St. Joseph, Provider, came to the assistance of the heavily pressed community in every emergency. …Confidence in Mary Immaculate and St. Joseph were well founded. …Their protection had been a beacon of light seen in the darkest hour. (Mother Frances Walsh, Annals of St. Cecilia Convent, 1860-1881)
The above quotation, taken from the earliest history of our Congregation, speaks of a devotion to and confidence in St. Joseph that has expanded and flourished since the foundation of our community. As provider for the Holy Family, St. Joseph has never ceased to provide for our St. Cecilia Dominican family. Invoked as Guardian of Virgins, St. Joseph has maintained a strong paternal presence in the lives of our sisters. Extolled as a model of obedience, fidelity, chastity, prudence, humility and patience, St. Joseph provides an example worthy of imitation for us as religious women, as he does for all members of the Church.
While the example of the sisters who have gone before us encourages us today to a strong personal devotion to St. Joseph, community devotion to this most faithful of patrons also takes manifold forms. St. Joseph is invoked in both our noon and night prayers as we ask for his intercession to make us pure, humble, charitable, and resigned to the divine will. Further, each Wednesday, the day traditionally dedicated to the foster father of the Son of God, we offer our Mass and Holy Communion for his continued intercession on behalf of the spiritual and temporal needs of the community.
Our confidence in St. Joseph finds renewed vigor and expression in our annual novena in his honor, observed for nine days prior to the solemn celebration of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary, on March 19. The daily recitation of St. Joseph’s litany during these nine days and the singing of our novena hymn renews our affection for this powerful protector. Born from the community’s long devotion to this saint is a natural confidence in St. Joseph as an intercessor for pressing community needs.
As Patron of the Universal Church, St. Joseph ought to occupy a special place in the lives of all members of Christ’s Mystical Body. Further, Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, we claim with deep joy a special devotion to this powerful intercessor and guide as we strive to continue to live our Dominican life in its fullness and depth for the glory of God and the good of His Church.