Dear Friends of the Shrine,
Surely, we all miss the food, the laughter, the friendships and, of course… the zeppoli? Sadly, and for another year, we will not be able to hold our annual St. Joseph’s celebration. We made this decision to continue to support the efforts to control the spread of the Covid-19 virus as the vaccinations are underway. Thank you for being a friend of the Shrine’s St. Joseph Table.
Honoring St. Joseph is a tradition that goes back to the Middle Ages. Its legend is that there was a severe drought in Sicily, and countless people died from famine. Peasants prayed to God for rain and also prayed to St. Joseph. If it rained, they would hold a special feast to honor God and his beloved servant, St. Joseph. The rains came, crops grew, and thus Tavola di San Giuseppe was born. The fava bean was the crop that saved the population, many wear the color red to honor St. Joseph, and the day is capped off with the Neapolitan pastry known as a zeppola.
The legend continues at The Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii, every year, as more than 50 volunteers prepare the feast to feed over 600 people from all over Chicago. On this feast day, our volunteers live the same life as St. Joseph did, not front and center, not to get the glory and spotlight, but “behind the scenes”.
This St. Joseph’s Day will be quiet. We won’t have the clanging of serving utensils in the buffet line, we won’t have the music and the laughter, but the legend of the traditional red bags with fava beans and a St. Joseph’s medal will be available after our St. Joseph Day Mass, Sunday, March 14.
This is one of our largest events and traditionally a successful fundraiser. If you would like to make a donation to the Shrine, we will continue on with our tradition of donating a portion to a local organization, Taller de Jose’, St. Joseph’s Workshop, a network in Chicago that helps bridge those in need to health, legal and social services.
To our participants, our volunteers and Shrine staff, you will ALWAYS shine in our Shrine light. Let’s continue to Shine On… and pray for a grande festa next year!
Thank you for your ongoing generosity.
Wishing you God’s every blessing,
I am sincerely yours,
Rev. Richard N. Fragomeni, PhD , Rector
PPS: All donations are tax-deductible to the extent of the law.
Please click here to make a donation to the 2021 St. Joseph’s Table Appeal.
Please click here to print off the 2021 St. Joseph Table Appeal reply card. After you fill it out, please mail it to the Shrine office or drop it in the collections basket.