When our youngest was in Catholic grammar school, the school purchased new lockers for the junior high students. This was a wonderful event because lockers were an exciting addition. The only catch was that assembly and installation were required.
The school sent out a request for volunteers to show up to help one Saturday morning. They were flooded with positive responses. In fact, the biggest problem was to make sure that every person who offered to help actually got a chance to help.
Almost all the volunteers that morning were men. They were excited and happy to be able to serve the school in a way they felt comfortable. Not everyone wants to be a lector or a Eucharistic minister. Some do not have the skill to sing in a choir. But on this day, many were happy to bring a willing arm and a screwdriver to do something good for others.
In a way, one might call them the “St. Josephs” of the parish. There are lots of them. They, like St. Joseph should be celebrated.
Pope Francis, in his pastoral letter, With a Father’s Heart writes:
Each of us can discover in Joseph – the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence – an intercessor, a support and a guide in times of trouble. Saint Joseph reminds us that those who appear hidden or in the shadows can play an incomparable role in the history of salvation. A word of recognition and of gratitude is due to them all.
We all know a St. Joseph. I know one well – I am married to a St. Joseph.
He has always been generous man but especially has given his handy-man talents to friends, family and his faith.
I could list the many things my husband has fixed for so many people but what really stands out is what he did recently for our grandchildren.
Last summer, when no one was going anywhere, there were lots of shortages. One thing in short supply was kiddie pools. We could not find one for our six, local grandchildren.
My husband assessed the situation and did an inventory of our garage and figured out how to build a pool. He used scaffolding planks, a heavy duty tarp and a lot of ingenuity.
The grandkids were thrilled and we have even used it again this summer. For me the pool is a symbol of how much my husband loves his family and how hard he will work to bring coolness, comfort and joy to those he loves.
There was no news coverage – “Man Builds Kiddie Pool.” There was no award – “Best family innovator during a pandemic.” Rather, there was just the appreciation of a family who is glad that this St. Joseph will work quietly and diligently to make life better.
There are loads of St. Josephs out there who do the same for their family, They also are the kind of people who will volunteer their skills and good will to their church.
Let us appreciate and utilize our St. Josephs more.
And let us thank the ones we know.