christmas season. “We need to remember that St. Joseph is the universal patron of the Roman Catholic Church” and return him to the “exalted position in the Church that he used to have.” And music is a way to do that. Read the full article here.
It could be said that except for Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary, no one has been portrayed in art more than St. Joseph. From a statue at St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal carved in Carrara marble by Italian artist A. Giacomini to the simplest of inexpensive nativity sets featuring the Holy Family found in many homes throughout the world, images of St. Joseph are plentiful. Read the full article here.
As a marriage and family therapist, I appreciate the opportunity to explore how St. Joseph took on the responsibility of caring for the Holy Family. When he discovered Mary to be with child, his initial plan was to act with dignity and kindness and quietly “put her away.” Read the full article here.
St. Joseph is Canada’s patron saint, so it’s no wonder French-Canadian devotion to him runs deep and includes naming churches and children after the foster father of Jesus. The cathedral of the Diocese of Burlington, St. Joseph’s, was founded as a Burlington church for immigrants from Quebec, which shares a border with Vermont. It was the first French National Church, founded in 1850 to serve French-speaking Catholics. Read the full article here.
​Ten seconds went by.  Then my husband came up from under the car again, but this time he had the most incredulous look on his face.  “I don’t know who you just talked to,” he said.  “But that thing that was stuck just fell off in my hand.”  Within about five minutes, the repair was done and the clunking was gone.  My husband dutifully returned the borrowed tools and got back into the car.  Just as he shut the door, the first raindrops began to splatter against the windshield. Wonderful, reliable Saint Joseph. Without a doubt, he is among my favorites. Read the full article here.
God told St. Joseph, “Do not be afraid.” As I turn to St. Joseph, he tells me, “Do not be afraid. Set aside your fears, your frustrations and disappointments and embrace the way things are – both the positives and the negatives – not with mere resignation, but with hope and courage.” Pope Francis assures us that if we follow St. Joseph’s example, we will be open to the deeper meaning of our current circumstances. Read the full article here.

St. Joseph Gallery

Find photos of St. Joseph from parishes throughout the Diocese.

Send your photos of St. Joseph to amasker@vermontcatholic.org to be featured in the gallery.



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