An Italian Tradition
March 08, 2013
Kansas City has lots of different ethnic festivals, e.g., Latino, Irish, and Greek for starters. But have you ever heard of an Italian one called a St. Joseph’s Table? I hadn’t either. Then a friend invited me to attend one in the northeast area of Kansas City. According to legend, many years ago, there was a famine in Italy. The people prayed to St. Joseph and promised to do something special if the famine ended. It did. As a result, the people started the tradition of serving a meatless dinner on March 19th with a free will donation going to benefit local charities that serve the poor.
But wait, that’s not all. In addition to the pasta Milanese, salad, and bread, one can purchase cannolis and homemade Italian cookies. There are fifteen such St. Joseph Tables in the greater Kansas City area on the Missouri side. My favorites are in the northeast area that has a strong Italian population.
Here’s my route on March 19th starting at 11:00 a.m.:
- Holy Rosary, 910 Pacific Ave. - View the table of beautiful breads and sweets. Eat lunch outside under a tent, as the hall is small. Buy Italian cookies.
- St. Anthony’s, 318 Benton Blvd. - Eat artichokes. Buy more cookies.
- Holy Cross, 5106 St. John Ave. - View the display table and eat cannolis. Buy more cookies.
You can see a complete listing at: http://catholickey.org/2011/03/09/list-of-st-joseph-tables/
For more information on the background of this event, check out Lori Granieri’s Italian-American Holiday Traditions: Celebrations and Family Entertainment.