Bishop Brennan will Celebrate Mass This Evening, March 19, at the Cathedral for the Solemnity of St. Joseph

By Colleen Rowan WHEELING—The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston is beginning the Year of St. Joseph today, March 19, the Solemnity of St. Joseph. This evening, at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling, Bishop Mark Brennan will celebrate a 6 p.m. Mass which will be livestreamed on the diocese’s website: www.dwc.org. Other prayerful gatherings on the solemnity at the cathedral are planned and will be livestreamed as well: morning prayer at 9 a.m., Mass at 12:05 p.m. followed by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament until 5 p.m., Stations of the Cross at 5:15 p.m., and the Mass celebrated by Bishop Brennan at 6 p.m. In a letter to the faithful last month announcing that the Year of St. Joseph would begin in the diocese on the Solemnity of St. Joseph, the bishop said: “This special day in our Church’s liturgical calendar honors Joseph, foster father of Christ and spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.” Pope Francis proclaimed the Year of St. Joseph to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the declaration of the foster father of Jesus as Patron of the Universal Church. St. Joseph is also the patron of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, so this moment also brings a special opportunity to Catholics of West Virginia. The diocese has also launched a special Year of St. Joseph page on its website which may be accessed by visiting dwc.org/year-of-st-joseph/. The page offers in depth information on St. Joseph, including patronage, feasts, prayers and liturgies, and more. The page also provides a look at the parishes and missions of the diocese named for the saint: the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling, St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Weirton, St. Joseph Parish in Huntington, St. Joseph Parish in Martinsburg, St. Joseph Mission in Proctor, St. Joseph Chapel in Mason, St. Joseph Chapel in Pennsboro, and St. Joseph the Worker Mission in Whitesville. Links to resources are also available on the page. St. Joseph prayer cards are being created for the faithful as well. The diocese will be releasing a series of four different prayer cards, with four different images featuring a statue of St. Joseph from around the diocese.  “Each one will be released at a different time throughout the Year of St. Joseph, beginning with first one depicting the St. Joseph Altar in the Cathedral of St. Joseph,” said Bernadette McMasters Kime, director of the Office of Worship and Sacraments. “Permission was given by the Vatican for the diocese to use the prayer written by Pope Francis when he issued his proclamation on the Year of St. Joseph.” The diocese is preparing resources for parishes, catechists, and schools for the special year. Kime said there will be two guidebooks: Parish Resource Guide and Catholic Educational Guide. They will contain prayers, resources, activities, lesson plans, and liturgical resources. The prayer cards and guidebooks will be mailed to parishes this month. During the special year, The Catholic Spirit will have a Spotlight on St. Joseph page in print editions, which are published on the first Friday of each month. Bishop Brennan also noted in his letter that the Solemnity of St. Joseph falls on a Friday this year, when the faithful would normally abstain from meat for Lent. However, Catholics have a dispensation from abstain- ing from meat today because March 19 is a solemnity. The bishop encouraged the faithful, as is the custom of St. Joseph’s Table, to double efforts to feed the poor, either by donations of food to local shel- ters, or volunteering to serve meals to the poor. Ending his letter, the bishop said: “Together let us give thanks to God for the life and example of St. Joseph, especially as we prepare to begin this special Year of St. Joseph in our Church.” See Bishop Brennan’s full letter on the Solemnity of St. Joseph at www.dwc.org.