Louisiana senate recognizes Year of St Joseph

Louisiana Senator Fred Mills standing with Fr. Michael Champagne holding a framed copy of resolution Senator Resolution No. 116. Credit: Jennifer Angelle. Louisiana Senator Fred Mills standing with Fr. Michael Champagne holding a framed copy of Senate Resolution No. 116. Credit: Jennifer Angelle.

The Louisiana State Senate has passed a resolution recognizing May 1 as St. Joseph the Worker Day in the state.

The resolution was passed in the spirit of the Church’s year of St. Joseph, which the resolution says was “inspired by the need for increased virtue in the world.”

The resolution, which was sponsored by Senator Fred Mills and was passed unanimously, was signed by Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin May 28. 

"The senate is extremely pro life, extremely Catholic, and extremely Christian,” Mills told CNA. “That was probably the easiest thing I've done in my fourteen years of being in the legislature.”

The resolution also declares that the Louisiana Senate recognizes and commemorates the period of December 8, 2020, to December 8, 2021, as the "Year of St. Joseph".

The resolution also recognizes May 1 as a day dedicated to working Louisiana men and women  “who get up every day and work hard to provide for and lift-up their families, their communities, the state of Louisiana, and the United States of America.”

Upon signing of the resolution, a copy has been sent to Father Donald H. Calloway, MIC, Father Michael Champagne, CJC, Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Bishop Douglas Deshotels of the Diocese of Lafayette, the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the governor of Louisiana. 

Fr. Champagne, who supported Mills in drafting the resolution’s language, told CNA, “down here the Catholic faith is very much the fragrance of the culture and the people."

The resolution highlights the movement within the Church toward devotion to St. Joseph as a reason for passing the resolution.

The resolution particularly names certain priests because of their work and devotion to St. Joseph. Father Michael Champagne was named for his creation of the "Exodus 290 St. Joseph Pilgrimage," a pilgrimage encouraging the faithful and the citizens of Louisiana to retrace the same distance Joseph traveled in the Bible. 

The pilgrimage is approximately 290 miles and follows a path of churches in the Diocese of Lafayette that are dedicated to St. Joseph.  

Fr. Donald Calloway MIC was highlighted as “a devout and faithful Catholic priest” for his work in publishing and selling over 1 million copies of his consecration book, “St. Joseph The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father.”

The resolution also acknowledges the titles Pope Francis has given to St. Joseph.

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