Each year the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast Day of St. Joseph, Husband of the Virgin Mary, on March 19th.
The Saint Joseph Altar is an Italian tradition which began in Medieval times in Sicily.The Sicilians prayed to St. Joseph for rain because their crops were dying and people were starving. Their prayers were answered and the rains came and crops grew. With the abundance of food, they erected an altar in thanksgiving to St. Joseph for prayers answered. The people donated the abundance of food to those less fortunate. This tradition has extended down to the Italians who settled here in Louisiana and the throughout United States and continues even today. Saint Joseph is the patron saint of the universal Catholic Church, carpenters and fathers of families.
Here at St. Joseph Church in Cecilia, everything we use, bake, and cook to decorate the altar is donated by many parishioners and businesses. The food that is placed on the altar includes sweets, fruits, and vegetables. We also have a blessed candle and a scapular, and we serve catfish dinner. Dinners are donated to the homebound parishioners of St. Joseph and St. Rose of Lima Church Parishes. Due to the growing number of donations, now we are able to donate nonperishable items to St. Bernard/St. Francis Food Pantry in Breaux Bridge.
Schedule of Events
March 10th - Nine (9) day novena to St. Joseph begins.
- Novena prayer cards can be found at the entrance to the church.
- You may place your prayer petitions in the designated container.
- Your petitions will be included in the Mass intentions on St. Joseph's Feast Day and be placed on St. Joseph's altar in the hall for the blessing.
March 19th - St. Joseph's Feast Day and Parish Celebration
- 9:00 a.m. The church hall opens for viewing the Altar.
- 6:00 p.m. Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, followed by the Tupa Tupa.*
- Following Mass and the Tupa Tupa, the Holy Family enters the hall, the altar is blessed, and the feast begins! Delicious catfish courtbouillon is then served to all who attend.
We look forward to seeing you and your family as we join together as a parish family to honor and give thanks to our patron saint!
St. Joseph, pray for us! Viva San Giuseppe!
*The Tupa Tupa, which means Knock-Knock, is a procession that reenacts the Holy Family searching for food and shelter. Six children from St. Joseph and St. Rose of Lima Church parishes are dressed as the Holy Family and saints who knock on three doors. At the third door, they are finally allowed food and shelter in the hall.