ST. JOSEPH'S ALTAR
To celebrate the Feast of St. Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which occurs on March 19th, parishioners are asked to bring breads and pastries when they come to Mass the weekend before or after, and place them on the altar of St. Joseph when they enter church.
This custom of preparing the altar originated in Sicily centuries ago during a time of drought and famine. No rain fell and the crops that fed both people and livestock withered and died. Sicilians turned in prayer to their patron saint, San Giuseppe, St. Joseph for relief. When the drought continued and people watched as wheat stalks dried up, still they continued to pray. Finally, the clouds opened, pouring desperately needed rain and all of Sicily rejoiced. After the harvest, the people of Sicily prepared a table with special foods to honor St. Joseph and to share with the poor..
The tradition continues today in churches throughout the world and in our own parish as welL, beginning in 2015. The sawdust sprinkled on the altar represents the saw dust that would have been found on the floor of St. Joseph's workshop. All baked goods we receive are blessed during Mass and donated to New Horizons the following day.