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Come to the (St. Joseph) Table: Feasts Overflow With Food and Faith

Festive tables overflow with colorful foods, ranging from pastas, breads and desserts, to a cornucopia of fruits and vegetables, most of which have a traditional connection to Italy.

At every Solemnity of St. Joseph on March 19, or a day close to it, churches, organizations and private homes honor the Noble Offspring of David and celebrate after Mass with visits to eye-catching and mouth-watering St. Joseph Tables.

This tradition began in Sicily and arrived in the United States in the mid-19th century, when the first immigrants from that largest island in the Mediterranean emigrated, landing first in New Orleans. There, the tradition of the St. Joseph Table, also known as the St. Joseph Altar, took root, eventually spreading throughout the country as Sicilians fanned out to cities like Chicago and New York and states including Kansas and Texas. In the great melting pot of America, the tradition expanded. Now, people of many nationalities join in the festive St. Joseph Altar celebrations.

Naturally, Louisiana has many parishes following the tradition. St. Joseph Church and Shrine in Gretna, Louisiana, across the river from New Orleans, draws upward of 1,500 people to its St. Joseph Table. People find similar St. Joseph Altar celebrations around the country, such as at St. John Cantius Church in Chicago and Christ the Redeemer Church in Houston, where more than 400 faithful attend a dinner, not counting a few thousand more who come to view the elaborate table filled with traditional foods and colorful decorations.

Read more at National Catholic Register 

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