By Beth Zarate, President and Chief Executive Officer, Catholic Charities West Virginia St. Joseph’s Day is a Roman Catholic feast day commemorating the life of St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus and husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Our world needs fathers, and more than ever, West Virginia needs foster fathers. Becoming a foster father is a special calling – one that requires big hearts committed to unconditional love and to protecting precious growing hearts. This requires taking the risk to love, knowing loss might be a part in the end. Foster parents go all in and love extraordinarily, just as St. Joseph did! Reflecting on the life of St. Joseph, we know he said YES – not maybe or when things are going better, or only if there is no dishonor involved – he said YES to all of it. As I move more deeply into my Lenten journey, I personally question how fully I respond to God. Joseph was a very religious man; he was humble, a hard worker, provider, protector, and at all times, obedient to the will of God. A role model for all fathers, he cared for others and demonstrated an unwavering faith in God’s plan for his life. Christ could have chosen any parents, but he chose poor parents. I have to believe he knew Joseph understood the value of being holy first and trusting that God will provide the rest. Each of us can discover in Joseph a guide in navigating challenging times and an example of serving as a part of God’s plan for our life. The COVID pandemic has been especially hard on minorities and low-income families. We express gratitude that so many people have quietly stepped up in response and made hidden sacrifices to help others. Like Joseph, they answered the call to serve. At Catholic Charities, our mission calls us to collaborate with community partners, parishes and families, to work together in service. As we work to eliminate poverty, we are each called to offer help and support. Daily, across the state, our staff is blessed by volunteers – those who drop off a donation, make a toiletry bag, serve a meal, check in on a shut in, help prepare taxes, play cards at the homeless shelter, or sit in prayer for us. We must recognize that there are so many forces in our consumer culture working against us; we must take good care that we give more than we take. St. Joseph, pray for us! To learn more about Catholic Charities West Virginia, visit www. The Mission of Catholic Charities West Virginia: Guided by God’s love, Catholic Charities collaborates with community partners, parishes and families to provide caring and compassionate services to people in need and work toward lasting and meaningful change.