Dorri Partain 
Assistant Editor 

Each year, the Feast of St. Joseph is celebrated on March 19. In addition to a special Mass, the event includes the blessing and viewing of a table dedicated to St. Joseph, laden with foods in thanks to prayers. Centuries ago, Sicilian Italians were plagued with famine and drought and prayed to St. Joseph (patron saint of the worker) for rain, with a promise to produce a feast if their prayers were answered. The annual celebration came to America as immigrants settled into their new home but continued the traditions of their homeland.

Central to the celebration, each parish constructs a tiered display showcasing shaped breads, carved vegetables and fruits, and a variety of baked goods.  Pasta Milanese is served and topped with bread crumbs which symbolizes the sawdust created, as St. Joseph was a carpenter. Proceeds from donations and sales from table items help contribute to parish programs and services.

St. Anthony Catholic Church, 309 Benton Blvd., Kansas City, MO

Viewing of Table on Monday, March 18 from 4 to 7 p.m. in St. Joseph Hall, 3208 Lexington Ave. Italian cookies will be for sale during viewing. Italian Mass in honor of St. Joseph, Tuesday, March 19 at 9:00 a.m. Blessing of table following Mass. Pasta Dinner, Tuesday, March 19 at 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Carryout available. Donations welcome. 

Holy Cross Catholic Church, 5106 St. John Ave., Kansas City, MO

Viewing of Table on Monday, March 18, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Bilingual Mass: Tuesday 19 at 6:00 p.m. Lunch: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Lunch is a free will donation. Carryout available. Menu: pasta Milanese, pasta with red sauce, Caesar salad, frozia with cauliflower and potatoes, fresh Italian bread. Desserts available for purchase: fig cookies, Italian cookies, snowballs, and cannolis.

Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 911 E. Missouri Ave., Kansas City, MO

Table blessing and viewing on Monday, March 18, beginning at 4 pm inside the church until 6 pm. Italian cookies and pasta “to go” kits sold in Scalabrini Hall, 910 Pacific Ave., from 4 to 6 pm. Tuesday, March 19, Mass at 10 am. Pasta served in Scalabrini Hall from 11 am to 6 pm. Cookies, cannoli, and pasta kits on sale from 11 am to 6 pm, Scalabrini Hall.