By Colleen Rowan
West Virginia’s Catholic faithful are invited to join together March 19 to celebrate their faith on the Solemnity of St. Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. St. Joseph is the patron of the universal church and of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. Regional celebrations will be held across the diocese with Masses and more at designated churches on the solemnity.
This will be an opportunity to celebrate in solidarity with Bishop Mark Brennan seeking the intercession of St. Joseph, said Bernadette McMasters Kime, director of the diocesan Office of Worship and Sacraments. “By having these celebrations throughout the state, in each vicariate, Catholics from around West Virginia can come together in prayer and fellowship,” Kime said. “We are asking parishes to encourage the faithful to make these celebrations part of their Lenten journey.”
All of the regional celebrations will be held March 19 at different times at churches in all of the diocese’s six vicariates.
For the Wheeling Vicariate, all are invited to the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling for the 6:30 p.m. Patronal Feast Day Mass, celebrated by Bishop Brennan. The Mass will be followed by a light social.
For the Charleston Vicariate, faithful will gather at the Basilica of the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Charleston at 6:30 p.m. for the celebration of Mass. The celebrant will be Very Rev. Don Higgs, Assoc. V.F., and the homilist will be Msgr. Dean Borgmeyer, V.F. Music will be provided by students of Charleston Catholic High School and Sacred Heart Grade School. Mass will be followed by a social.
For the Beckley Vicariate, St. Francis de Sales Parish in Beckley will have a 6:30 p.m. celebration of Mass followed by a reception. The celebrant will be Father Sebastian Devasya, and the homilist will be Father John McDonough.
For the Clarksburg Vicariate, all will gather at St. Peter the Fisherman Parish in Fairmont at 7:30 a.m. for Eucharistic Adoration and Novena to St. Joseph. The celebration of Mass will be at 8:15 a.m. with students from Fairmont Catholic School. The celebrant will be Father Joseph M. Konikattil.
For the Martinsburg Vicariate, St. Joseph Parish in Martinsburg invites all to the Patronal Feast Day Mass at 7 p.m. This will be a bilingual Mass, and will be followed by a reception. The celebrant will be Father Thomas Gallagher. Those who plan to attend the reception are asked to RSVP to the parish office at (304) 267-4893.
For the Parkersburg Vicariate, St. Margaret Mary Parish in Parkersburg invites the faithful to Mass at 6:30 p.m. with a light social to follow. The celebrant will be Very Rev. Stephen Vallelonga, V.F.
St. Joseph Mission in Proctor (established in 1853)—the oldest church under St. Joseph’s patronage in the diocese—is having a celebration with Adoration and Confessions at 5 p.m.; Mass at 6 p.m.; and St. Joseph Table to follow in the parish hall. The celebrant will be Msgr. Kevin Quirk.
In addition to these regional celebrations, individual parishes may be celebrating the solemnity in some way, so the faithful are encouraged to check with their local parishes as well.
For more information about the regional celebrations, contact Kime at or call (304) 233-0880, ext. 288.