Monday, March 23, 2015

St. Joseph Altar and Feast Day Celebration: 2015


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This past Sunday, March 22, our homeschool group had our annual St. Joseph feast day celebration that we have been having for about 10 years now.  Each year we gather and fellowship with family and old and new friends to celebrate wonderful St. Joseph, the husband of our Blessed Mother and foster-father of Jesus.

St. Joseph's feast day is March 19, but our homeschool group celebrates it whichever Sunday is closest to March 19 so the fathers can gather for the celebration as well!  This year was filled with a few raindrops, a beautiful St. Joseph altar, and many memories.

For a history of St. Joseph's feast day and St. Joseph altars, be sure to read my post HERE that tells all about it, including black and white photos of when my Dad was a little boy and how he celebrated St. Joseph's feast day with very elaborate and decorative altars. 

Here's this year's altar with 3 levels in the background to represent the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).  The altar is decorated with the decorative breads that our homeschool group made a few weeks prior to our celebration and other delicious food.  Each year the host family (Thank you H. family for hosting such a wonderful time each year!) sets up the altar on their back screened-in porch.  There was also lots more food for the feast inside their home. 


The black and white photo above of Mary with the Child Jesus was given as a gift for my friend from her mother when she traveled to Rome.  It is a beautiful print with the holy card of St. Joseph and Jesus beside it.  This print made the St. Joseph altar extra special.   The monstrance in the lower right corner came out so beautiful.

Thanks A.J. for the beautiful, colorful, and delicious cupcakes!  They were a hit and added so much to the altar.

The carpenter's square belonged to our friend's grandfather and it always makes the perfect decoration in front of the St. Joseph statue.   Another friend made the chocolate birds' nests that were adorable and I hope to make them for this Easter!  The colorful fig cookies are a traditional Italian cookie that are a labor of love made by J.H. and family and they are called cuccidatas.

I made these very easy and delicious Cappuccino Cupcakes.  I found the recipe in the Country Italian cookbook.  If you would like the recipe, contact me and I will be glad to share it. It's basically just brownie mix and coffee mixed with a few other ingredients. Cool Whip with cinnamon on top. Mmmmm...  Chocolate and coffee...a winning combination!  They were a hit! 

The homeschool family that hosts the St. Joseph celebration told a little bit of history of St. Joseph's Feast Day by displaying this map to show where Sicily is located.  Our friend's great grandparents (their wedding photo is in the above picture) were from Sicily and when they moved to Louisiana they started the St. Joseph altar tradition in the state of Louisiana.

 Here is J.H. talking about the history of the St. Joseph altars.  In the background you can see posters filled with a collage of pictures that my Dad had made from several past St. Joseph feast day celebrations.  Thank you Dad! 

Here is my father on the far left (and the "official" photographer) and HERE is my Dad as a little boy standing in front of his family's very elaborate St. Joseph's altar.
My Dad is holding the Litany of St. Joseph which is a beautiful prayer that we say as a group each year.  A litany is a list of names that refer to a particular Saint.

J.H. filled the tiny white cloth bags for each family to take home with them: Each bag was filled St. Joseph holy card, St. Joseph medal, and a fava bean because during the famine in Sicily, families lived off of these types of beans until the famine ended.  Attached to each bag is a ziplock bag filled with samples of the traditional Italian cookies she made with her family.

Here are some of the kids and teens and everyone was able to hang out outside for most of the afternoon even in the drizzling rain that was off and on.  Good St. Joseph looked out for us and must have sent a special request to God to keep the predicted rainfall to a minimum. :) 

Here is this year's family and friends. Our kids are scattered throughout the group with my husband and me on the far right corner squatting down with our 19 mo. old dressed in red.  :)

May the Passiontide, these last 2 weeks of Lent, be a blessed time for you and your family and friends!   Wait..... after doing some research about Passiontide I just learned some new things about this time period in Lent through Nicole's blog post Celebrating Passion Sunday and from this site that she refers to in her post. Passiontide is one OR two weeks prior to Easter depending on which liturgical calendar you look at and follow.  Hmmm...that's interesting!

I just love our Catholic faith because it's like a bottomless treasure chest with gems and rich traditions that always has something new to learn and love!

St. Joseph, pray for us!





6 comments:

Chris said...

Wow, what a celebration! You guys are so blessed to have such an amazing faithful group of families to walk with through the liturgical seasons....and they, you!
Great pics, fantastic altar, recipe. Love the pics of Dad!

Thanks for sharing!

What fun!! Such a wonderful celebration! Thanks for sharing!

Hi Chris!
Thanks for stopping in, reading post and commenting. We are blessed with a great families in our area to celebrate our faith with and that's why it's always hard to see so many move away, but always wonderful to meet new families that move into our area and participate in our homeschool group activities. :) I hope you are having a blessed week!

Hi Nicole!
Thank you for your comment and thank you for your great post that I linked up to about Passiontide :)

Thanks Tracy for your great blog with pictures and story of the St. Joseph celebration..We were so happy to be there once again with all of you, what a great bunch to be around. Thanks to Frank also for being our official photographer whose pictures are so wonderful. Only wished I could have been of more help , but fractured arm is feeling better and am thankful that I can do"basics" using only my right hand. Blessings to all of you,
Barbara

Hi Barbara,

Nice to "see" you again here on my blog :) Thank you for dropping in! So sorry again about your arm, but I'm glad you are feeling better! It was so nice to visit with you and Richard, as always! We are so blessed by Jennifer and David's creativity and hospitality each year for our annual celebration and altar in honor of St. Joseph! Take care and have a blessed Holy Week and Easter season!

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