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COSTA MESA, Calif. (ChurchMilitant.com) - California will be consecrated to St. Joseph this week owing to a grassroots effort to bring the state back to God.
Father Donald Calloway will lead the consecration to St. Joseph at St. John the Baptist church in Costa Mesa on Saturday, May 1 — the feast of St. Joseph the Worker — at 12 p.m. PDT. It will begin with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass followed by a procession around the church neighborhood with a statue of St. Joseph at the helm.
The organizers are inviting all the faithful to join the consecration either in person or online at a livestreamed broadcast of the event.
Father Calloway, the spiritual force behind the event and main celebrant of the consecration Mass, expressed his excitement.
"I am so excited to be participating in the consecration of California to St. Joseph on May 1," he said. "In these very difficult times, we need a message of hope, and all families, marriages, men, women, children, bishops, priests and nuns need to go to St. Joseph!"
Father Calloway told Church Militant he believes the consecration to St. Joseph will bring California closer to Jesus and Mary and bring about an increase of virtue, hope and peace.
Another mover and shaker making the event happen is Angelo Libutti, a Hollywood director and storybook artist. Libutti expressed his enthusiasm about the event to Church Militant.
"I'm really joyful that we are moving forward with the consecration," he said. "Every soul we save will count, and life is too short to let any other earthly obligation stop us from doing good and saving souls. Nothing is more important than serving God."
Libutti, who previously has been instrumental in dedicating California to Our Lady — with plans for a dedication to the Sacred Heart next year — is pleased with the participation of both local laity and priests.
"It's great to see so many people join us this year," explained Libutti. "The priests have actually helped organize and purchase what we need to make it a fantastic day — a day of celebration to the father of Christ, a hearty father that Jesus loved so much."
Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles is not expected to attend, despite repeated invitations, relates Libutti.
Libutti sees Pope Francis' declaring 2021 the "Year of St. Joseph" as an impetus for the event.
On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in 2020, Pope Francis made this declaration in his apostolic letter, Patris Corde (With a Father's Heart), in which he wrote about the importance of fathers like St. Joseph:
Children today often seem orphans, lacking fathers. The Church too needs fathers. Saint Paul's words to the Corinthians remain timely: "Though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers." Every priest or bishop should be able to add, with the Apostle: "I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel."
Attendees of the event will recite the Prayer of Consecration to St. Joseph as well as the Litany of St. Joseph, the latter of which highlights the multifaceted roles St. Joseph plays in the lives of the faithful and includes this excerpt:
The final segment of the event will be a presentation by Fr. Calloway, best-selling author of Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father. In it, Calloway quotes St. José Manyanet, a 19th-century Spanish devotee of the earthly father of Jesus: "I believe that the true time of St. Joseph has not yet arrived; after 2,000 years, we started only now to glimpse something of the mystery in which he is immersed."
But Fr. Calloway says, "Now is the time of St. Joseph!"
Libutti bottom-lined what he wants the event to achieve: "I hope the state of California will receive enough graces to avoid falling completely into a spiritual sinkhole due to the countless sinful lives that cause many others to follow their evil lead."
Coincidental to California's consecration to St. Joseph on May 1 is another that will be held in the Philippines lead by Abp. Romulo Valles at the San Pedro Cathedral in Davao City at 9:54 a.m. It will also be livestreamed on the archdiocese's Facebook page.