This year’s annual St. Joseph Table sponsored by the Italian Catholic Federation exceeded the expectations of members in its drive to raise money for ICF charities. The St. Joseph Table, tied to the celebration of St. Joseph Day on March 19, is an event when parishioners donate foods and baked goods for sale at a lavishly decorated table. The proceeds of the sale go to support scholarships for graduating high school students and St. Bede Elementary School graduates, for the seminarians at St. John Seminary, and for other charities such as Brothers Helpers, an organization that feeds the poor.
ICF Branch 374 president Al Restivo was pleased with the efforts of members who organized the table, headed by Denise Koeppen.
“The members worked hard and reached out to donors like Porto’s Bakery, Trader Joes, Vons, Sprouts and many others and the results this year were obvious,” he said. “We had a record-breaking event and this will make it possible to further our charitable donations, including the awarding of Distinguished Students Service Awards for seventh and eighth grade students at our local parish school.”
The service award is a new program that has been added since Restivo assumed the president in January. Awards will be made in November.
The tradition of the St. Joseph Table dates back to the 18th century when people in Sicily annually gathered food on St. Joseph Day and placed it on a special table for the poor to come and collect. Over the years, especially in the U.S., members of Italian parishes, and particularly members of the Italian Catholic Federation, created St. Joseph Tables and sold food to raise money for the poor. The practice is widespread in places where ICF has branches.
The St. Bede branch meets on the third Tuesday of the month in the Parish Center. Meetings usually include a special program and always include member-made Italian food – potluck suppers.
Membership information is available at (818) 952-3252.
Provided by Al RESTIVO