Fatherhood can be terrifying. You literally hold a fragile little life in your hands -- and you realize you have no idea what you're doing! Something like that was my experience as a newly ordained priest. Suddenly you're responsible for the spiritual health and well-being of a couple thousand people. Some of them are older than your parents, many are little kids, and lots are broken and needy. But you're broken and needy too.

By my third year of priesthood, I felt more and more that I was the one needing help. And I turned to St. Joseph. He had to raise the Son of God, while being married to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Oh, and the local king decided to kill the child. St. Joseph became my inspiration for how a man should live priesthood. Priests are called to chastity in all their relationships. They should be strong protectors and good guides for children. Above all they should listen well to the voice of God. I wrote a Priest's Prayer to St. Joseph that summed up my thoughts. I've been praying it every day since then. Please continue praying to St. Joseph each day. Please dedicate today to all the priests who are having a hard time not being able to celebrate Mass with a congregation.

Prayer to St. Joseph

Good St. Joseph,
as you led the Holy Family, watch over our families.
Help our family and all families to know and share God’s love.
In our family relationships, may we find healing and seek to be holy.

May our fathers help us to become faithful disciples of Jesus
who share our love for Him.
As a foster father of Jesus,
watch over all who serve as spiritual fathers.
In a special way, bless our Holy Father, our Bishop, and our priests.
May they follow your humble example in their fatherly care
for the people of God, the Church.

With Mary, you raised Jesus the High Priest.
You know our need for priests.
Please raise up good and holy priests from our families
to serve the people of our diocese.
May our children and grandchildren hear and say “yes” to the call of Jesus, just as you and Mary did.

Good St. Joseph, pray for us.