The foster father of Our Lord, St. Joseph, famously doesn’t have a single word recorded in scripture. Yet, devotion to him is an ancient tradition within the Church. “Ite ad Joseph” goes the old saying. Go to Joseph.

In particular, we men should heed this advice. Go to Joseph in times of trial. Go to Joseph for guidance. Go to Joseph in humility. Go to Joseph in times of temptation. Go to Joseph to learn how to lead your family.

One of the best things to do is go to Joseph, literally, on a pilgrimage.

Your opportunity to do that is coming May 4-5, 2019, if you choose to join other men on the Joseph Challenge Pilgrimage in St. Louis, Missouri.

This pilgrimage is a 24-mile walking pilgrimage to the Shrine of St. Joseph, one of the oldest church buildings in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, and the site of a Vatican-authenticated miracle.

Going on pilgrimage is as old as the Church itself. In fact, it pre-dates the Roman Catholic Church when we consider that Old Testament events, such as the flight from Egypt were, in fact, pilgrimages.

Throughout the Church’s history, men and women have embarked upon long and arduous journeys to special locations to be closer to God. Jerusalem, as well as other sites in the Holy Land, are perhaps the most famous pilgrimage destinations. But in Europe especially, the tradition of pilgrimage to famous cathedrals and sites of miracles became commonplace. Chartes, Lourdes, and the Camino immediately come to mind. Some places of pilgrimage exist in the New World, but our young nation particularly does not have the centuries of pilgrimage tradition that other places around the world do.

Further hindering our attachment to pilgrimage is our nation’s growth which has paralleled the development of increasingly rapid transportation methods. Covered wagons, stagecoaches, railways, the automobile, and air travel have all followed in rapid succession right along with the ascent of the United States and its Catholic population. As such, an American pilgrimage today often involves a trip to a famous church or landmark in a car, bus, train, or even a plane. The trip may involve staying overnight in comfortable lodging, visiting the site as any other tourist might, and returning home just as easily. Even the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., is often referred to as a “pilgrimage” in order to, rightly so, evoke a sense of sacredness of purpose. The trip undoubtedly involves discomfort and fatigue, and it serves a very worthy cause which no one should discount. But I have to think the early Christians who trekked to the Holy Land in the face of harsh weather conditions and dangerous marauders, risking life and treasure, would have a very different idea of pilgrimage.

The Joseph Challenge Pilgrimage was created because men need it. We need things which challenge us physically – and spiritually. A walking pilgrimage connects us more deeply to this most ancient tradition of the Church. Participants on the Joseph Challenge face the hardships of walking for miles outside in the elements God created, and sleeping on a hard basement floor. Our weariness will allow us to encounter Christ more deeply as we realize our physical limitations and weaknesses, thus coming to rely on Christ all the more.

But on our way to Christ, we go to Joseph. On this pilgrimage, we ask the silent, humble carpenter to show us how to adore Christ.

You can join us.

If you’ve done Exodus (or will finish Exodus this Easter), this would be a fitting next step. If you simply want to join other men for an experience you won’t soon forget, join us. If you want to grow closer to Christ through his earthly father, join us.

Visit josephchallenge.com for more information and to register.

Ite Ad Joseph!

  • Phil Alcoceli

    May God bless, protect and always walk with all of you!! For all here, the certified miracle at St. Joseph’s Shrine came forth to Ignatius Strecker, an imigrant from Germany with his family in 1853. He was a very religious man and worked at a soap factory where in 1861 he was struck in the chest by a pointed piece of iron. The injury degraded quickly to a supurating sore, where the underlying tissue started to decompose. Every medical remedy was tried even with a renowned specialist, who declared him incurable and sent him home to die in two weeks. He lingered on for months and was later blessed with a relic from St. Peter Claver, a Spanish Saint who did great work among the horribly suffering, just arrived African slaves to Cartagena, Colombia, in 1615. He also preached missions to others but always lived among the slaves. In a short time, Mr. Strecker was healed and working again. A Vatican investigation certified all of it as factual and true.

    So… I call your attention to another very authentic and in the present miracle happening through the Holy Spirit annointed ministry of http://www.couragerc.org . They help homosexuals leave that lifestyle and embrace Jesus and chastity. The drug-like propaganda that homosexuals cannot ever leave and embrace True Virtue In God is a criminal lie, in order to keep them dehumanized as weapons of Social and Church Mass Destruction. I greatly encourage a pilgrimage to this website to all of us (dealing with homosexuality, even in great charity, is very difficult and requires great faith, great longsuffering tenacity and great integrity to True Catholicism, which is the calling of God for us through them). Also, read and watch the videos and articles about Joseph Sciambra, an ex-homosexual porn actor turned to Christian ministry (ministers even in the middle of gay parades). Let’s walk with God ALL together in this pilgrimage to our True Home in Heaven!!