Have a reason for doing the Consecration… What is your intention? In other words, what are you asking or hoping for in doing these exercises for the next 33 days and then the Consecration on March 19th?
Fr. Don Calloway summarizes that the general purpose of the Consecration is to grow in our relationship with Jesus by becoming “another Joseph” for Jesus; a faithful, loving and trusting companion of our Savior. We can also focus on asking St Joseph’s help to overcome some bad habit, sinful tendency, past trauma, or troubling situation. We can ask for his guidance and help as our spiritual father to grow in the spiritual life as we come closer to and know our Lord Jesus better.
This preparation is not done by the parish, it is done by you. Doing the daily exercises of spiritual reading and reciting prayers for the next 33 days at your own pace is part of this preparation and will take around 20 minutes.
1. Start out your time with thanking God in a short prayer, using your own words. Then, call to mind what you are hoping to receive by doing this in Consecration.
2. Do the readings from the corresponding day in “Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father” by Fr. Don Calloway. The readings begin on page 13 in the book.
3. Pray the prayers referred to in the book, primarily the Litany of St. Joseph on page 233.
Optional but extremely helpful: Pray the Rosary; Intentionally offer to our Lord Jesus your frustrations, setbacks, temptations, etc. through St. Joseph's intercession. When tempted or frustrated, you can call on your spiritual father – sim[ply call out from your heart "St. Joseph pray for me!" or "St. Joseph help me!" - to help you make the offering to Jesus for your good or the good of others, including the souls in purgatory.
If possible, I encourage you to try to do the readings and prayers first thing in the morning, before beginning your day’s work. If you are doing the preparation with family, including younger children, this may be difficult, so you could leave the readings to do later in the day. I still recommend doing some praying in the morning, offering your day to our Lord Jesus through St. Joseph’s intercession. Starting our day with prayer is offering back to God “the first fruits, ”the fruit of the gift of time we have been given by Him.
After the 33-day preparation, you then do the Consecration by declaring out loud your intention to entrust yourself and family entirely to St. Joseph's paternal care. Preferably, this is done in the presence of others, We will do our Consecration together at a special Outdoor Mass (no RSVP required, please follow outdoor Mass protocols) at 5:45PM on March 19. This day is the Solemnity of St. Joseph, the Husband of Mary, and Bishop Cotta will be presiding. At the same Mass, Bishop Cotta will also consecrate the Diocese of Stockton to St. Joseph. We will be using one of the prayers from Fr. Calloway’s book, starting on page 235.