St. Joseph advanced God’s plan of salvation by living in service to his family, from which the savior of the world emerged. Modern men — be they dads or priests who are fathers to parishioners — can further salvation now by a similar dedication.

That was the message of Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, who gave the first Archdiocese of Portland talk for the Year of St. Joseph.

“Any man can be a daddy. It takes a real man like Joseph to be a father,” Deacon Burke-Sivers said during a Zoom lecture May 12. “When we men live our Catholic faith with fidelity and joy, we can be sure that, like Joseph, our actions will be worth more than a thousand words and have confidence that our love for Christ will be written into the hearts of our sons and daughters, our parishioners and our society.”

Deacon Burke-Sivers, a national speaker on EWTN media and a presence at Immaculate Heart Parish in North Portland, said that if men live their beliefs with conviction like St. Joseph, the faith will not die out.

“Service of family is what is powerful about Joseph,” Deacon Burke-Sivers said. “His actions always were in service of God and his family.”

Deacon Burke-Sivers said Joseph made other vital contributions to salvation history, including the gift of heritage to Jesus. Joseph was descended from King David, from whom tradition had it that the messiah would come. As he lay dying, David told his son Solomon that to be a man means walking in the ways of the Lord; that message moved through the generations to Joseph and Jesus.

Satan may have attacked family life with no resistance from the silent Adam, but Joseph’s quiet dedication restored family as a path to being saved, the deacon explained.

He said that St. Joseph, who received messages from God in dreams, offers an example of quiet as a way to hear God’s will. “Men now must find time for silence,” Deacon Burke-Sivers told viewers.

Deacon Burke-Sivers urged fathers to take an active role in the prayer lives of their families, acting as the priest in the home to make sure God is known, loved and served.

It is likely, he said, that St. Joseph taught the young Jesus the prayers of Judaism, including the line from Deuteronomy that calls for reckless abandon when it comes to the relationship with God: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

View the entire May 12 lecture