Cataldo family continues St. Joseph Altar tradition

Allison B. Hudson

One woman, Antionette “Lena” Cataldo, 88, displayed the altar, alongside her husband for years in their home, to date; her family has continued the tradition displaying St. Joseph Altar and sharing their moments with loved ones and friends.

St. Joseph Altar began in Sicily, Italy. St. Joseph, as the patron saint, is honored as the earthly father of Jesus and husband of Mary. On the calendar of the Catholic Church, March 19 is designated as St. Joseph’s Day.

The reason for the altar is for people to make a covenant with St. Joseph for one altar or for annual traditions for reasons such as: answered prayers, intervention during personal crisis, and to avert bad fortune. The altar must be shared with the public, and the ultimate purpose of the feast is generosity.

The entire Cataldo family helped set up the altar that is on display, and the family invited family and friends and served them food. 

“We usually serve about 200 lunches either delivered, some stay and eat, and others take plates with them,” said Lena.

A meatless meal is served, as there is no meat placed on the altar as well.