Friday, February 19, 2016

St. Anthony's Celebration of St. Joseph Table

The Feast of St. Joseph is March 19.  Our parish celebration will be Sunday, March 20 after the 11 am Mass.  This is a beautiful celebration as described in the previous blog entry.  We hope that many will come to celebrate this event as a parish family.  Just bring yourselves and a traditional meatless dish to pass.  If you are not sure what to bring, click on the link below to find some interesting traditional Italian recipes for the feast of St. Joseph.

Here are some helpful recipes to prepare your dish to pass

St. Joseph Table

St. Joseph’s Table
       On March nineteenth. the Church will celebrate the feast of St. Joseph. In Sicily, St. Joseph is honored on this date with a big celebration called The St. Joseph's Table. The custom of the St. Joseph's Table dates back to the fifteenth century. One year there was a terrible drought that affected the whole country of Sicily. The feudal land owners, in desperation turned to St. Joseph, the patron saint of Sicily, and promised him that if the rains would come, they would prepare a feast in his honor and invite all the people of the town. Accordingly, when the rains miraculously came, the landowners set up huge banquet tables in the public square, invited ll the poor, and served them themselves.

         The particulars of the feast and celebration are as follows. An elaborate altar is set up, usually in the dining room of the home. In the place of honor is enthroned a statue of St. Joseph amidst silks, satins, and candles. The parish priest is always asked to come and bless the table and the food. Among the many people who come to the table are twelve special guests. These guests are referred to in Sicilian as "Ie vergineddi."
         Now, we come to the part that everyone enjoys - the food. Since St. Joseph's Day falls during Lent, all the foods are meatless. The feast begins customarily with a small plate of macaroni and lentils, followed by a small plate of spaghetti and meatless sauce - topped with a boiled egg. Then come the dozens of egg omelets (frittata) usually containing every green vegetable yon can imagine: cauliflower, spinach, artichokes, fennel, asparagus, burdocks, and mustard seed. Last but not least, are the desserts like cannoli, honeyballs, sfingi, and various kinds of cookies, which are served throughout the meal.

         The dish that is the centerpiece of the table is the special type of bread called St. Joseph's bread. It is sweet bread that is made from dough different from normal bread. It is made into various shapes such as a cane or staff to symbolize St. Joseph, a crown to symbolize Mary the Queen of Heaven, or the form of a baby (bambino) to symbolize the Child Jesus.

         However, even though the food plays an important part in this celebration, it is not the focal point. The feeding and caring for the poor is the focal point of the celebration. That is why each guest receives a bag containing some St. Joseph's bread. These bags are not only for those who attend the table but also for the poor and sick of the community who could not possibly attend the celebration.


Become A Grown Up Catholic

Growing in our faith is part of our responsibility as a Catholic.  There is so much information about the Catholic church out in the media, but so much of it is wrong, misdirected, and skewed.  What do we really believe?
    For example, this morning Jeraldo (Feb 19, 2016) Rivera said: "The Pope is not longer infallible."  That is a stupid statement and incorrect.  It was spoken in the context of the Holy Father's recent comment about building walls and not building bridges too.
    Infallibility refers only to the Pope's speaking about issues of faith and morals and only when he states that his statements are the official teaching of the Church.  Certainly, Jeraldo believes that he, Jeraldo, was speaking infallibly about the Pope.  Unfortunately, Jeraldo publicly displayed his ignorance.
   In any case, Catholics should be concerned about keeping up-to-date in their understanding of the faith.  Just as we grow older, we should also mature in knowing more about our faith.  There is so much at our disposal especially online.
    The parish has subscribed to a program known as FORMED.  FORMED has several series of videos, audio talks and printed materials meant to nourish our faith and our practice of the faith.  There is no commitment, nothing that you have to do except GO AND LOOK.  The website is simple:

In the middle of the page, there is a question: "Does your parish already have Formed?"  Then, there is a spot for your code.  The parish code is RQAKJ8.
Just enter the code, hit the enter button.  Then, you can register.  It is 100% free to use.  There is a wealth of videos and information just waiting for you to watch and enjoy.  Check it out and become a Grown Up Catholic.