The St. Joseph’s Table at Our Lady of Grace Church has never been more full than it was late Saturday afternoon inside Fioretti Hall.
It was Our Lady of Grace’s annual St. Joseph’s Day celebration, which is usually held on March 19. It is an event filled with many customs and traditions to honor a man the Rev. Peter J. Gower said is “one of the most beloved of all saints.”
Moreover, the St. Joseph’s Table – which is always the event’s focal point – was overflowing for Saturday’s celebration.
Gower related a legend that is at the heart of the celebration.
“There was once a famine in Sicily many centuries ago, and people were starving from the lack of rain and crops,” he said. “The villagers prayed to St. Joseph, foster father of our lord, Jesus, and protector of the Blessed Virgin Mary, they asked his intercession to provide for their families.”
He continued, “Their prayers were answered with the most precious gift. They had food, which is also in abundance here today because of our ever-growing community of generous supporters and volunteers.”
The St. Joseph’s Day celebration was indeed a feast, with 250 parishioners enjoying a night filled with food, dancing, prizes and much more.
Our Lady of Grace’s kitchen prepared antipasto, pasta, polenta, sausages, meatballs and salad. It capped the night with zeppole, while the decorative St. Joseph’s Table was covered with a variety of items, including breads, cookies, wine, lemons, limoncello and many religious articles.
“The St. Joseph’s Table was wonderful,” Gower said. “We had over 90 items in all, and our parishioners were once again the recipients of each and every gift that was donated by people here at Our Lady of Grace.”
Just as it was years and years ago, the St. Joseph’s Table was highlighted with a picture of the Holy Family and featured flowers and candles.
“We give you thanks from grateful hearts for this meal, for our fellowship, for your love, for your provision of food and of those who prepared this wonderful meal for us,” Gower said while giving the blessing. “Helps us to remember that you are with us around the table and may our hearts and words be a blessing to you in return.”