HILTON HEAD—As a man who experienced life’s anxieties and struggles, St. Joseph is the kind of father, husband and role model who is relevant to every family, according to Steve Wood, founder and director of Family Life Center International and St. Joseph Covenant Keepers.
Wood was the keynote speaker at the eighth annual Diocesan Rosary Celebration held Oct. 10 at St. Francis by the Sea Church. The theme was “St. Joseph in Our Day.” It was sponsored by the Shrine of Our Lady of South Carolina — Our Lady of Joyful Hope in Kingstree.
In his talk, he described St. Joseph’s role with four components. First, as intercessor for family finances.
“St. Joseph was not removed from life’s anxieties and struggles,” Wood said.
He can also assist single mothers, mentors, coaches, youth ministers and Scout leaders.
“St. Joseph can provide an invaluable spiritual link as a heavenly father for those children living without a father in the home,” Wood said.
The saint is also a healer of radical feminism, where abortion is viewed as liberation, according to the speaker.
“Both men and women need a positive image of what genuine and faithful love by a husband and father looks like,” he said. “St. Joseph’s influence can aid in healing many bitter hearts.”
St. Joseph is also an icon of fidelity.
“Our culture is sending false messages to men that they can take advantage of women instead of faithfully taking care of them,” Wood said. “St. Joseph’s example is a desperately needed message to men in our day that faithfulness within marriage is possible and necessary even in the most stressful situations.”
An estimated 300 people participated in the celebration. Lanny and Donna Breczinski drove from Myrtle Beach.
“You cannot be Catholic and not love and be inspired by an event such as this,” Mr. Breczinski said. “The consecration led by the bishop made me realize again why we pray the rosary, and it brought tears to my eyes when we prayed ‘the Son of God desired you for His Mother.’”
St. Francis by the Sea parishioners Normand and Lorraine Dufour led the rosary with meditations on hope in each glorious mystery. Mass was celebrated by Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone and concelebrated by Fathers Michael J. Oenbrink and John Paul Pentareddy, the hosting pastor and parochial vicar, respectively; Father Ronald R. Cellini, pastor of St. Gregory the Great in Bluffton; and Father Stanley Smolenski, director of the shrine.
In his homily, Father Oenbrink highlighted the pro-life dimension of St. Joseph, saying he was responsible for defending the Christ Child from being murdered.
Father Smolenski said Pope Benedict XVI recently entrusted the future of the church and world to St. Joseph, and every person and parish in the diocese comes under that protection, so the saint should be remembered in daily prayer.
The celebration included music by organist Jonathan Davis and the parish choir. A reception was provided by parishioners. Visitors came from many places, such as Summerville and Columbia.
“When you pray to St. Joseph, he always guides us to Mary, who in turn guides us to Jesus, her beloved Son, to grow in holiness and increase our faith, to share His peace, love and joy,” said Joan Marie Cushing from Murrells Inlet.
Father Smolenski said this was evident as the attendees heard about St. Joseph, then prayed the rosary and participated in the Lord’s Eucharist.Father Stan Smolenski, spma, director of the shrine, and Aaron Joseph of Enfield, Conn., promoter of St. Joseph: Our Patron, contributed to this article.