2019 St. Joseph Tables

St. Peter Parish hosted their St. Joseph Table on Feb. 24. (Marty Denzer/Key photo)

St.  Joseph, Mary’s husband and Jesus’ foster father, is honored as the Holy Family’s protector and provider, Patron of Carpenters and Workers, patron of every human family and of the Universal Church. 

Christian devotion to St. Joseph began very early, with earliest records dating to the year 800. Italians, particularly Sicilians, have long been devoted to St. Joseph because they experienced his protection in a special way. According to tradition, a long, devastating drought in Sicily in about 1309, caused a severe famine. Starving, the Sicilian peasants offered novenas to St. Joseph asking for rain and were rewarded with abundant rain and a rich harvest.

Following the harvest, landlords and farmers prepared a solemn feast honoring the saint. Besides religious celebrations in every town and village, families prepared gigantic altar-tables filled with food, fancy pastry, Sicilian delicacies, flowers, and decorations with a statue of St. Joseph as the centerpiece. Dinner guests of honor were the poor and needy in the town or village. This was the landlords and farmers’ way of sharing their blessings, honoring and thanking St. Joseph for his help. This celebration, St. Joseph’s Table, became a yearly tradition, held on March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph.
In the late 1800s, Sicilians who settled in Kansas City’s north end started the annual celebration in the neighborhood near Holy Rosary Church. At first held in private homes, it eventually moved to parish halls and became community celebrations.

Today, many parishes across the Diocese celebrate St. Joseph with a St. Joseph’s Table, blessing the Table and offering cookies, Cannoli, Italian cakes, breads and other delicacies for sale. Most celebrations offer a pasta dinner, usually with meatless sauce, as the celebration falls during Lent. Proceeds from the Table help the poor and needy of the parish or specific ministries. A statue of St. Joseph sits in the center and the table becomes a shrine surrounded by candles and flowers. Its three tiers symbolize the Holy Trinity.

St. Mark’s Parish St. Joseph’s Table, March 16 & 17, in the Parish Center, 3736 S. Lee’s Summit Road, Independence. 6:30 p.m., March 16, Table blessing and viewing; 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., March 17, Spaghetti dinner, free will donations accepted; Italian cookie sale and raffles.

Nativity of Mary Parish St. Joseph Table and Spaghetti Dinner, March 16-17, Nativity of Mary Parish Hall (use the 40 HWY entrance,) 10021 E 36th Terrace, Independence. March 16: Table will be blessed following the 4 p.m. Mass and remain open for viewing until 6:30 p.m. March 17: Table and Spaghetti Dinner will begin following the 10:30 a.m. Mass and remain open until 4 p.m. Menu includes spaghetti with the choice of Milanese or plain tomato sauce, a mixed salad, bread, dessert, and refreshments. (Gluten free pasta will be available) $5/person suggested. Carry-out available. All Dinner and Table proceeds will benefit Catholic School education for families in need and the Independence Franciscan Sisters Mission Warehouse.

Our Lady of the Presentation Parish St. Joseph Table, March 10, Church Auditorium, 130 NW Murray Road, Lee’s Summit. 11 a.m., Table blessing 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Pasta meal served. Free will offering accepted. Sicilian cookies and variety of baked goods for sale. Proceeds benefit Uplift Organization (a service partner of the parish and the school’s 6th grade class) which helps feed the homeless.

St. Robert Bellarmine Parish St. Joseph’s Table and Dinner, Noon – 5:30 p.m., March 10, 4313 SW State Route 7, Blue Springs. Father John Bolderson will bless the Table at 12:15, followed by a meal with salad, bread and the choice of Pasta with Traditional Milanese Sauce, or Spaghetti and Meatballs. $10/adults; $5/children under 12. Italian cookies and Cannolis sold. All proceeds go to St. Robert’s Food Pantry and Emergency Assistance Fund.

St. Ann’s Parish St. Joseph Table, 12 noon – 6 p.m., March 9, Lynn and Tracy streets, Excelsior Springs. Spaghetti dinner, abundant display of festive food, homemade Italian cookies and Cannolis. free will offering. All proceeds given to those in need.

St. Anthony Parish St. Joseph Table, 10:30 a.m. – 7 p.m., March 18, Viewing of the Table, St. Joseph’s Hall, 3208 Lexington, Kansas City. Italian cookies, Cannoli and more sold. 8 a.m., March 19, Mass in Italian celebrated in honor of St. Joseph, St. Anthony’s Church, 309 Benton Blvd., followed by Blessing of the St. Joseph Table. Pasta Milanese dinner served at St. Joseph’s Hall 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., free will donations welcomed.

Holy Rosary Parish St. Joseph Table, March 18 & 19, Holy Rosary Church, 911 E. Missouri Avenue, Kansas City. 4 p.m., March 18, Table blessing and viewing, Cookies sold; 10 a.m., Mass March 19, pasta dinner served 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Cookies, Cannoli, pastries sold.

Guardian Angel’s St. Joseph Table, March 18 & 19, Our Lady of Hope School cafeteria, 4232 Mercier (next door to the church), Kansas City. 4 p.m., March 18, Blessing and viewing of the St. Joseph Table, Italian Cookies and Cannoli sold. 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., March 19, viewing of the St. Joseph Table; Pasta Milanese dinner; Italian Cookies and Cannolis sold. Free will donation. Proceeds split between Guardian Angels Church and Our Lady of Hope Grade School.

St. Patrick Parish St. Joseph Table, 5 – 7 p.m., March 18 & 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., March 19, 1357 NE 42nd Terrace, Kansas City, located in the Parish Hall on the lower back side of the church, accessible by elevator in church hallway. 5 p.m., March 18, Table blessing will proceed the dinner. Viewing and dinner served until 7 p.m. Cookies and other table items sold following the blessing. 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., March 19, T able viewing, dinner served, table items sold. Dinner – free will donation; table item costs vary.

St. Charles Borromeo Parish St. Joseph’s Table, March 17, St. Charles Borromeo Church, 900 NE Shady Lane Drive, Kansas City. 8:30 a.m., Mass; 9:30 a.m., Table blessing by Father Don Farnan and viewing; Frozia (frozen yogurt) and homemade bread served, $3/person. 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Pasta dinner served: Pasta Milanese, Pasta w/plain sauce, Frozia, bread, beverage for Free-will donation. Homemade Italian cookies, Cannolis, pastries, breads, and chocolates sold. Proceeds benefit those in need.

St. Andrew the Apostle Parish St. Joseph Table, 5 – 7:30 p.m., March 16 and 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., March 17 in the parish hall, 6415 NE Antioch Road, Gladstone. 5 p.m., March 16, blessing of the St. Joseph Table, followed by viewing. Authentic spaghetti dinner served 5:30 -7:30 p.m., March 16 and 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., March 17. Free will donations welcome. Italian cookies, Cannolis and desserts sold. All proceeds support St. Andrew’s Social Outreach Ministry.

St. James Parish St. Joseph Table, March 9 & 10, at St. James Social Hall, 309 S. Stewart Road, Liberty. 11 a.m., March 9, table blessing, followed by viewing and meal until 8 p.m.; 10:30 a.m., March 10, viewing and meal. Homemade Cannolis, breads, cookies, cakes and more sold. All are welcome. Free will donations appreciated.

St. Joseph Cathedral Parish St. Joseph Table and dinner, 4 – 8 p.m., March 19, Cathedral Auditorium, 510 N. 10th Street, St. Joseph. 3:30 p.m., Father Steve Hansen will bless the Table, Spaghetti and meatballs, breadsticks, salad and drinks for free will donation served 4 – 8 p.m. Desserts and goodies from the tables sold. Free will donations benefit Cathedral Food Pantry. A relic of St. John Vianney, his uncorrupted heart, will visit the Cathedral 8 a.m., – 8 p.m., March 19, with veneration throughout the day. Consider eating before or after visiting the relic.

St. Thomas More Parish 48th annual St. Joseph Table, March 19, More Hall (church lower level) 11820 Holmes Road, Kansas City. Table blessing follows 8:15 a.m. Mass; 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., viewing and Pasta Milanese meal served, free will donation. Table items for sale. All proceeds to assist the needy.

Many of the foods used on the Table have cultural significance for Sicilians. In the Bible, figs represent prosperity and abundance. Artichokes are of Mediterranean origin near Sicily and are thought to symbolize peace.

Biscotti (twice-baked almond biscuit), cuccidati (fig cookies) and anginetti (glazed lemon cookies) are often displayed. The lemon symbolizes fidelity in love, associated with the Virgin Mary. Sweet dough is often shaped into the Bible, a cross, a lamb and a heart as well as cakes in the shape of a lamb, representing Christ’s resurrection.

Pasta Milanese, pasta with a fish sauce, is a traditional dish on a St. Joseph Table. Sometimes “St. Joseph Sawdust” (specially seasoned breadcrumbs) is sprinkled on top, to commemorate his occupation as a carpenter.

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Saturday
July 20, 2019
Newspaper of the Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph