“I think some of it is trying to reclaim a masculinity that's been lost over the years in our faith,” he said. “And also as a man, it's a little easier for me to get the perspective of St. Joseph in Jesus's story, than it is for me to look from Mary's side of things.”
On the other hand, Kalonick said that as a woman, growing closer to St. Joseph has been a “healing experience” for her in light of some of the hurt she experienced in past relationships with men.
“It helps heal and form my own perspective of (good relationships),” she said. “Here is a man who is pure-hearted, and virtuous, and loving the Lord, and loving this lady."
Kalonick said the point is not to “idealize” St. Joseph or to set “false expectations” of real men, but to “get to know the realness of Joseph and who a man can be, who he is, what man is, and to start looking for that in the relationships that you seek out.”
As someone studying for the priesthood, De Guzman said the consecration has inspired him to learn more about the earthly father to whom Jesus himself was entrusted.
“Christ was consecrated to these two, Joseph and Mary were his father and his mother here on earth. Jesus grew through the fatherhood of St. Joseph. For me, I'm studying to be a priest (and) as a Christian, I want to be more like Christ. What better way to be more like Christ than to develop the same kind of love and relationship with his father?”
Like the Marian consecration, the consecration to St. Joseph is becoming very popular among Catholics - even though it was just published on January 1.
“So far people are loving it, and parishes and places that are doing it, they're loving it,” Calloway said. “It's unbelievable...we almost can't keep up with the demand.”
Calloway said he thinks part of the reason the consecration has been “flying off the shelves” is because the world is starving for good fathers. According to 2017 U.S. Census Bureau data, more than one in four children are growing up in a fatherless home.
“We've got a lot of people with a lot of father wounds and absent fathers,” he said. “They don't know what a father is and they've never experienced their loving father or a father who's present in their lives.”
Besides a crisis of fatherhood in families, the Church itself is also experiencing a crisis of spiritual fathers today, Calloway said, referring to the priests and bishops and cardinals who have been found guilty of both “sinful and criminal things” in recent sex abuse scandals.
“(They’ve) hurt a lot of people caused a lot of scandal,” he said. “And so people right now are thirsting for a good father.”
“Part of what I would like the fruit of this to be is the affirmation that we do have a loving father in St. Joseph, and he's never going to hurt us. He's there for us and a good father who wants his children to make it to heaven. And he's ultimately, like Our Lady, not going to point to himself, but point us to Jesus and help us to grow.”
Another aspect of St. Joseph’s sainthood that may not be well known are the various patronages and titles he holds, Calloway added, and each day of the consecration is dedicated to one of these.
Perhaps one of the only well-known St. Joseph traditions, that leans more superstitious than spiritual, is the burying a St. Joseph statue upside down in the yard, with the belief that he will then help one’s house sell faster. “It’s kind of spiritual bribery,” Calloway said.
“They’ll say, ‘I’m not going to turn you right-side up until you sell my house. Well what kind of craziness is that?” Rather, there are much more profound things for which St. Joseph’s intercession can be invoked, such as for a good death.
“He's the patron of the dying, because the tradition says that when he died, he died in the arms of Jesus and Mary. You won't get a better death than that, so when you pray to him for a happy death...we pray that we would be embraced by our Lord and our Lady,” Calloway noted.
St. Joseph is also the patron of virgins, Calloway said, because he never had marital relations with Mary.
“We live in a world that's just filled with lust and perversions of every kind, and we've got this pornographic plague right now. And I think that's something that we can look to him for as well. Not just for virgins, but also for marriages, for couples to be chaste within their marriage...and to have that dignity for each other and that respect for each other.”
Some of Calloway’s other favorite titles for St. Joseph include Pillar of Families and Glory of Domestic life, he said, but the “money title” is: Terror of Demons.
“Because you know, a lot of times you look at (artwork of St. Joseph) and it doesn't look too intimidating. He looks old with the cane,” Calloway said. “But the reality is he wasn't some old man. And that's really not a cane - it's like a staff of a warrior.”
“Satan knows the power that (St. Joseph) has because he has such familiarity and intimacy with Christ. Just like when our Lady asks Jesus to do something, she's asking as his mother, well when Joseph asks, he's asking Jesus as his father, and so there's power in that petition and Satan is terrified that.”
Besides the 33 days of reflections, the Consecration to St. Joseph book contains reflections on the “wonders of St. Joseph,” which include descriptions of miraculous places and events attributed to St. Joseph’s intercession. The book also includes additional prayers, such as the Litany of St. Joseph, the Holy Cloak novena, and other prayers from saints and popes dedicated to St. Joseph, as well as guides for those leading small groups with the consecration.
The website for the consecration to St. Joseph also contains a chart which shows when one can begin the 33-day consecration in order for it to end on specific feast days or holy days related to St. Joseph.
Consecration books can be ordered through the website as well - but order quickly, they are going fast, Calloway noted. De Guzman said he would encourage anyone interested in growing closer to St. Joseph to do the consecration, or any other devotion that would bring them closer to the saint.
Even though the saint is known for his silence and humility “it seems like now is the time for his fatherhood to really shine in our lives, and so I would encourage people to really respond to that.”