On the Catholic calender, March 19th marked the feast of St. Joseph. It was observed in many churches across Acadiana (a French region in Louisiana) with an altar bearing gifts of cakes, pastries and fruits to pay homage to St. Joseph.
The altar is a tradition dating back to the middle ages, when Catholics in Sicily believed they were saved from a hardship through the intercession of St. Joseph.
"There was a great famine, and the people dedicated their prospers and being able to survive the famine to St. Joseph," said Carol Olivier with St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church in Carencro.
Symbolic of struggle and prosperity, the gifts on the altar are then donated to the less fortunate.
"All of those cakes and pastries are donated to local charities, which we donate here in Acadiana to the St. Joseph's Diner and the two children shelters," said Olivier.
"The best way to thank God is by sharing with others," said Bishop Michael Jarrell with the Diocese of Lafayette. "It fits in very well with our Opus Christi Magnum series."
Opus Christi Magnum, meaning "the great work of Christ," is a series of fundraising events for the Lafayette Catholic Service Centers, which provide services for those less fortunate in Lafayette.
Coincidentally, the first Opus Christi Magnum event of 2012 was held on the feast of St. Joseph.
"We have four or five events throughout the year, and we try to supplement the budget of the Lafayette Catholic Service Centers so that they can continue to serve the poor in Lafayette," said Jarrell.
To find out more, visit: http://www.katc.com/news/acadiana-marks-feast-of-st-joseph-with-generosity/