St. Joseph’s Table tradition continues

The St. Joseph’s Table at St. Anthony comes together each year thanks to the work of passionate people. From left: Father Paul Turner, Damiana Ferro, Nicoletta Oliver, Joie Sciara-Meyers, Anna LaPuma, Barbara Sarro, and Pasqua Cusumano (with her daughter Giulianna Cusumano).

By Paul Thompson

Northeast News

March 18, 2017

KANSAS CITY, Missouri – For those who continue the St. Joseph’s Table legacy, it’s all about tradition.

The tradition began generations ago, in Sicily. In the throes of a severe drought, the townspeople prayed to St. Joseph, hoping he would appeal to God to bring much-needed rain to the area. If the rain came, the people promised, they would hold a special feast in his honor. So it is that on March 19 of every year, parishes with Italian roots put together St. Joseph’s Tables.

In Kansas City, the tradition is upheld by the St. Anthony and Holy Rosary Catholic Churches, among others. St. Anthony’s Father Paul Turner told the Northeast News on Saturday, March 18 about how the parish interprets the St. Joseph’s Table origin story.

“They prayed to St. Joseph for rains, and they got a good crop that year, so they promised that the poor would never go hungry,” said Turner. “That started a tradition of creating a lot of food on the feast day of St. Joseph, March 19.”

At St. Anthony (3208 Lexington), the public is invited to view the table – and purchase a variety of baked goods – until 7:00 p.m. on Saturday night. Then on Sunday morning, following 9:00 a.m. mass, the table will be blessed, a traditional Pasta Milanese meal will be served, and more cannolis, cookies, and specialty Italian doughnuts. At Holy Rosary (910 Pacific), the St. Joseph’s Table is open for viewing from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on March 18. Pasta will be also be served at Holy Rosary from 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. on March 19.

All of the proceeds from food sales at the annual event at St. Anthony go to benefit a variety of charities, including area schools, boy scout troops, and service organizations. And there is plenty of food to go around. Volunteers from all over come to the church to donate their time, effort, and baking expertise. Turner, for one, said that he’s heartened by the dedication of those who work to the St. Joseph’s Table a reality.

“I like the spirit that’s underneath it; they want to give thanks for the benefits that they receive,” said Turner. “They give untold hours to make all of this happen. For the last eight weeks or so, there have been people down here four days a week baking cookies, preparing all of the decorations, getting everything ready to go.”

To those who so generously offer to help, the St. Joseph’s Table tradition is a hallmark event that serves to bring families closer together. Anna LaPuma recalled how her mother used to corral the family into helping put the table together every year at St. Anthony.

“She would say, ‘Come and pick me up,’ and I would be working at the hospital. I’d say, ‘Mom, I’ve got to go home, I’ve got stuff to do,'” remembers LaPuma. “She’d say, ‘Well, when you ask St. Joseph to do something for you, he’s going to say he’s got too much to do.'”

“She just really enjoyed doing it,” LaPuma added. “A lot of times she walked from Prospect to come to the church here.”

Since her mother’s passing, LaPuma and several members of the family have pitched in as a token of remembrance.

“When she died 11 years ago, I promised I was going to help as long as I feel good,” LaPuma said. “So I came, and then I got my sister to come, and my other sister, then my sister-in-law.”

By 2017, it has become akin to a family affair.

“It kind of keeps us together with my mom, too,” said sister Nicoletta Oliver. “It just keeps her fresh in our memory.”

Comments are closed.

  • Northeast Newscast Episode 3 w/ Missouri District 19 Representative Ingrid Burnett

    March 23rd, 2017

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News March 23, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Another episode of the Northeast Newscast is in […]

    Charges filed in fatal St. Patrick’s Day crash

    March 23rd, 2017

    By Michael Bushnell Northeast News March 23, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Charges have been filed in a crash that […]

    KCPD Chief Forté announces retirement

    March 22nd, 2017

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News March 22, 2017 Editor’s note: This story was updated on March 23 KANSAS CITY, Missouri […]

    Retirement party for Dr. Joslyn

    March 22nd, 2017

    Photos by David Remley March 22, 2017 Retirement. After more than two decades serving the Northeast community, Dr. Elaine Joslyn […]

    Why the KCMO animal shelter seeks new digs

    March 22nd, 2017

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News March 22, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – On top of a former landfill, within a […]

  • KCPD seeks help finding arson suspect

    March 21st, 2017

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News March 21, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – An area man is suspected of targeting a […]

    Demolition of Royale Inn begins

    March 20th, 2017

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News March 20, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The $12 million Paseo Gateway Project took a […]

    Another busy weekend in the Northeast

    March 17th, 2017

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News March 17, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – It’s expected to be a busy weekend in […]

    Two children killed in devastating Northeast car crash

    March 17th, 2017

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News March 17, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Two children died on the morning of Friday, […]

    Victim identified in March 6 double shooting in Northeast

    March 17th, 2017

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News March 17, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – A local man, killed on Monday, March 6 […]

  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Roses are red … and pink … and white …

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News March 22, 2017 Between Oct. 21 and 24 of 1864, the area we now know […]

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder

    Northeast News March 22, 2017

    Update: KCPD finds previously missing man

    Northeast News March 15, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – A local man was found on the evening of Wednesday, March […]