Parishes Honor St. Joseph with Celebrations
March 9, 2023
DIOCESE—As the March 18-19 weekend approaches, volunteers at parishes around the Rockford Diocese will be baking, making pasta and setting up elaborate altar and table displays of food, statues and decorations — all to honor St. Joseph on his feast day, falling this year on March 20. 
The St. Joseph altar tradition goes many centuries back to a period of drought and famine in Sicily. When the Sicilians turned to St. Joseph in prayer, rains came and crops grew. In gratitude, they celebrated him, giving and sharing their finest crops, seafood and wine with all, especially the poor.
Today parish volunteers are getting ready to once more “do it big.” It’s also a big weekend for two diocesan leaders in St. Joseph celebrations. 
Rosie Scalise Sheridan and her family will celebrate St. Joseph’s feast with an open house (and altar display) on March 18, 5-7 p.m., at 7020 Clikeman Rd., Rockford. The next day, the family will start serving pasta at noon and continue until 6 p.m., with carry-out available. In past years, they have served hundreds of visitors for free. 
And Laura Padron, who wrote a guide on St. Joseph altars called “How to Build St. Joseph Altars: A Feast for the Soul,” will speak on EWTN’s “At Home with Jim and Joy” program. The show will air March 15 and 16 at 12:30 p.m.
But for all the busyness of baking and setting up, the most important preparation begins today, March 10: praying a novena to St. Joseph. 
And in a little over a week, you can head over to the parishes on the right or to the Sheridans’ house (or both) to enjoy food and fellowship. 
St. Joseph Altars and Tables in the Diocese of Rockford
St. Gall -- 43W885 Hughes Rd.    
St. Joseph altar: March 18-19, organized by Kathryn Rossi. Many volunteers needed to bring items for the altar, bake cookies (March 13) and help with set up (March 17) and take down (March 19). Volunteers should sign up in the narthex of the church. Bring donations for the altar to the narthex on March 17, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Info: Kathryn Rossi, 630-940-6440,
St. Catherine of Genoa -- 340 S. Stott St.  
St. Joseph table: March 25, 4-8 p.m., at the parish hall. Hosted by the Knights of Columbus Council #14294. Bread, spaghetti and meatballs, sausage and desserts. Free will offering. 
St. Mary -- 10307 Dundee Rd.
St. Joseph table: March 19, two separate meals: 1-3 p.m. and 3:30-5:30 p.m. Seating is limited to 150 attendees for each meal. Tickets are available in the church narthex: March 11 after the 5 p.m. Mass; and March 12 after the 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and noon Masses. Tickets are for recording numbers only; no cost for the event. 
Info: 847-802-4709,
St. John the Baptist -- 2302 W. Church St.     
St. Joseph table: March 18, 5-9 p.m. at Johnsburg Community Club, 2315 W. Church St. Along with the traditional Italian meal will be a raffle and auction. Tickets available at the parish office; suggested donations are $20/adult and $10/child (under 12 years old). 
St. Bridget -- 600 Clifford Ave.  
St. Joseph altar: Starts March 10, 6 p.m., with a novena to St. Joseph. Altar viewing on March 18-19 in the parish hall (across from the church) before and after all Masses. Pasta and cookies will be available to take home. Visit the information table in the back of the church, March 11-12, before and after any Mass. 
Sacred Heart -- 323 N. Taylor St.    
St. Joseph table: March 19, noon-3 p.m. Meatless pasta, salad, bread and desserts; celebration includes music and karaoke. Free will offering. Proceeds benefit the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. 
Info: Randy Reband, 779-548-5067,  
St. Anthony of Padua -- 1010 Ferguson St. 
St. Joseph altar: Starts March 10, 3:30 p.m., with a novena to St. Joseph. Altar viewing on March 18 after the 4:30 Mass. Coffee and cookies served afterward. Meatless meal March 19, noon-3 p.m., in the wheelchair-accessible church hall. Free will offering. 
Info: Colleen Gullo, 815-226-8092
St. Bernadette -- 2400 Bell Ave. 
St. Joseph altar: Altar viewing March 18, 5:30-7 p.m. Lunch on March 19, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., dine-in or carry-out. Cost: none. 


Shop Religious items at HOLYART.COM