Saint Joseph’s Ministry is an outreach initiative offered by DCCH Center for Children and Families' Therapeutic Foster Care Program, with support from the Diocese of Covington. It was created to raise awareness of the many ways the church and faith communities can support children in Kentucky’s public child protection system.
As St. Joseph accepted the task of fostering Jesus, we as Christians are also called to care for the orphan. As a fundamental teaching of the Church and as noted in James 1:27, Christians are called to care for widow and orphans. This role can come in many forms: Perhaps full-time fostering of a child for a season? Maybe adopting a child or sibling group and making a lifetime commitment? Nearly one fourth of the 10,000 children in foster care will come to need an adoptive family.
St. Joseph Ministry not only aims to help educate the community about foster care, it also calls the rest of the church to wrap a loving embrace around the family from your individual church community who is or will be taking on this difficult calling. We can do this through prayers and by offering goods and services. A foster/adoptive family from your church may need help with a meal during a busy time, or with getting a child to or from school or an activity. Maybe just a piece of furniture or new car seat, or some hand-me down clothes. Maybe an evening off for a respite break, or some tutoring for the child will make the task more manageable.
Know that DCCH will try to coordinate the support offered from your own church. DCCH seeks a volunteer from each church to become a liaison or an ambassador to assist DCCH with these efforts.
St. Joseph's Ministry Guidebook (PDF download)
Virtues Shared by Foster Father of Jesus
A Prayer for Foster Children
Dear Joseph, foster father of Jesus and protector of the Holy Family, in you we contemplate a model of courage and compassion.
Help us be more courageous in making space for God in our lives, so we may be better guardians of the vulnerable, especially the children and their families seeking our care.
As we contemplate your role, alongside the Blessed Virgin Mary, as first teacher of the faith to Jesus, may we recognize our own call to live with conviction and fidelity God’s mercy and faithfulness.
Help us to be more compassionate, so we may be present and faithful to all, but especially to those children whose lives are chaotic, anxiety-filled and too often marred by violence.
As we contemplate the Holy Family’s moments of stress in Jesus’ young life — your betrothal to the Blessed Virgin Mary, your flight to Egypt, losing Jesus in the Temple — may we recognize our own call to give tender care and protection to those whom God brings to us.
Help us to be strong and wise in our faith, yet tender and open to love, as you were. May God grant that our families, including our parish family, be places of communion and prayer, authentic schools of the Gospel.
Photo credit: St. Joseph By Manuel Farrugia (2019). Commissioned by Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC consecrationtostjoseph.org