After converting to Catholicism over twenty years ago, I find I am still learning about my “new” faith.
When a community member called to let me know about a St. Joseph’s Table this coming Sunday (March 16, 2008 – 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.) at El Carmelo Retreat House in Redlands, California, I just had to investigate further. This is what I discovered on the Internet:
About St. Joseph’s Table
In Sicily, a St. Joseph’s Table was primarily meant for feeding the poor as a form of communal or public charity, in thanksgiving for the end of a severe drought. Three of the poorest of the village, dressed as Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, reenact the Holy Family seeking lodging. The family finds shelter and food at the home of the family hosting the table. The “saints” are seated at the table and are served a substantial meal. A statue of St. Joseph with the baby Jesus is the centerpiece of the table. Breads, vegetables and sweets decorate the table. Because the celebration occurs during Lent, no meat is present. A large red fish placed on the table is a symbol of Christ, and an olive branch is hung on the door to welcome all. Source URL: http://holyfamily.org/content/view/74/121/
Apparently at these celebrations people may bring anything they wish to be blessed. Have a happy celebration this week, as we enter into Holy Week.