If God can do what he did for me, there is hope for everyone.Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC
The 2020 Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference will truly be a day of Amazing Graces. Over the upcoming weeks, we would like to introduce our conference speakers to you. Today we are excited to share an interview with Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC.
Fr. Calloway, please share with our conference attendees a little bit about yourself?
I was born in 1972 to non-religious parents. I had a very difficult childhood and by the age of 11 I was using drugs and involved in many immoral activities. After getting kicked out of Japan at the age of 16 (my step-father was in the Navy), I went to two drug and alcohol rehabs and was thrown in jail in Louisiana when I turned 18. Yet, through all the craziness of my youth, my Mom and step-father experienced a radical conversion and became Catholic.
Several years later, I, too, experienced the “Divine 2×4” and had a radical conversion. I read a book about Marian apparitions that get me interested in Catholicism and everything associated with the Catholic Church. I soon became a Catholic and discerned my vocation to the priesthood. I entered the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception because of their strong love of Our Lady and the Divine Mercy.
I was ordained a priest in 2003 and now am the vocation director for the community. I also have written 14 books and lead pilgrimages around the world. You can see the pilgrimages on my website: www.fathercalloway.com
Can you give us a little sneak peek about what you are going to be speaking about on February 15th at the conference?
I will be speaking about my conversion to Catholicism. It’s funny, I’ve been a priest for 16 years and have about 25 talks I can give, but the conversion story continues to be the most requested talk. I think the reason is because it touches on so much that people can identify with. In the talk I speak of the pitfalls of a worldly life, the need for conversion, and the extreme importance of devotion to Our Lady, the saints, the rosary, and the Eucharist.
My hope is that the talk gives hope to many people, especially mothers and those who are struggling with wayward children and or family members. I always find that even at the most Catholic of conferences; almost everyone has family members who no longer practice the Catholic faith. These are crazy times we are living in, and my sincere desire is to give people a message of love, hope, and mercy. If God can do what he did for me, there is hope for everyone.
You have a brand new book out, Consecration to St. Joseph. Can you share what this book is all about?
Without a doubt, this is the greatest book I have ever done. It came about because a few years ago it dawned on me that we, as Catholics, are consecrated to Jesus by our baptism, and that many of us have done some form of a filial consecration to Our Lady since she is our spiritual mother. But what about St. Joseph? Why hasn’t there been an in-depth consecration written about him? After all, we are not children of a one-parent spiritual family. Mary is our spiritual mother and St. Joseph is our spiritual father. Then I realized that now is the perfect time for the Church to awaken to total consecration to St. Joseph. These are very confusing times when it comes to family, marriage, masculinity, femininity, etc. We could really use the best of fathers to help us through these dark days. Thus, I prayed and wrote for almost 3 years. The result is the brand new book “Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of our Spiritual Father.”
It’s a 33-day program of preparation and consecration to St. Joseph that very much resembles the 33-day program of Marian consecration founded by St. Louis de Montfort. Individuals and groups can do it.
The book has endorsements from Cardinal Raymond Burke, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Jim Caviezel, Scott Hahn, and many others. We even designed a new website to promote the program and where people can easily purchase a hardcopy of the book or the e-book version. The website is: www.consecrationtostjoseph.org
I noticed to complete this 33-day consecration on the Solemnity of St. Joseph (March 19), women could start the Consecration on February 16th, the day after the conference! Do you believe this is the hand of Providence?
I am so thrilled about this for the women who attend the conference! When I was invited to speak on February 15th, I looked at the calendar and knew that this was going to be a huge event! In many ways, your conference is the place where I will launch the book! In 2020, we celebrate the 150th anniversary of when St. Joseph was declared the Patron of the Universal Church (1870-2020). Thus, I am so very excited for all the ladies at the conference who will learn about the book and begin the 33-day preparation on the day after the conference! I think there are going to be many other conferences later in the year that are going to be jealous of your conference. Haha.
Why should women do this consecration, especially since St. Joseph is the patron of Fathers?
Technically, St. Joseph is everyone’s patron because he is the Patron of the Universal Church and our spiritual father. Consecration to St. Joseph is for every man, woman, and child, just as consecration to Mary is for every man, woman, and child. We all need St. Joseph. While it is true that men can find in him a role model of strong, loving masculinity, women, too, can find so many virtues and reminders of God’s love in the person of St. Joseph.
I firmly believe that the Church needs St. Joseph today more than ever. When a house is in disorder, a strong and loving father is needed to restore order. Well, today we have disorder all over the place. What better person to call on than the great St. Joseph. I’ve even done something extremely bold. I wrote a personal letter to the pope in Spanish asking him to declare a Year of St. Joseph for the entire Church! Can you believe that in the 2,000-year history of the Church we have never done this! Now is the time of St. Joseph.