The Story of St. Joseph and Relevant Radio

Just 11 days ago, Pope Francis surprised us with the announcement that we’re going to have a Year of St. Joseph, from December 8, 2020 until December 8, 2021. A year is a long time, and with so much going on in the world it can be difficult to stay focused and engaged with this Year of St. Joseph for 12 full months.

That’s why we decided to offer a 19-minute talk on St. Joseph on the 19th of each month, as the 19th of the month is traditionally dedicated to St. Joseph. It’s a way to help you grow closer to Jesus through St. Joseph all year long!

Over the course of the next year, Father Rocky and your favorite Relevant Radio® hosts will offer a 19-minute talk each month on a different topic related to St. Joseph. In the first installment, Father Rocky tells the story of how St. Joseph has been a great friend and intercessor for Relevant Radio.

Holy Land Pilgrimage with Drew Mariani

The story begins more than 10 years ago, when Bishop David Ricken of the Diocese of Green Bay asked Tom Vorpahl, the Relevant Radio Chairman of the Board, how things were going with Relevant Radio.

“Spiritually, over the top,” Tom told Bishop Ricken. “The testimonials we get from people are very, very, moving, inspiring, and humbling. But, financially it’s really, really difficult.” In fact, it was a train wreck.

Bishop Ricken encouraged the Relevant Radio leadership to go to the Oratory of Saint Joseph in Montreal, Canada. Father Rocky admits that he had never heard of the Oratory of Saint Joseph before, but it would soon prove to play a huge role in his life.

The Oratory was founded by St. André Bessette in 1904, and Father Rocky explained that when you go to the Oratory, “You go to Confession, and you bring your needs to Saint André. Saint André will take you to St. Joseph, St. Joseph will take you to our Lord, and your problems are solved. That’s how the bishop explained it to us.”

Father Rocky recalled being in the Chapel of St. Joseph at the Oratory, racking his brain to figure out how to rectify the dire situation at Relevant Radio.

“I realized we needed a very big gift to have any chance of digging ourselves out of a hole,” he said. “I won’t go into the specifics of it, but I remember giving him a number, and within a year we had received that. And ever since that time we’ve been going forward.”

Shortly after Bishop Ricken, Father Rocky, Tom Vorpahl, and board member John Cavil returned from the Oratory, Relevant Radio held the February Pledge Drive.

“We told the people on-air what we had done and our audience reacted in the most extraordinary way,” Father Rocky remembered. “There were so many phone calls that day, so many gifts, so many pledges. Over a half million dollars we raised that day! The phones were almost melting down! Smoke was almost coming out of the computers, and I said, ‘Wow, Saint Joseph doesn’t wait!'”

But that’s not the end of the story. Father Rocky explained, “We’ve gotten things in order, and part of the deal with the Oratory of Saint Joseph is that if he answered your prayer you had to go back the next year to thank him. So the next year we went back there to thank him.”

“And after thanking him for about an hour or so, we still had a couple of hours on our hands, and we said, ‘Well, now what do we do?’ I said, well, might as well ask him for more! So we asked him for more, and every year he’s come through in a big way.”

Hear the rest of the story of how St. Joseph has been a great friend and a powerful intercessor for Relevant Radio by listening to or reading the full “19 on the 19th” talk below:

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St. Joseph
Holy Land Pilgrimage with Drew Mariani
Stephanie Foley serves as a Digital Media Producer at Relevant Radio®. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she studied journalism, and she has worked in Catholic radio for 12 years. Stephanie is a wife, a mother of three boys, and in her free time she enjoys reading, running, and really good coffee. You can find more of Stephanie’s writing at relevantradio.com and on the free Relevant Radio mobile app.