Fraternity of St Joseph the Guardian
The Fraternity of St Joseph the Guardian is a public association of the faithful by diocesan right endeavouring to become an institute of consecrated life. Its members, divided into male and female branches, strive for the perfection of charity through the ties of community life, the profession of vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, and by following certain spiritual and apostolic ends.
The Fraternity seeks to take part in the divine mission vouchsafed to St Joseph, viz. to keep and serve Our Lord Jesus Christ, fostering an ordered insertion of the Son of God into the world and reëstablishing the primacy of God in the hearts and minds of men.
Contemplation of divine matters and union with God through diligent prayer are the first and foremost duties of the members of the Fraternity. The central aspects of daily life are therefore participation in Holy Mass and the chanting of the Divine Office, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, meditation, praying the Holy Rosary, study, and lectio divina.
We wish, moreover, to proclaim and expand the Kingdom of Christ through a fervent missionary life, focusing especially on the establishment of houses in remote rural areas without regular access to priests.
The Fraternity began in Chile as a result of the efforts of Father Federico Alcamán Riffo, which bore fruit in young laymen with an apostolic spirit and a solid formation. The preaching of popular missions in Fr Federico’s parish and in the south of Chile soon became a characteristic aspect of the group’s apostolate.
Many of these young men and women consecrated themselves with a temporary vow of chastity in order to dedicate themselves fully to piety, the study of doctrine, and their apostolate. They simultaneously found through this vow a way to dispose themselves to the Divine Will and also to prepare themselves better for a holy Christian marriage.
St Joseph thus began to emerge as a holy patron befitting the way of life undertaken by these young men and women. When Divine Providence deemed the time meet, vocations to a total consecration bloomed: in 1999 a community of young women who professed private vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, aiming towards a religious life, was established, and in 2002 a community of men in the same manner and with the same purpose.
In 2004, the brothers travelled to Rome to receive a formation in the Seminary of the Institute of the Incarnate Word (Instituto del Verbo Encarnado, IVE), whose superiors have assisted our work with a magnanimous and fraternal spirit. It was then that Providence, through the IVE, led us to the Archdiocese of Washington, whither we were invited to work in the pastoral ministry with the substantial Hispanic community, while continuing our formation with the IVE.
Through our interactions with Hispanic immigrants we were brought to Central America, where by God’s grace we have been preaching popular missions since 2006. Our apostolic work in Central America is becoming an increasingly permanent part of our Fraternity.
On January 2010, some brothers of the Fraternity founded a new mission in the diocese of Frèjus-Toulon, France, at the invitation of its bishop, Monsignor Dominique Rey. On 19 March of that same year, Monsignor Rey established our community as a public association of the faithful with the goal of becoming an institute of consecrated life.