There is no shortcut to holiness, to being the great Catholic men we are called to be. There is no short-cut past the age-old interior fight that each of us must engage!
Men Today Need a Challenge
Too often in today's world men are not expected to live up to their calling as men. They are often allowed - if not altogether encouraged - to leave their great potential unfulfilled. Bishop Robert Barron calls this the "Homer Simpson Effect."
The Joseph Challenge Pilgrimage is here to address that problem.
Bishop Thomas Olmsted in his exhortation, "Into the Breach," writes: "Every man, particularly today, must come to a mature acceptance and understanding of what it means to be a man."
Part of being a man requires accepting monumental challenges and following through until the end, whether at work, in raising our children, being a loving husband, or in our particular hobbies or interests. Being a man means to keep trying, to not give up, and to constantly implore God's assistance in the face of whatever obstacle we face.
But today's world says it's OK if you don't overcome that obstacle between you and the greatness God wants you to achieve. It's OK to shrink from a challenge when things are difficult.
In days past, Catholic men would don suits of heavy armor, march thousands of miles on foot, and fight and die in defense of the Faith. Catholic missionaries right here in the Mississippi valley would travel hundreds of miles in the face of the unknown to bring the Gospel to native peoples. These were the challenges they faced. These were the challenges that made men of days past into saints.
Our modern world may has its own set of challenges: pornography, "gender theory," attacks on religious liberty and the right to life, radical feminism, and the list goes on. These are the challenges that can make men of today into saints. But we have to be strong in body, mind, and soul.
Are you ready for The Challenge?
Under the Patronage of St. Joseph
The Joseph Challenge Pilgrimage is named in honor of St. Joseph, the foster father of Our Lord. He is looked to as a role model of authentic masculine virtues, such as chastity and hard work. The Pilgrimage takes place near the date of the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, which is celebrated on May 1st. It is organized by Catholic laymen specifically for men 18 years of age and older.
The Pilgrimage will visit these St. Louis-area locations named in honor of St. Joseph:
St. Joseph Chapel
The Joseph Challenge will begin with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the recently renovated St. Joseph Chapel of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary. The beautiful chapel features a magnificent wooden baldacchino topped with a commissioned painting of the death of St. Joseph.
Carmel of St. Joseph (Carmelite Monastery)
The second stop on the Joseph Challenge Pilgrimage is at Carmel of St. Joseph, otherwise known as the Carmelite Monastery. Pilgrims will join the Carmelite sisters in the prayerful chapel for evening prayer.
St. Joseph - Clayton
The last stop of the first day of the Joseph Challenge is St. Joseph Catholic Church in Clayton, one of the older parishes in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Pilgrimage activities at St. Joseph's include Holy Hour with adoration, confession, and benediction, dinner, and social time. Pilgrims can also sleep overnight at St. Joseph in preparation for Day Two.
Shrine of St. Joseph
The final destination of the Joseph Challenge is the Shrine of St. Joseph in Downtown St. Louis, Missouri, one of the most breathtaking churches in the region, and the site of a Vatican-authenticated miracle. Mass will be offered upon arrival, and pilgrims will have the opportunity to take a tour of the Shrine.