We Go to Joseph!
Sister M. Anna Astell
In a year dedicated to Saint Joseph what could be more fitting than to take time to raise our hearts and voices to the earthly guardian of our Lord and of the Blessed Mother. Sister M. Anna Astell, from the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary, has written a Novena dedicated to Saint Joseph. She felt inspired to write it before the Holy Father dedicated this year to Saint Joseph. We have asked her to tell us a little about the novena and her inspirations.
What inspired you to write this Novena?
In March, 2018, at the start of the nine days before the Feast of Saint Joseph, the Schoenstatt Family in Indiana sponsored a bus pilgrimage to the Schoenstatt Shrine in Waukesha, Wisconsin. 2018 also marked the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Father Joseph Kentenich in 1968. It seemed fitting to draw a spiritual link between the two Josephs by remembering what Father Kentenich had to say about his great patron saint.
The theme “We Go to Joseph” was also partly inspired by a word from Saint André Bessette, a Brother of Holy Cross, who regularly sent people who came to him in need of miracles to St. Joseph. Father Kentenich similarly sent the people who came to him for help to our Lady in the Schoenstatt Shrine. In every shrine of the Mater Ter Admirabilis there is a statue of St. Joseph. Mary, Jesus, and Joseph are all present in the shrine as Holy Family to form holy families.
What inspired you to use the verses of the song at the beginning of each day?
As the proverb goes, “singing is twice praying”! Singing is always a joyful thing to do, especially if you gather in a group to pray. On the bus and in the shrine when we arrived, we made a “joyful sound unto the Lord” with our hymns.
Why do you think the person of St. Joseph is a timely figure in our day and age?
The first word that comes to mind is “father.” In our times it is very difficult for men to fulfill their mission as fathers for their families. Without a father, children lack an indispensable source of strength and shelter for their development. Without a positive, trusting relationship with a father-figure, children cannot easily relate to God the Father. St. Joseph was chosen by God to be the earthly representative of the Heavenly Father for the Child Jesus. Every father has a similar mission to reflect God the Father’s love, wisdom, and strength within the family.