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Saint Joseph Church - New 2017 Video


Saturday Morning Scripture

Bible1aSMStart your new year off right with Saturday Morning Scripture Study at

St. Joseph Parish and the letter of James beginning January 12, 2019!

James, one of the most practical books of the Bible, is a collection of teachings on issues faced by ordinary Christians in everyday life. This wisdom speaks clearly and directly to all those who feel torn between the competing demands of this world and their faith. Developed by Jeff Cavins and Sarah Christmyer, this study offers "pearls for wise living" by applying the wisdom from the letter of James to the present. For anyone who has struggled to live a truly Christian life, James offers a wealth of practical solutions for handling and even sanctifying everyday circumstances.

In “James: Pearls for Wise Living”, we will:

Read more ...

Sunday Morning Bible Study


Sunday Morning Scripture Class @ 9:30AM

For the new year of 2019, the Sunday Morning Scripture Class is inviting others to participate in a Bible study on The Psalms using the following two books: Psalm Basics for Catholics by John Bergsma/. Using the Psalms to see salvation history in a new way; and A Joyful Noise by Mike Aquilina. Praying the Psalms with the early church fathers (Ambrose, Augustine, Cyril of Jerusalem, etc.). This will be offered on Sundays between the masses in the room 209/ teachers lounge from 9:45-10:45 beginning on January 6, 2019 and concluding in December 2019.   A Bible and Catechism of the Catholic Church is desirable as well as purchase of study materials. ($32.00).   For more information and to reserve the materials, please contact Paula Murphy #615-495-8388 or Clair Ivanov #615-865-1558 (polyester101 Baby Sitting Available Upon Request.

Saturday Morning Bible Study

Bible StudySaturday Morning Scripture Study:  resumes September 22, 2018, with The Great Adventure’s “EPHESIANS: Discover Your Inheritance”, an 8-part study that will illuminate the nature of the Church and our great inheritance as sons/daughters in the family of God.  See and save the full-page flyer at any church exit for more information and to register.  There is no prior study necessary; all are welcome and can greatly benefit.  Registration deadline is Friday, September 14, 2018, for assurance of receiving materials before the first session.  Come explore God’s gracious word to us in the letter to the Ephesians!  Contact:  Debra Head (615-851-1908) or Don Steinhilber (615-265-8375

Read more ...

Legion of Mary


Our parish "Legion of Mary" group is looking for new members.  We meet most Saturday mornings @ 9AM.  We pray the rosary together and report on our ministry of service. This includes Eucharistic visitations of the sick, aged or homebound parishioners. We hope that You would consider this Vocational Calling. The  Legion of Mary is the largest apostolic organization of lay people in the Catholic Church.  For more information contact: Sara Roberts  615-226-0091


The object of the Legion of Mary is the glory of God through the holiness of its members developed by prayer and active co-operation in Mary’s and the Church’s work.

The unit of the Legion of Mary is called a praesidium, which holds a weekly meeting, where prayer is intermingled with reports and discussion. Persons who wish to join the Legion must apply for membership in a Praesidium.

The Legion sees as its priority the spiritual and social welfare of each individual. The members participate in the life of the parish through visitation of families, the sick, both in their homes and in hospitals and through collaboration in every apostolic and missionary undertaking sponsored by the parish.

Every legionary is required to carry out a weekly apostolic work in the spirit of faith and in union with Mary.

St. Joseph Church's Legion of Mary advances the reign of Christ through prayer and active service to others. They visit the sick and shut-ins, ministers to fallen away Catholics and assists those who are in bereavement. Meetings are held after 8:00 mass on Saturday mornings.

Contact: Sara Roberts (615)226-0091Legion of Mary


Parish Health

Parish HealthThe Parish Health Ministry attends to the "whole person" needs of our parishioners to promote wellness of body, mind and spirit. Health Ministry volunteers include healthcare professionals and lay parishioners. Office is located at the Parish Life Center and hours of operation are: Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30PM

Parish Food Pantry is located in the Parish Life Center. Open Tuesday and Thursday from 9am-12:30pm. Available to all parishioners as well as the community in need.

Mindful Body Movement: Come try the Mindful Body Movement Class at St. Joseph every Tuesday at 1pm in the Parish Life Center. Wear athletic shoes, bring a bottle of water and a friend!

The Health Ministry would like to thank everyone who donated blood last Sunday. Twenty-seven units of blood was collected. Three blood products can be obtained from each unit collected. Your donation made it possible for St. Joseph to help 812 patients! Thank you!

"Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you be in good health, just as it is with your soul."    3 John 1:2

Women's Club

Women's ClubThe Saint Joseph Women's Club has been in existence since the beginning of the church.

The main function of the Women's Club is to fill the needs of the Priests and the Altar, as well as supporting charitable organizations and endeavors. Aside from our membership dues, which is $5 collected annually in October, our main fundraisers are the two bake sales which are held each year.


From these funds, donations have been made to our Parish Health Ministry, to SJS Tuition Assistance, to the Social Action Committee and to help fund the church landscaping, just to name a few. The Womens' Club is open to all women of our Parish and all members, living and deceased are remembered at the Mass the 2nd Tuesday of each month, which is also the day of the Women's Club regular meeting and our Monthly Potluck Luncheon.

We are a social group, so please come and "check us out". New members are a blessing!

For information call Carole Mick (615)868-9871 or email:


Welcome Home Catholics

Welcome Home



If you are a Catholic who has been away from the Church or know of someone who has been away, know that we are thinking of you!

We offer a safe and confidential place to find understanding and healing.  We hope to begin our 10 week sessions during Easter Season.  If you or another are interested and would like to register or want more information, please contact Deacon Mike @


Neighbors in Christ

Neighbors In ChristThe Neighbors in Christ committee ministers to members of our parish community by providing meals in the event of a funeral. Both the immediate bereaved and the larger social community can benefit from a funeral meal which functions as a group experience that focuses on the needs of the living. It can be a shared experience in a familiar structured setting which enables the living to celebrate the life of the deceased. Any contributions to this ministry are greatly appreciated.

Neighbors in Christ is in need of someone to coordinate the funeral luncheons provided for the families of deceased members of our parish.  Duties include organizing volunteers to provide covered dishes and serving during the meal.  This ministry is such a blessing to the families in their time of need. If you are interested, please call the church office or Fr. Tomy directly.


Haiti Mission

Haiti Mission

Dear Parishioners,

It has been a while since we have updated you on the status of our Haiti mission.  I apologize for that but there has been a lot of upheaval in our sister parish over the past year and a half so not much has been accomplished.

First, our pastor of 12 years, Father Prophete, was re-assigned.  For a while after he left there was no priest.  Then we had a new pastor from Miami for a few months but he was given a new assignment as well.  We finally have a new permanent (we hope) pastor, Father Ronel Vildor.  He was moved from another parish in our diocese.  I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting him but we have communicated by email.  I hope to go to Haiti after the holidays to meet him and make plans for the future.

I’m sure you are aware of Hurricane Matthew and the damage suffered by the southern and western parts of Haiti.  Fortunately our parish is in the north and did not suffer much damage.  However, I was made aware this week that one of our remote chapels has collapsed due to the heavy rain.  The chapel is a complete loss and will need to be re-built.  It also served as a school.

We hope to begin our annual medical trips again next March.  It will be a difficult trip since there are no longer flights from Port-au-Prince to the nearby city of Port-de-Paix.  We will have to make an 8-hour trip by bus or car to reach Chansolme and the roads are very bad, but the blessings received from this trip are more than worth it.

We had a lot of interest in our mission during the ministry fair and hope to welcome many new members as we gear up for our next trip.  If you are interested in joining us and helping support our ministry please email Patty (my wife) or me at .  We can also be reached by phone at 615-210-5226 (Patty) or 615-913-7773 (Greg).





Knights of Columbus

Knights of Columbus

Bishop Alphonse J. Smith Council 3763
c/o B. C. Hatchett
1020 Windsong Trail
Greenbriar, TN 37073-5428
Phone: (615) 358-0020

The Knights of Columbus is a 1.7 million member fraternal organization of Catholic men dedicated to Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism. Of the four principals of the Order, Charity is by far the most important.

Council information Bishop Alphonse J. Smith Council 3763 serves Madison and east Nashville including the parishes of St. Joseph and St. Pius.

Our Grand Knight is Al Fleck and you may contact him by phone at (615) 868-5650 Email:
Our Financial Secretary is BC Hatchet and you may contact him by phone at (615) 358-0020 Email:
Membership Chairman is Joe Fricault and you may contact him by phone at (615) 868-6456 Email:

Please visit our website

Council Meeting Place and Times:
Our Council meets at Saint Joseph Church in the Parish Life Center on the second Tuesday of each month starting with a social hour at 6:30 PM followed by our business meeting in the Large Meeting Room in the Parish Life Center. All men of the parish are invited. Officer's meeting is on the 4th Tuesday every other month.

About our Council:
Our Council is a very active Council. Our mission is to support St. Joseph Parish, The Diocese of Nashville, and the Catholic Church. We are active in all Knights of Columbus activities including the M. R. Drive that helps people with special needs, support of seminarians, pro-life, and Morality in the Media. Local programs include support for our Church, youth activities and scholarships, family activities such as Family Fishing Day, Community Programs such as Adopt-A-Highway, and support of our Clergy.

Membership in the Knights requires only that you be a Practicing Catholic, Male and over 18 years of age. We invite all men in the Parish to consider being a member and participate in our many charitable efforts. Please contact our Membership Chairman, Mr. Joe Fricault at 868-6456 or check with a member at Mass wearing a red name badge.


Michael the Archangel Prayer Warriors







Michael the Archangel Prayer Warriors (MAPW) are just ordinary Catholics trying to fight an extraordinary enemy (Satan) through prayer, fasting, frequent reception of the Sacraments and all the ordinary and extraordinary holy things done by Christians everywhere, who are attempting to practice their faith. We serve God according to our vocation in life, but prayer and fasting are our main weapons.  

1. “Jesus seems to…announce a mysterious law of the world of prayer, namely, that God, by His own decree, has somehow placed His power in the hands of persons who intercede, in such a way that unless they intercede, His power is withheld. This is the great attraction of the prayer of intercession: that as you practice it you get a sense of the tremendous power there is in prayer and having sensed this power, you will never give up prayer.”   Fr. Anthony de Mello, S.J., Sadhana - A Way to God

This is about prayer, spiritual warfare, and not just talking about prayer,which can be highly narcotizing. We must be about the practice of prayer.

2. Our MAPW are devoted to spending a minimum of one hour each day in solitude and silence in some quiet place immersed in prayer and meditation. The Holy Rosary is the weapon of choice. The practice of praying the Liturgy of the Hours is also highly encouraged as is any Lectio Divina.

Be still before the Lord
    and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
    when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Ps 37:7 (NIV)

The practice of praying in a place which is quiet and away from the noisy world we live in is most important for our own spiritual health, but has grand implications for the Church which is The Body of Christ and for the world. Mass is not enough!         

There are no meetings, dues, or vows. We just take on an obligation with love to spend one hour a day in prayer and to fast on Fridays.

                                      St. Bruno Night Warriors

St. Bruno Night Warriors (SBNW) are Christians who practice the same prayer formulas that our MAPW’s practice in #2, but they pray during the nighttime ours, anytime between the hours of 8:00PM and 4:00AM. These are the hours when fewer Christians are at prayer in our portion of the globe. These are the hours when the greatest evil takes place, and there are fewer people at prayer. So, our Night Warriors fill this gap and continue the prayer relay. With the diminution of the contemplative and cloistered religious orders throughout the Church, you and I are seriously needed to take up the slack.

Prayer offered up at night possesses a great power, more than the prayer of daytime. There is nothing even Satan fears so much as prayer that is offered during the vigilance at night…” Isaac the Syrian  

“The faithful must get used to praying in the night, like Jesus. God carries out His works at night. In the night, all movement is transformed and grows by God’s strength.” Robert Cardinal Sarah

Brothers and sisters, please give this more than just a great deal of thought. Pray about this and make a decision to deepen and strengthen your love life for the Triune God, Mother Mary, all the saints, and for Mother Church. This will benefit the world in which she, the Church, ministers her loving benevolence.

             Michael the Archangel Prayer Warrior’s Preamble

"As we explore the art of prayer and examine our role in the spiritual life, we uncover a myriad of Christians who are hungering to know about that agency which foments and creates evil. Just as we have no ability to do good without the Holy Spirit as guide, instigator, and inventor, we have no power to create and instigate evil. Evil is a creative, negative option allowed by God so that we can have a freedom of choice and not be slaves (Jn 15:15). We must realize that we face an efficiency that is evil in itself; an existing evil, an evil that is a person; an evil that we cannot classify as a corruption of goodness. We are speaking of an affirmation of evil, and if this does not frighten us, it should." The Demonic – November 15, 1972 – Pope Paul VI from a General Audience in Italian.                                                         
The power of this prayer movement will be based on the power of the name of Jesus with particular emphasis on the Jesus Prayer and The Holy Rosary. The Scripture verse contained in Mathew, Chapter 6, verse 6 is what points to the pattern of prayer that Jesus Himself taught. We can call it the Route 66 method of solitary prayer. 

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.
Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.(Mt6:6) 

The next methodology is the A.S.K. formula or the Route 77 method found in Mathew’s Gospel, Chapter 7, verse 7  - Ask, Seek, Knock.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Mt 7:7)  
 The power in the name of Jesus is referenced by Jesus in Mark. In My Name you will... (Mk 16:17)

     And again in John…
       You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. (Jn 14:14) 
     And again in John…
         … so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.(Jn 15:16b)

We can call these prayer coordinates, a latitude and longitude, if you will. It's where a person should want to be in their prayer mentality.
But it is in our expanded friendship with God that we find our true relationship.                               
    I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business.
   Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I  learned from my Father I have made                 known to you.     (Jn 15:15)
Michael the Archangel Prayer Warriors  

And so, the institution of  Michael, the Archangel Prayer Warriors came about because so many of the faithful were lacking in spiritual direction particularly with regard to prayer, and there was/is this necessity to intensify the power of prayer against Satan and his minions. 

Actually, we've had a group in some of our state prisons for a while, and with the advent of our O.S.M.B.'s ([Order of St. Moses the Black] - our prison ministry is under his patronage) we had gained some experience with both Catholics and non-Catholics. The great spiritual monastic disciplines of Silence, Solitude, Simplicity, and Service are still a necessity. These disciplines are the essence of the environment in which we should immerse ourselves and pray and will still be and are still called for because they are of centuries of monastic prayer practice and are made for spiritual warriors. They have a power in themselves to enhance Christian discipleship. These are Gospel disciplines. 

At this time, there are no proposed meetings, although we may sometime decide  in the future. We all have enough things to do or already have made commitments toward many other ministries, so we will not waste time in hearings or committees. Since we are about the business of prayer, most of our spiritual  encouragement should continue to come from our frequent reception of the sacraments, our daily prayer life, our families, loved ones, close friends, and parishioners who are also prayer warriors. All of these are channels of God's grace.

As an aside, one of the reasons the Hebrew Scriptures mandated the people’s participation in frequent assemblies and the Church has mandated the same thing in our Sunday worship services (Mass) under penalty of serious sin, is because of something we’ve talked about elsewhere. It is called “interpersonal neurobiology”. It is essentially group therapy that occurs just by all of us being together on one place for a particular purpose. This “we are the clay; You are the Potter” imagery that is found in the Hebrew Scriptures has a physiological basis called neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity means our brains are rewired and a great healing is taking place slowly as we continue to associate ourselves with other healing sinners. This is a complex subject, and there are some very good lectures on YouTube presented by some fine psychiatrists and other medical people on this subject should you wish to learn more. Start by looking for lectures on depression, but a better place to start might be PTSD. Dr Steven Porges has some lectures on this subject. Mindsight is a book wrtten by psychiatrist Dan Siegle that explains interpersonal neurobiology very well.

                                   Now what does it take to become a prayer warrior? 
You must be willing to set aside one hour of time each day for personal and intercessory prayer. For Catholics, this does not include the daily attendance at Mass; that is extra, if you wish to do this. This spend[ing] one hour with Me (Jesus) (Mk 14:37c)  is extra and of the highest importance. This is our private prayer time with the Lord, and it must be spent in silence and solitude.
That’s right. The discipline of silence and solitude coupled with our prayer, is the ground (playground) of our love affair with the Lord which will become much deeper, pleasureable, and attractive as one progresses with more experience. It can and will become the a premier desire of everything you do because you now  have this developed  friendship (Ps 25:14)  with the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, Mary and Joseph – two Trinities joined together with Christ as the center, like the image on a die which symbolically displays the number 5
Father and Spirit (Holy Divine Family) - top dots    
Son  (Divine and Human) - center dot                                               
Mary and Joseph (Holy Human Family) - bottom dots

No matter how you turn the face of this side of the die, you can see the two Trinities pointing to each other through the Son on the middle dot on the die, and as you begin spending more time in this “other world”, you realize that you it may appear that you're praying alone (in solitude), but you're praying in conference with these persons who are also in this world with you, although not necessarily perceptible.
This is about prayer and spiritual warfare, and not just talking about prayer, which can be highly narcotizing as can be a lot of committee work. Just because we talked about it, we may think we've done something about it. We must be about the practice of prayer which entails the discipline of setting aside time each day for this spiritual ritual.                
Church attendance is down, and some are searching for to churches where they can hear nice sermons which may titillate the ears - Gospels of prosperity, so to speak. Nothing required on the part of the participant - just show up. The spiritual journey is full of pitfalls and challenges. The power and time spent in prayer is what is needed for us as individuals and the Holy Roman Catholic Church.  
                                         St Bruno Night Warriors

Prayer offered up at night possesses a great power, more than the prayer of  daytime...Isaac the Syrian
It is highly desirable to have a plethora of troops in spiritual warfare since so many of the cloistered contemplative vocations have shrunken. We have a loss of prayer warriors on the front lines.

A nightly nighttime rendezvous with God in silence can and will become habit forming. The desire to meet the Lord in the silent darkness of the night will grow to the point that you will eventually find yourself carefully arranging your daily schedule so that you retire for the evening rest at the same time each night or as close to it as is possible. You will go about organizing your daytime schedule so that you will not be cheated out of your time with the Lord. 

You may find yourself needing less sleep. A number of the saints slept very little, but spent many hours in prayer. Certainly, the time for getting up for the regular night vigil will become easier as you intensify the practice. An alarm clock may not be necessary. Just a word said to your Guardian Angel will suffice. There can be times when remaining awake might be challenging. This becomes much less of a challenge as time progresses. A slight rocking motion of the head or body can help one stay awake. Or you can change to another prayer format or change prayer posture.

As you gain more experience in getting out of bed and going to the place of prayer, you might  notice your body’s temperature rising before even getting up, possibly to the point of sweating. This can aid a person in realizing the call to prayer has occurred, just as in the final minutes of prayer, you can become aware that the body is cooling down, as it readies itself for sleep once again. These temperature differentials are measurements are in tenths of a degree and would require a basel body temperature to register these variants.

The nighttime silence is a powerful, silent elixir for the spirit. It might even be intoxicating. It also is a profound weapon against Satan and his ilk.

Prayer At Night

“Prayer offered up at night possesses a great power, more than the prayer of daytime. Therefore all the righteous prayed during the night, while combating the heaviness of the body and the sweetness of sleep and repelling corporeal nature….There is nothing even Satan fears so much as prayer that is offered during the vigilance at night…For this reason the devil smites them with violent warfare, in order to hinder them, if possible from this work [as was the case with Anthony the great, Blessed Paul, Arsenius, and other Desert Fathers]….But those who have resisted his wicked stratagems even a little, who have tasted the gifts of God that are granted during vigil, and who have experienced in themselves the magnitude of God’s help that is always nigh to them, utterly disdain him and all his devices….Which of the solitaries, through possessing all the virtues together, could neglect this work,   and not be reckoned to be idle without it? For night vigil is the light of the thinking, and by it the understanding is exalted, the thought is collected, and the mind takes flight and gazes at spiritual things and by prayer is rejuvenated and shines brilliantly".1 


When keeping vigil, especially the 3rd watch – midnight to three AM – if you ate your last meal around 6:00PM, you have a head start on a good 14 to 16 hour intermittent fast. If you are fasting on the days prescribed by the Didache, which are Wednesdays and Fridays, and are keeping the third watch, a 24hour fast is well within reach.

If you are concerned about a rapacious appetite while breaking the fast, be assured that it is not an abnormal experience. Scientists have found that most people only eat an additional 20% more calories than they would have had they not fasted. we can learn a great deal about moderation from fasting.

Fasting teaches many things including the ability to tolerate a little suffering in the form of hunger pangs. What a delight to offer these sufferings in union with Christ’s sufferings. These small pains make us aware of the poverty of our existence without God, and certainly more aware of the sufferings of the poor.

All of this should lead us to a simpler lifestyle. It reduces our desire for needless consumption of goods and food. Gospel simplicity is one of the frequent topics of our Blessed Lord. The warnings to the rich should be sufficient.

            Peace be with you.

1 From the Ascetical Homilies by Isaac the Syrian, ca 700, Feast Jan. 28. Quoted by Robert Cardinal Sarah in his book, The Power Of Silence Against The Dictatorship Of Noise.

May the All-Powerful, Triune God, continue to bless you, protect you from all evil, and bring you to everlasting life. Amen

Deacon ed  

All Scripture quotes are from New International Version

Shepherd's Center

Shepherds CenterThe Shepherd’s Center program was started in 1996 to help folks in the Madison, Inglewood, Old Hickory and Goodlettsville areas.  It endeavors to provide support and services to older adults who are homebound, but are able to remain in their own surroundings with some assistance from volunteers.

Many seniors face serious health problems, hunger, financial difficulties, insecurity and the despair that comes from loneliness and isolation.  Many have to deal with the loss of their home, spouse and their sense of purpose in life. The work of The Shepherd’s Center of Madison is to fill in the gap of other services available to the elderly.
 Click for more information


"Take care of My Sheep"  If you can help contact Barbara Harnishfeger #615-851-9930

Wedding Guild

Wedding GuildThe Wedding Guild at St. Joseph Parish consists of several parishioners who assist the clergy, staff, and bridal parties with preparations for rehearsals and weddings. One or more members of this ministry meets with each bride several times to ensure things are being done according to church guidelines and the bride's wishes.

Please click here to read more about weddings at St. Joseph.

Members of the Wedding Guild:

Rachel Spence
Patricia Kelley
Carol Mick
Kathy Duer


Music Ministry

Music MinistryMusic is integral to the celebration of any liturgical event.  Singing unifies and deepens our communal prayer.  Singing together, we become one body in Christ.

The gift of music is a treasure to be shared.  St. Joseph Music Ministries offers a wide variety of musical experiences for parishioners.  Whether you are interested in singing or are an instrumentalist of any kind, you can be sure that you will be joining a great group of people.

We invite you to join with us in making beautiful music for St. Joseph Church - it is an amazing vocation.  Any musical gift you have been blest with can be realized by joining one of our groups, whether it be one of the adult choirs or as an instrumentalist. 

Perhaps you have been thinking about joining one of the groups, but there has been that one thing holding you back.  Perhaps the choirs seem so close knit that you  feel you would be an "outsider" if you were to join.  Please be assured, one of our highest priorities is to foster a sense of community.  We love seeing new faces and welcoming them into our family.  I promise you will be put at ease at the very first rehearsal you attend. 

Perhaps you don't read music, so you think there is no way you could join.  Well...lots of our musicians don't read music!  Music is something that is heard, not seen.  In fact, music was being produced thousands and thousands of years before a single note was every written down.  Does an ability to read music help?  Yes, but it is not at all essential.  Please don't let this be the thing that holds you back.

If you feel you are too busy to make a commitment, you might be surprised at the kind of flexibility we can offer you.  If you are even somewhat curious about anything to do with music making at St. Joseph Church,

please contact the Director of Music Ministries: Jefferey A. Hall.

The Music Ministry at St. Joseph includes:

    *Sunday Choir (8:30 AM Mass)
    *Contemporary Choir (11:00 AM Mass)
    *Handbell Choir
    *Music for Weddings and Funerals


International Ministry

International MinistryThis group promotes a variety of multi-cultural events ranging from exhibits to dinners to foster sharing and appreciation of our diverse parish community.

We are a diversified community and a community like this should involve all in church ministries. Love thy neighbor as you love yourself but how can you love your neighbor if you do not know them. Our community is from a diverse background and we desire to grow strong friendships in loving acceptance of all people.

Our mission is to bring all together by sharing, learning and understanding the cultures and traditions that exist on our community. With this, we can build one community, promote respect and trust in one another, peace, harmony to all and most of all to better serve our church and God Almighty.

To accomplish this goal, we strive to initiate a program where we all can participate by sharing, learning and understanding different cultures and traditions. Our plan is to develop a program on how to know our neighbor. One of the events we host is with International Dinner where all can see, learn and taste different food from another country. We also sponsor a Heritage Day where different groups of people from another country will have exhibits about their country focusing on geography, history, cultures and traditions. We will also post general information on the display board and publish articles in the church bulletin and on the parish website about the different countries and their people.

Membership to this ministry is open to everybody.

Prison Ministry

Prison MinistryTo The Least, Last, Lost, and Lonely…

Our service at St. Joseph is directed to the Trousdale Turner Correctional Complex (TTCC) in Hartsville, Tennessee and the Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility (DNSF) here in Nashville, which although the word "prison" is not in its' title, is a prison.  It is a medium to high security hospital for ailing inmates that are sent there from any of the other Tennessee state prisons. They are all felons who are in need of treatment for many different types of illnesses. I continue to maintain a correspondence with about seven inmates at this institution. Deacon Rock Hasenberg is at the helm in at this institution, since I retired from service at that prison after almost 20 years of service. 

TTCC  in Hartsville, Trousdale County, Tennessee is about 45 miles from St. Joseph Church. It is the newest prison we serve. The “we” is Deacon James Booth and myself, Deacon ted Welsh. Deacon James serves several other prisons, but at Trousdale-Turner it’s a partnership. TTCC is the newest prison in the Tennesse Department of Corrections (TDOC) system and is run by contractor Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). The prison took in its first inmates on January 7th this year and has a capacity for 2100 inmates which will make it the largest state institution when filled.

We began planning in August this year for our first religious services which were held on August 30th. We decided to make the services ecumenical so that many of the non-Catholic inmates could attend. Our intention was and is to expose these men to various articles of the Catholic Faith as we explore the Scripture readings with the hope that upon presenting the truths of the Faith and seeing its simplicity, symmetry, and beauty, they might want to dig deeper and explore these many mysteries which would be presented during our service.

And so our communion service, which is essentially a Liturgy of the Word with the distribution of the pre-consecrated hosts (Holy Communion which was taken by the deacon from the tabernacle and brought to the prison) is probably the closest thing to a Catholic Mass that most of them ever may attend. We use the preceding Sunday readings of the Mass, and then, distribute the Holy Eucharist to the Catholics in attendance. 

The very important change we made a few years ago at DSNF was to allow for 30 minutes of fellowship before the service so that the inmates get a chance to form a community (assembly). Here, they have the chance to get to know other inmates and learn a little bit about their struggles in the journey to holiness. We also try to have a bit of fellowship at the end of the service. A lot of times the men will want to talk privately with one of the ministers about any number of varying concerns, and many times we’re able to help. The problems may range from finding a halfway (transitional) house for them to stay upon parole, or making sure the paperwork for the parole hearing has in its file a letter of recommendation. It may also have something to do with the guilt or shame that accompanies incarceration, or maybe helping someone find a loved one whose whereabouts are no longer known. It may be they may need some help with some funds for things like toiletries or just some new socks. If they don’t have a job, and they have no help from relatives or friends, this is where we can provide some aid. 

Our fund for this help that we offer and the books and instructional materials that we provide come from the generous donations our benefactors provide. Much of the money goes to help the inmates with program fees to get into a transitional house after they are paroled. So many of them – almost 85% - have no jobs while in prison, and so they have no funds to use for their sustenance once they are released into the free world. This problem can be compounded when they have been deserted by family, friends, relatives, wives, and children. Some do get help from other sources, but the majority do not. 

Several of the books we use are:

1) The Missionary’s Catechism by Russell Ford, a convert to Catholicism and a former 20-year inmate in the Alabama prison system. Russell’s book explains the Faith in a very understandable fashion, especially for inmates;
2) Man’s Search for Meaning by Dr. Viktor Frankyl, M.D., who survived a 4-year stint in a concentration camp. Among many things, his hardships make the men realize how easy today’s inmates have it compared to what he went through; 
3) When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Rabbi Harold Kushner, whose 5 year old son was diagnosed with progeria, which “is an extremely rare, progressive genetic disorder that causes children to age rapidly (Mayo Clinic). It helps many to understand “why stuff happens” and what we can do about it.
In an effort, as futile and grandiose as it may appear, to make prisons into monasteries, we have instituted a religious order for the inmates who are Christians. The order is the Order of St. Moses the Black (O.S.M.B.). St. Moses (c. A.D. 405) was a thief, a marauder, and a gangster who became a monk.

The order is purely voluntary, but the requirements are these


1) Obedience: Monks must be first of all obedient to the Rule. 
2) Obedient to all lawful authority. 
3) A Monk’s prayer life is supremely rooted in the practice of Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer (Divine Office). This is the prayer life of the Church, and all of us are tied to the Church, The Body of Christ.
3a) It is strongly encouraged that the Monks pray the Holy Rosary once a day and the Jesus Prayer as private devotions which tune the Christian psyche to the promptings of God’s Holy Spirit. This helps pave the road to holiness. These prayers can be prayed at any time.
4) To serve God by serving others in need.

That’s it. Pretty simple.

The Corporal Works of Mercy 

· Feed the hungry 
· Give drink to the thirsty 
· Clothe the naked 
· Shelter the homeless 
· Visit the sick 
· Visit the imprisoned 
· Bury the dead 

The Spiritual Works of Mercy

· Admonish the sinner 
· Instruct the ignorant (This and the next work are extremely pertinent categories today, when so many people are confused by what the Church teaches on contraception, abortion, homosexuality, etc.) 
· Counsel the doubtful 
· Comfort the sorrowful 
· Bear wrongs patiently 
· Forgive all injuries 
· Pray for the living and the dead 

We have about 4 men studying to become Catholics at this time – 2 at Northwest Correctional Complex, 1 at DeBerry, and 1 at Trousdale. We maintain a correspondence with them and see to it that their needs for instruction materials are met.

The order’s size at this point is very small; we have about 3 members total at this time in two different prisons, but we have about 3 novices in formation. And now, we have new mission territory opening up at TTCC.

The whole thing is in the hands of the Holy Spirit under the patronage of St. Moses the Black. We ask for your prayers. St. Moses the Black, pray for us, and Mary, you who are highly favored and Mother of my Lord, pray for us

Contact Deacon Ted for more information or if you would would like to help in some way!


Loaves and Fishes

Loaves and fishes


This Social Action Committee prepares and serves a hot lunch to the homeless individuals at The Room In The Inn on the 2nd Monday of each month.

Contact: Otto Werrbach (615)262-3522