Celebrating St. Joseph Day with Feast Food Family & Friends

 

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 A traditional Feast of St Joseph Pasta, Italian bread, Orange and Finochio Salad, Frittata, Baked Haddock, Panelle, Fried Calamari, Smelts, Haddock, Crab Cakes, Muddica Artichoke, Seafood Casserole and St. Joseph Zeppole, were served with cordials of homemade Limonciello and Arancello. All were accompanied by many other delicious foods and desserts that were prepared by and enjoyed with family and friends on Thursday evening following our nine day nightly St. Joseph Novena. 

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Sista Felicia’s Homemade “St. Joseph Zeppole” filled with both traditional vanilla custard, and sweetened ricotta topped with cherries and confectioners sugar!

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What’s left of 130 lbs Hand made pasta!

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It was a fun day of cooking, feasting and celebrating!

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Fr. Jim Blessing The Altar & Ingredients for The 2015 St. Joseph Feast

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Photos by Bridget Mathews

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Early this morning daughter Amanda and I were reminiscing about this years Novean while looking through dozens of photos downloaded onto my computer. It’s with mixed emotions I write todays post. Feeling incredible blessed to be surrounded this year by so many who share a devotion to St. Joseph. As a group through the power of prayer we have come together to continue the deep rooted Sicilian tradition for future generations. It’s been wonderful to see the young kids join us in prayer and song each night. It truly warmes my heart to see them inthustically following  their prayer books eager to learn the  Sicilian words! It’s been a wonderful 2 weeks of prayer and preparation for our celebatory feast on Thursday March 19th. It’s hard to believe that tonight is our last “Novena” of the 2015 celebration. I have to thank my faithful Novena ladies for everything they did to make this years so special…the memories we made, the laughs we had, the tears we shed, and the jokes we told, and the  stories shared will be remember for a lifetime. As Andrea reminds us each night “we got at least 30 more years of this together ladies!” Please know from the bottom of my heart ,I thank each and everyone of you for being by my side night after night and I very much look forward to the next 30 years together.  Tonight we pray one last time together, and tomorrow we celebrate our Patron Saint Joseph!

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Viva Gesu Maria Giuseppe….Viva!

 

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 Father Jim Blessing the Altar and ingredients for tomorrows feast Of St. Joseph

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Click Read More For Bridget Mathews photo gallery of last nights blessing prayers service.

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Continue reading “Fr. Jim Blessing The Altar & Ingredients for The 2015 St. Joseph Feast”

Flowers of the St. Joseph Altar

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Hundreds of fishing vessels once lined the seaport of Gloucester years ago during the fishing industries prime.  Gloucester’s Fishing fleet was comprised of dozens of family owned day boats and several offshore “larger boats,” that fished the oceans for several consecutive days, and or weeks. It was customary for fishing related businesses and vessels to supported the deep rooted Sicilian Feasts throughout our city each year. The booming industry funneled money directly back into our community in many ways.  A a child raised in a Sicilian family with direct ties to both the fishing industry, and the feasts of St. Joseph and St. Peter I experienced the strong connections and presences each had with one another. Years ago there were over 38 St. Joseph altars throughout the city of Gloucester. Each altar was draped and surrounded by gifts of fresh floral arrangements, sent by the families who owned fish processing plants, and fishing vessels from the Gloucester fishing fleet. Often the arrangements were accompanied by gifts of fresh fish for the celebratory feast day and gifts of money to help the hosting families with the enormous cost assumed with the nine day novena. A few days ago as I was placing beautiful floral bouquets that had been sent from family and friends in front of our altar I found myself reflecting back to my childhood days in front of the altar of my Aunt Vinci and uncle mike Militello, on School Street. Their altar was always beautifully lit with candles and lined with a sea of flowers.  I’m sure everyone who experienced the beauty of the gorgeous ornate altars years ago, remember looking for their families bouquet among the sea of floral arrangements in front of the altars of St. Joseph, St. Anthony, and St. Peter and the strong floral fragrance that filling the air around the altar’s.   

With deep gratitude I thank my Aunts Eleanor Curcuru, and Gina Ciaramitaro and their families, for the gorgeous matching floral bouquets framing this years altar and to friends Frank and Barbara Ciolino for the stunning arrangement of Red Roses. The flowers smell heavenly and adorn the altar beautifully. I’m truly blessed to have the love and support of so many people. Thank you all for everything you do to help me continue our families St. Joseph Tradition.  

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Viva San Giuseppe!

This year we decide to display our families’ Oar carried in the St. Peter’s Fiesta Parade in remembrance of my Paternal Grandfather’s Fishing Vessel

“The Benjamin C”

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The Saints Come Marching In!

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In the past hour, as I prepare for this evenings Novena, Saints continue to find their way to our St. Joseph Altar today in pairs.  My girlfriend Kerrie Callahan Donahue just stopped by to gift two St. Patrick statues to our  alter, as gifts from her Irish family. As Kerrie was placing the beautiful green and blue statues on the altar the door bell rang.  To my surprise stood Sebastian Lovasco with a matching St. Joseph Statue to the one I purchased this morning at Second Glance thrift Shop.  After reading my morning GMG post Sebastian went looking for the matching St Joseph statue he knew he had in his families collection, to gift to our family knowing it would keep with the old altar tradition of displaying everything in pairs! I’m truly speechless. If you look closely at the altar you will notice many of My Aunt Vincie and Uncle  Mike’s  antique paired statues and figurine that once adorned their altar for over 35 years.  Our 2015 altar continues to come together magically in pairs, just as it did generations ago!

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Thank you Sebastian and Kerrie for the gorgeous additions to the Ciaramitaro Family 2015  St. Joseph Altar!

Live From The Ciaramitaro Family’s St. Joseph Altar

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Sebastian McDonald Just stopped by to gift antique statues that once adorned the St. Joseph Altar of his deceased grandmother, Ida Lovasco. Sabastian shared his beautiful St. Joseph childhood memories with me while he unwrapped the precious figurines. We broke into song together as we looked through the delicate pages of an original copy of the pray/song booklet used annually for over fifty years at the Lovasco Family altar on Addison Street here in Gloucester. I’m honored to have pieces of another families St. Joseph Altar displayed on this year altar. I personally would like to thank Sabastian and the Lovasco family for their special gift! Our family with cherish them forever!
XO
Sista Felicia

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Today I’m overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support by family and friends. Three years ago this altar was constructed after a vivid dream. I woke my husband St. Barry from a sound sleep, to share my dream after having it six nights in a row. On that sixth night he handed me a piece of paper and pen and asked me to draw what I had dreamed. He glanced at my sketched drawing and said ” My Love, you only have 3 saint statues, that altar looks large, what are you going to fill it with?” I replayed, “I’m not worried about filling it, I have faith that the saints will find their way to this altar. Within the next 24 hours literally dozens of saints arrived at my doorstep, and fo the past 3 years they continue to find their way. Feeling truly blessed and honored. The vibe felt each night praying in front of this altar is amazingly powerful. 

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The Linquata Family’s Altar Candelabras

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 Dolores Sheehan & son John Sheehan

Tonight Dolores Sheehan granddaughter of the late Francis Linquata will have the honor of placing her grandmother antique candelabras onto the top tier of our families altar this evening, during our official kickoff to 2015 Feast Of St. Joseph, and 10 rosary. The heirloom pieces were once displayed on the Linquata family’s St. Anthony Altar for over 70 years. Last year Dolores was brought to tears with happy memories of attending her grandmother prayers services in front of their families’ shrine after attending one of my rosaries.  After the tears were wiped and stories of novenas past were told around the dining room table during coffee time preceding that night’s rosary, Dolores pulled me aside to tell me that she had been storing her grandmother antique candelabras for several years waiting to find a special place for them to be once again displayed. Dolores then stated that, the special place she was looking for was our families’ altar.  After a long teary-eyed embrace, I accepted Dolores precious gift and we began planning their début for this year’s St. Joseph Altar. A few weeks ago Dolores invited my brother Joey and I over to her home and graciously gifted them to be displayed on the top tier of my family’s St. Joseph altar this year. In keeping with my Aunt Vincie & uncle Mike Militello’s tradition of adding one extra night to the traditional 9 day novena/rosary,( just in case you need to miss a night you still can fulfill your 10 day commitment/devotion,) we will be kicking off the 2015 Feast Of St, Joseph by once again extending an invitation to all other families who host a St. Joseph Altar, to join us tonight for the first rosary of the season. The rosary tonight will be  led by my dear friend Rosalie Orlando Foti.  Tonight’s services will begin at 7:00 pm in front of our family’s altar. ALL Host Families are welcome to attend. The gathering of families at one altar the past two years has been a wonderful experience for all who attended. Our Family is looking forward to seeing many altar hosting families in attendance tonight.

 

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Dolores Sheehan Writes~ Linquata family in the 40’s celebrating St, Josephs at 55r Main St (now the Dogbar Parking Lot).

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Sista Felicia Writes~ I personally would like to thank Dolores and the Linquata family, for entrusting me and my family with your precious family heirlooms. I’m deeply touched by your kindness and our family is honored to have a pieces of The Linquata Family history on the altar this year. Through years of friendships, and business the Linquata and Ciaramitaro families have shared a connection that has tightly been intertwined for generations. It’s only fitting that the linquata family be represented on the highest tier of our altar!

XO

Sista Felicia

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Sista Felicia’s 2015 St. Joseph Altar Assembly With Friends & Family!

 

 

 

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Feeling blessed to have the best girlfriends and family! 

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Yesterday aunt Gina Ciaramitaro, cousin Mary Marcantonio, BFF Dee Noble, and friends, Andrea Randazza Carlson, Kerrie Callahan Donahue, Christie Guarrasi DaSilva, Andrea Butler Bridget Mathews, all stopped by to help set up the altar, and dinning room tables for this years St. Jpseph Rosary. Ladies thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you did yesterday! I can’t believe the altar is ready and the tables are set! I love our tradition of spending the day together, preparing for the nine day rosary, and especially love, our traditional Virgilio’s St. Joseph Sandwiches lunch around the dinning room table and afternoon Cappuccino break reminasing about past years. We make an incredible team! I’m looking forward to building more memories together this year!

Thank you all

XO

Sista

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Construction Of The St. Joseph Altar

 

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The 2015 altar is officially under construction! Yesterday, St. Barry assembled our families St. Joseph Altar, while my dear friend Tanya Frost and carefully removed dozens of Saints and Statues from the “vidina,”China cabinet, for their annual bath, polishing, and inspection for repairs, in preparation of todays traditional decorating  the altar gathering at my home with friends and family!

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A special thank you to “My Love” St. Barry, for all his help, love, and support.

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Thank you for helping yesterday Tanya Frost. You saved me many hours of doing it alone.