Catholic Fatherhood: Make Your Home a Temple for the Lord
Justin Haggerty | The Daily Knight
Inspired by Pope Francis' declaration of 2021 as the 'Year of St. Joseph,' The Daily Knight will produce weekly articles to share and clarify the vocation of 'Catholic Fatherhood.' Our mission, at the Sacred Military Order of Knights of the Republic and the Most Victorious Heart of Jesus, is to defeat modernism, the synthesis of all heresies, in the domestic church (the family), the parish, and society at large. Building your domestic church is the quintessential foundation for fostering the faith and rebuilding Christendom.
Prayer to St. Joseph by Pope Leo XIII:
To thee, O blessed Joseph, do we come in our tribulation, and having implored the help of thy most holy Spouse, we confidently invoke thy patronage also. Through that charity which bound thee to the immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the paternal love with which thou embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg thee to graciously regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood, and with thy power and strength to aid us in our necessities.
O most watchful Guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ; O most loving father, ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence; O our most mighty protector, be propitious to us and from heaven assist us in our struggle with the power of darkness; and, as once thou rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril, so now protect God's Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; shield, too, each one of us by thy constant protection, so that, supported by thy example and thy aid, we may be able to live piously, to die holy, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen.
Make Your Home a Temple for the Lord
As the priest of the home, a Catholic father has the duty to structure and lead the family through its devotional and prayer life. To help orient the children's intellect to the Divine, the house ought to be made into a temple for the Lord.
In our home, we placed a Crucifix with a St. Benedict's medal above every entryway and Holy Water by the front door to bless yourself before leaving and upon entering the home. Every room has a Crucifix above the door and a Crucifix or an image of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus above our beds.
For daily prayer and the Holy Rosary, we have two small altars, one downstairs and one upstairs, that we placed on top of our bookshelves, containing our Daily Missals, prayer books, catechisms, and other religious works. The altars are simple and subtle, but inspiring to the heart. The altar downstairs hold's the family Holy Bible, a Douay-Confratemity/Collandier from 1954, two candles, and a white marble Pieta (the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary holding our Lord lowered from the Cross) in the center. Before the Pieta is where we place our Holy Rosaries, above the altar is a beautiful crucifix, with our palm leaves from Palm Sunday, and an image of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary to the left and right. This altar and devotional, something like the Lord's corner in Central Europe, is the most commanding as it presides over our common area and entryway for guests. The altar upstairs is more simple with a table top Crucifix and six candles for more illumination for praying at night in the dark.
Throughout the house, we have other devotions to family patron saints like Saint Patrick, who we move to the fireplace mantle for March for his blessed feast. For most months, small statues of our Blessed Mother, Saint Michael the Archangel, and the Infant of Prague enjoy the commanding presence on the mantle.
Along our walls, we have art of Irish prayers, portraits of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus, illustrations of the Last Supper, and small devotionals to Saint Michael casting the rebellious angels into hell, devotionals to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, and, because we have not found a place for her while she is not partaking in a procession, a large crowned Blessed Virgin Mary stands as a center place for our dining room table.
Throughout the liturgical seasons, decorations change and we add to our devotions as we receive gifts from friends and family or find something we like. We try to decorate the home when the parish does, as it creates a united aspect from our domestic church to Mother Church. On upcoming feast days that we have a devotional, we will move it to the center spot on our fireplace mantle. In addition to St. Patrick, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, St. Joseph, St. Nicolaus, and the Holy Family have been great for the children.
There are no bounds to what one can do, from enthroning the Most Sacred Heart in your home, to building devotionals outside in your landscaping, to crafting an altar at home for home Masses, and even adding stain glass windows. A friend of mine did it for a small amount with simple decal graphics and it looks beautiful. You can hardly tell its a regular window.
Whatever you do to your home, do it out of love for the Lord and to bring your family closer to Christ and His Holy Church.
In Christ Crucified and the Most Victorious Heart of Jesus.