Celebrating a Saint “Go to Joseph”

Fr Thomas Looney, CSC

Here is the third in our series of personal reflections from Holy Cross religious on what Blessed Brother André, who will be canonized October 17, means to them. This week's comes from Fr. Thomas P. Looney, C.S.C., the provincial superior of the Eastern Province of Priests and Brothers:

“Go to Joseph!” – When a “saint” tells me to seek out another saint, to expand the circle of prayer and intercession, to give voice to my need, it strikes me as advice worth heeding. I am not prone to ask others for help. It seems by personality that I prefer to do things, to accomplish things, on my own. The request for assistance only flows from my lips at the point of exasperation and desperation.

“Go to Joseph!” – André’s admonition pointed those who sought his help, and points me to embrace the humility that marked André’s own spirit. Although he was orphaned at an early age, he did not live as a spiritual orphan. Recognizing his need for spiritual companionship he reached out in prayer and supplication to Joseph and immersed himself in the communion of the saints. André laid no claim to self-sufficiency; he relied on and cooperated with the strength, goodness and inspiration of God’s holy ones.

“Go to Joseph!” – And so when I “Go to Joseph” and to the many others “Joseph’s” that God places along the path of my life and acknowledge my need for assistance and companionship, the blessings of communion abound. I can rejoice in the part that I am privileged to play or to contribute for I no longer carry the burden of having to do it all. I can rejoice in the gifts that I receive from others for my heart is truly ready to receive them. I can rejoice for my own feeble attempts at prayer that once seemed to be weighed down by soul are born aloft before the throne of God. I can rejoice for my own pledge of prayer for others becomes a shared trust in the communion of the Church.

1921 Chapel of St Joseph

“Go to Joseph!” – Brother André calls me to recognize my need for God through my need for others and to rejoice in my neediness. As he continues to invite me to “Go to Joseph,” he does not send me off on a solitary journey; he accompanies me and blesses me so that I might share in the blessing of communion of life with all of God’s holy ones. I am blessed for André’s call knocks at the door of my desire to be self-sufficient and as my brother in Holy Cross I risk letting him in.

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