Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

St. Joseph the Worker

Today is the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. 
From the Apostolate of Joseph Site:
In 1955 Venerable Pope Pius XII, established the Feast Day of “St. Joseph the Worker” to be celebrated annually on May 1. This date was specifically chosen in order to counteract the predominantly Socialist and Communist holiday “International Workers’ Day,” also known as “May Day.” Pius XII encouraged laborers to look to St. Joseph as their model and to ask for his intercession in their work. 


This is one of my favorite pictures of the Holy Family. I like the "realness" of it - the blurry fatigued look on Mary's face with the fat and pink baby boy nursing at her breast, with no thoughts of covering up or modesty because she's in her own home and frankly, when you are as tired as a new mama can be, modesty is the last thing on your mind, while getting that kid to latch on correctly is a small victory! But I also like St. Joseph in the background, doing his labor, hot and dirty but satisfying work that supports his family. I think it is very appropriate for today's feast, Joseph the Worker.

During pregnancy, childbirth and then nursing, Mr. Pete stepped in many times to fulfill his role as worker, but then also to allow me to fulfill my role as a mother. Last weekend Mr. Pete got up early on Saturday to set up soccer goals for the league, then watched Izzy play soccer. He hurriedly joined me down at the library to watch Rosie play the piano and then admire her art in the art show. That evening he drove a van full of kids 30 minutes away for a dress rehearsal and then spent 8 hours there on Sunday dropping kids off, watching a 3 1/2 h our play and then helping break down the set. He also worked on putting a new bumper on Gabe's car and then went to work at his business bright and early on Monday morning (after dropping Izzy off at her job!)

I think that is why on the first day of May, a month where we honor Mary, we give a nod to St. Joseph. And that's as it should be. Joseph, blessed spouse and beloved foster father made it easier for Mary to fulfill her role as mother and homemaker. His work as a carpenter sustained the family.
Things to do!

What a wonderful feast in the liturgical year and a good day to remember the husbands and fathers in our own little domestic churches.

  • Tell Dad Thank you for all he does for the family.
  • Maybe Mom and the kids can do one of Dad's jobs today like taking down garbage or yard work. Noah is going to do some scraping outside so Dad won't have to do it.
  • Put up a statue of St. Joseph today and say a special prayer to him. 
  • St. Joseph
  • Light a candle in church or at home in honor of St. Joseph or do it digitally.
  • Read a book about St. Joseph! This is one of my favorite's by Father Lovasik. 

O glorious Patriarch, Saint Joseph, humble and just artisan of Nazareth, thou hast given to all Christians and particularly to us an example of a perfect life through diligent labor and admirable union with Jesus and Mary. Assist us in our daily work in order that we, Catholic artisans, may also see in it an effective means of glorifying God, of sanctifying ourselves, and of being a useful member in the society in which we live. These should be the highest ideals for all our actions. 
O dearest Protector, obtain for us from the Lord humility and simplicity of heart, love for our work and kindness towards our fellow-laborers; conformity to God's will in the unavoidable trials of this life together with joy in bearing them; recognition of our specific social mission and a sense of responsibility; the spirit and discipline of prayer; docility and respectfulness towards superiors; the spirit of brotherhood towards our equals; charity and indulgence with our dependents.
Accompany us in times of prosperity when the opportunity is given for an honest enjoyment of the fruits of our labors; sustain us in our hours of sadness, when Heaven seems to be shut in our regard, and even the very tools with which our hands toil appear to rebel against us.
Grant that, in imitation of thee, we may keep our eyes fixed on our Mother, Mary, thy dearest Spouse, who as she spun silently in a corner of thy shop would let the sweetest smile course over her lips. Besides, may we never take our eyes off Jesus, Who was busily occupied with thee at the carpenter’s bench, in order that we in like manner may lead on earth a peaceful and a holy life, a prelude to the life of eternal happiness that awaits us in Heaven forever and ever. +Amen.

See my St. Joseph links on del.icio.us

St Joseph the Worker
Father Lawrence OP via flickr, licensed cc