Serving like St. Joseph

Bishop Johnston visited with residents of the Jeanne Jugan Center before getting to work serving lunch. (Megan Marley/Key photos)

Megan Marley

In the Bible, St. Joseph was a man of few words—nothing of what he said is recorded, but his deeds most certainly are. A ‘just man’, Joseph humbly trusted and obeyed God in caring for the safety and needs of the Holy Family.

The bishop and priests of the diocese take a page out of the saint’s book of humility on his feast day of March 19 every year, offering Mass for and helping serve lunch to the elderly living at the Little Sisters of the Poor Jeanne Jugan Center in Kansas City. This year, Bishop Johnston, 8 priests and two deacons served residents of the community.

“The tradition is about 20 years old, I think,” said Fr. Terry Bruce, who sometimes says Mass for the community and helped serve lunch. “I’ve been here for about five of them.”

Fr. Sean McCaffery, pastor of St. John Francis Regis parish in Kansas City, and Fr. Olvin Girón, associate pastor at Our Lady of the Presentation parish in Lee’s Summit, helped serve lunch to residents on the Feast of St. Joseph.

St. Joseph is one of the patron saints of the Little Sisters of the Poor, so celebrating the solemnity is a cause for extra festivity—fine china, wine and a hearty three-course meal. The community’s foundress, St. Jeanne Jugan, had a particular devotion to St. Joseph, taking many needs and problems to him in prayer which would then be miraculously solved.

“This feast is also special for the residents, since they know he (St. Joseph) is taking care of the sisters, he’s taking care of them,” said Gabriela Garcia, activities coordinator at the Jeanne Jugan Center. “And because St. Joseph is the head of the Holy Family, they enjoy remembering their family and the father of their family.”

Bishop Johnston referenced this protective, fatherly role of St. Joseph in the mealtime prayer.

“As we celebrate his feast day, we invoke St. Joseph’s prayer and protection over us and the universal Church,” he said.

For more information on the Jeanne Jugan Center, visit


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September 26, 2020
The Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph