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Parish celebrates tradition of St. Joseph Altar

Catholicism, Italian cuisine, and camaraderie came together at Our Lady of Sorrows Church (OLS) in Homewood on March 18 when the Feast of St. Joseph was celebrated ahead of the Sunday, March 19, feast day (which was observed on March 20 this year). About 100 people gathered for the dinner at the foot of an elaborate St. Joseph Altar. It was assembled to honor the patron saint of the Universal Church. The altar, bearing statues representing Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, included loaves of bread, fresh fruit and vegetables, desserts, fava beans, candles, flowers, holy cards, and photos of saints. The dinner followed the 5 p.m. Mass celebrated by Father George Maniangattu, visiting administrator of St. Leo the Great, St. Mary, and St. Francis parishes. Father Maniangattu blessed the St. Joseph Altar and the food with holy water. Special intentions were collected and free-will monetary contributions were given for the Catholic Center of Concern. The St. Joseph Altar originated in Sicily to thank St. Joseph for his intercession at the end of drought and famine. The chairs of the tradition at OLS were Marie Swift, Claudia Tombrello, and Fran Robertson who were aided by a gifted group of other parishioners.