St. Joseph’s Altar: The Lenten Feast?

Every year in my school, the classes would take a bus to a nearby banquet hall in our town of Opelousas, where we’d be able to eat some of the great food prepared for the St. Joseph’s Altar, a practice especially popular in Catholic southern Louisiana. That “altar” was really just a few tables adorned with flowers, breads, desserts, and meatless meals to commemorate the Solemnity of St. Joseph.Since the Solemnity falls during Lent most years and is not technically a Feast Day, the rules of th … [Read more...]

La Toussaint: How Cajuns Care for Cities of the Dead

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ydvm_GQClEIn October we clean graves.  We gather in the early morning or late afternoon (because it’s still hot in south Louisiana) with our scrubbers and soapy water, rakes and trimmers, a picnic basket and maybe some beer.  We go to the cemetery to clean the graves of our ancestors and to offer some prayers for them or to them, the distinction never mattered much.  This tradition has been handed down through the generations, finding its roots in our Cath … [Read more...]