Contributors Do whatever he tells you

Let the foster father of Jesus become your Lenten guide

Do whatever He tells you
Rick Cheek is the associate consultant for the office of evangelization and Catholic formation of youth.

by Rick Cheek

Just a few days into Lent and you may be struggling with, “Why on earth should I give up anything this Lent? I’ve given up so much in the past year. Do I really need to do something more? Isn’t wearing a mask ‘more’?”

To be honest, that’s all the more reason to look forward to Lent. Let me explain.

Attending the Iowa Catholic Conference last September, I heard Father Donald Calloway’s talk about his devotion not only to the Blessed Mother, but also to St. Joseph. His talk really inspired me!

Without knowing Pope Francis would declare this the Year of St. Joseph, I decided in November to read Father Calloway’s book “Consecration to St. Joseph” and pray the consecration.

I am so grateful I did! In sharing this experience with friends, I’m often asked why. My answer: It has made me a better husband and father and has helped a lot with patience. If you know a little bit about the Bible, you know that St. Joseph is never quoted, but he was always a great listener, the perfect foster father to Jesus, a loving spouse of the Blessed Mother and a very prayerful man.

In this year dedicated to St. Joseph, I invite you to spend your Lent growing in relationship with him. Let the foster father of Our Lord Jesus become your spiritual guide. A great place to start is with Father Calloway’s book.

Another good jumping off point would be to sign up for the Tuesday Toolbox (, search “Tuesday Toolbox”) put out by the archdiocesan office of children’s catechesis and evangelization and Catholic formation for youth. Each toolbox will provide further resources to enrich your family’s Lenten journey.

This year, the office of evangelization and Catholic formation for youth is focusing on the Year of St. Joseph at our events.

Our first event on Jan. 16 for high school students focused on encountering the Father’s love through prayer, reconciliation and Mass. We will be hosting the annual junior high youth rally at both Prairie Star Ranch on Feb. 28 and at Seneca’s Knights of Columbus Hall on March 21.

Since we are taking it on the road, our theme this year is “Emmaus,” with a focus on St. Joseph. We will limit Feb. 28 to 180 students and chaperones and March 21 to 275.

Because of this limitation, registration for the junior high rally is on a first-come, first-served basis. In all our events, we will be following CDC guidelines and the local and county government mandates.

As we are taking this journey through Lent and following the Year of St. Joseph, let us know how we can help you grow in your love for St. Joseph and emulate the love he had for Jesus.

About the author

Rick Cheek

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