The following has just been received from Fr. Stan Smolenski:
THE APOSTOLATE FOR FAMILY CONSECRATION HAD A CONFERENCE ON ST. JOSEPH DURING OCTOBER 1-3. IT CONCLUDED WITH A VOTUM/PETITION TO THE HOLY FATHER TO DECLARE 2012 AS 'THE YEAR OF ST. JOSEPH' - HONORING THE 2000TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FINDING IN THE TEMPLE - THE LAST TIME ST. JOSEPH'S PRESENCE IS MENTIONED IN THE GOSPELS. THE BISHOP OF STEUBENVILLE AND ALL PARTICIPATING THEOLOGIANS SIGNED THE DOCUMENT WHICH WILL BE HAND DELIVERED TO THE POPE BY AN AFC FRIEND IN THE PAPAL OFFICE. - AFC REQUESTS PRAYERS FOR THE POPE'S ACCEPTANCE... THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION...
October 3, 2010
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
00120 Vatican City State
We, the speakers and participants of the "Totus Tuus-Consecrate Them in Truth" Family Conference focused on Building a Culture of Life through St. Joseph, Guardian of the Christ Child, held on October 1-3, 2010 at the Apostolate for Family Consecration, Catholic Familyland, in Bloomingdale, Ohio, USA, wish respectfully to bring to your attention the following petition for your consideration:
That a universal "Year of St. Joseph" be declared in the Church from the dates of 19 March 2012 to 19 March 2013 (or any other dates suitable to Your Holiness), in order to invoke the special protection of St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, on behalf of the People of God at this present historical moment, and to raise up St. Joseph as the greatest exemplar of Christian fatherhood for the benefit of all families of the world today. We also humbly request that a formal consecration or entrustment of the Church to St. Joseph, Patron of the People of God, be made by Your Holiness on 19 March 2012, or at some other appropriate time during the 2012-2013 "Year of St. Joseph."
The Year 2012 constitutes, in general, the two thousandth anniversary of the last appearance of St. Joseph in Sacred Scripture, that being the presence of St. Joseph at the finding of Jesus in the Temple when the Christ Child was 12 years old (cf. Luke 2:41-52). As he was declared "Patron of the Universal Church" in 1870 by Pope Pius IX, a universal Church year dedicated to St. Joseph in seeking his particular intercession would be especially efficacious for the People of God amidst the grave crises facing the Church today.
"I am convinced that by reflection upon the way that Mary's spouse shared in the divine mystery, the Church--on the road towards the future with all humanity-will be enabled to discover ever anew her own identity within this redemptive plan, which is founded on the mystery of the Incarnation. Besides trusting in Joseph's sure protection, the Church also trusts in his noble example, which transcends all individual states of life and serves as a model for the Christian community, whatever the condition and duties of each of its members may be." (Pope John Paul II, Guardian of the Redeemer, 1; 30)
As with the universal Church, so too, with the domestic Church, the present challenges facing the Christian family in general and the role of Christian husband and father in particular would be greatly aided by the sublime example and powerful intercession of the divinely appointed Head of the Holy Family. "The crisis of fatherhood that we are experiencing today is a basic aspect of the crisis that threatens mankind as a whole." (The God of Jesus Christ, p.29, Joseph Cardinal
Most Holy Father, we the members of this Conference gathered from various parts of the United States and beyond, wish to express to Your Holiness our collective and ardent desire for you, according to God's holy will, to consider the declaration of this "Year of St. Joseph," which we believe will bring forth profound graces to the universal Church through its providential Patron, and to the domestic Church, through the intercession of him who is already the spiritual Father of each and every Christian family and greatest model for every husband and father.
We join to this petition our firm promise of humble prayers for Your Holiness, in regards to this petition, and for the continuation of your heroic and inspired guidance of the People of God as our Vicar of Christ and Universal Shepherd. We humbly request the Apostolic Blessing for ourselves and our dear ones.
Very respectfully yours in the love of the Holy Family,
Most Rev. R. Daniel Conlon, Bishop of Steubenville
Fr. Basil Cole, O.P.
Fr. Kevin Barrett
Fr. High Gillespie, S.M.M.
Dr. Scott Hahn
Dr. Mark Miravalle
Dr. Alice von Hildebrand