St. Joseph’s Altar set to open 10 a.m. Sunday _lowres

Photo provided -- In this 2009 photo of the St. Joseph's Altar prepared by the St. Joseph's Society in Donaldsonville, Andrew LeBlanc explains the history of the altar to Ascension Catholic Elementary fourth-graders. A similiar altar will be open for viewing Sunday at St. Francis Church Hall in Donaldsonville.

The St. Joseph Society of Donaldsonville’s St. Joseph’s Altar will open at 10 a.m. Sunday at St. Francis Church Hall.

The altar will be blessed by the Rev. Paul Yi at 10 a.m., and the ritual of the saints will follow at 10:30 a.m.

Food will be served to the general public starting at 11:30 to eat in or take home. The meal includes spaghetti gravy, boiled eggs and Italian salad with blessed French bread. Items from the altar will be placed in bags and given out to the general public.

Everything served will be free in honor of St. Joseph, said society member Marvin Gros.

The altar is a tradition that started in Italy and was carried over with Italian immigrants when they came to America.

The altar is built in honor of St. Joseph, husband of Mary, as a symbol of penance and giving to the poor. All of the altar food is given to the poor and distributed to the community for people in need, he said.

The altar has been an annual event for the society for more than 100 years.

Editor’s Note: This story was changed on March 10 to correct the date of the altar presentation.