Every year on March 19, the Church takes a day within the season of Lent to celebrate one of the greatest and most important figures of the new testament, St. Joseph. St. John Vianney Theological Seminary is certainly no exception, and this year the seminary celebrated the legal father of Christ with a Eucharistic procession around the campus of the St. John Paul II Center For the New Evangelization.
“The scriptures today present for us St. Joseph as a model for priesthood in as much as he is presented as a man of charity,” explained Fr. Angel Perez-Lopez, seminary formation advisor, in his homily for the feast. “[St. Joseph] hoped against hope, and he believed, and he was credited with righteousness… and he is charged with a mission that is utterly impossible.” St. Joseph is respected as a model of manhood as well as fatherhood for seminarians.
The procession occurred Wednesday evening in anticipation for the solemnity the following day. Over 120 priests, seminarians, religious, and lay persons processed around the grounds of the St. John Paul II Center for the New Evangelization, stopping at three altars erected outside in order to adore Jesus in the blessed sacrament. The procession lasted around 45 minutes, and even attracted onlookers from the neighboring houses. “There were people standing on their balconies, taking photos,” remarked Phoenix seminarian, Frankie Cicero. “It was awesome!”
Following the procession, the seminary enjoyed a banquet in common to celebrate the feast of the holy spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The seminary often marks these special days in the liturgical calendar of the Church with great celebration, as they remind us of the victory Christ has already won for us in his resurrection, and the faith of the many who have gone before us.
Find photos of the St. Joseph’s Mass and Eucharistic Procession here.