Wedding of Beth and Bob Crafton at Holy Name of Jesus Parish, presided by Fr. John Thomas and Deacon Tom Buckman, with Patrick Beaven as acolyte on June 7, 1997. COURTESY OF BETH CRAFTON
God’s plan was ‘vividly apparent’ in family through foster fatherhood of St. Joseph
BY BETH CRAFTON, SPECIAL TO THE WESTERN KENTUCKY CATHOLIC
Editor’s note: In last month’s February 2021 issue, in honor of the Year of St. Joseph, we ran an article from diocesan digital media specialist Laura Rigsby about St. Joseph’s impact on her faith journey. We also asked for readers’ own stories of St. Joseph’s intercession in their lives. Below, Holy Name of Jesus parishioner Beth Crafton shares her story.
In 1984, a frightening future faced me; I found myself responsible for an unforeseen reality squarely staring me in the face and just waiting for my response. This reality, life with a 3-month-old little baby boy depending on this heartbroken mother who had just a taste of college under her belt and an uncertain financial perspective, created an anxiety within me and a loving concern for me among family and close friends. Determined to pick myself up and deal with this bed I had made could only have been possible with my strong faith which had been laid by the “village” of family, school, church, and community which shaped my being to this point in life. I must provide this same opportunity for my baby boy.
It would take a series of novels to fill in the gaps, but, fast-forward to 2021, and the connection of this personal narrative to St. Joseph inspires this honor to toot this saint’s horn and to encourage all to meet this saint who just sits longing for us to call on him for intercession. St. Joseph protected and guided me in my single parent role from the moment I pled for his personal guardianship in my home. At that moment I felt secure that St. Joseph would be the foster father to my son to fill his presence in absence of a physical dad day-in-and-day-out in the home and beyond. St. Joseph did just that.
When this baby boy turned 12 years old, a physical dad entered our home and became a step-father who has proven true that a title or prefix attached to the word “father” can never be positively emphasized enough to express the grace that was instilled in the roles of both foster-father and step-father.
God’s plan became vividly apparent to me as no coincidence in that my own dad’s name includes Joseph, along with my brother, his junior, and the name my baby boy at age 14 chose as his Confirmation name: yes, Joseph.
(Another “no coincidence” moment came to me after reflecting on my St. Joseph story I had written above. Evidently St. Joseph is beside me right now and wants me to stress to readers that he is waiting with earnest love and care to help you. Why else would I be typing this additional significant influence in my recognition of how I have experienced St. Joseph actively at work? Of course, this simply emphasizes my belief that St. Joseph yearns to help us and takes our requests through his route very seriously. I bet you will agree that this saint has been attentive.)
My parents chose each of their children’s names in honor of a saint. Like many Catholic parents, this practice of adopting a saint in namesake provides a heavenly companion to lean on and ensures positive virtues that could deem valuable in one’s faith journey.
My parents chose St. Joseph to call their firstborn. As my eldest sibling progressed in the journey of life, years passed to lead this college graduate to discern beyond a promising career. The contemplative turn led him to missionary work with the Salesians, to seminary, and then ultimately to the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
My dad lived his last year on this earth to witness his namesake receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders and to celebrate his very first Mass as a priest just five months prior to his namesake presiding over his own funeral and burial. Thomas JOSEPH Buckman Jr. is the current pastor at St. Pius X Parish in Owensboro.
Could all of this be coincidental? Sure, it could be. But as my sister’s favorite saying goes, “There are no
Coincidences with God.”
Beth Buckman Crafton belongs to Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Henderson.
Do you have a St. Joseph story?
Your story could be featured in a future issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic! In honor of the Year of St. Joseph, the WKC is sharing stories of St. Joseph’s impact and intercession on the lives of people all over western Kentucky. If you’re interested in sharing your story, please contact the editor, Elizabeth Wong Barnstead, at email@example.com.
Originally printed in the March 2021 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.