In today’s reading on St. Joseph as “Glory of Domestic Life,” Fr. Calloway points to St. Teresa of Avila. She reformed the female Carmelites, who had become rather lazy in the 16th century. Spanish Carmelite monasteries had become something like upscale condos for wealthy women rather than simple domestic communities. To reform the Order, she called upon St. Joseph, and she named most of the sixteen communities she founded Convento de San Jose. “If you lovingly welcome St. Joseph into your home,” writes Fr. Calloway, “he will greatly bless your domestic life.”
Six years ago I tried to establish a community of priests and brothers here in San Francisco, but I failed. There were many reasons that San Francisco still does not have supportive communities of diocesan priests. I thank God that the five of us currently at my rectory (four priests and one seminarian) pray twice a day together and take our meals in common, but how long will this last? What makes for stable domestic life, either of consecrated persons or of spouses and children? Certainly St. Joseph is a big part of stable family life. Perhaps what I did not do for the “San Francisco Oratory” was to put the whole effort under the patronage of St. Joseph. To welcome St. Joseph into our homes is to honor him daily in our devotions and to call upon his intercession. The Litany of St. Joseph, which we pray every day in these preparations, is a good daily or at least weekly prayer for families.