March 19, 2017

It Ad Joseph!

To say that St. Patrick's Day is a high feast day in Savannah would be the understatement of the century!  It becomes The Emerald City, literally dying its multitude of fountains green and swathing every front porch in the Irish flag.

Do you know what the colors of the Irish flag represent?  The green represents the Catholics, the orange the Protestants, and the white the hoped-for peace between them.

(....I know.  Keep praying!)

Today, however, good St. Joseph is not to be ignored.  For all you Italians out there -- or just you humble daughters of the foster father of our Lord -- here are some crafty ideas for celebrating this important feast day from Catholic Icing.

Additionally, here is a really lovely, simple, paper "St. Joseph's Altar", courtesy of Evann Duplantier, for your family to construct.  Evann also has a lovely page full of menu choices, where you may enjoy everything from inspirational photos of other St. Joseph's Day altars to a super easy (and yummy!) edible craft.

Oh?  You've never heard of a St. Joseph's Day altar?  Oh, my dear, do let me tell you!

St. Joseph's Altars may be as humble or elaborate as you like, but I encourage you to enjoy this lively Italian tradition in your home.  From red wine to seafood to donuts, it's worth consecrating your edibles to the man who was the Provider for the Holy Family.

Our parish deacon reminded us one Christmas that, although St. Joseph figures prominently in Jesus's early life in the Bible, St. Joseph never says a word.  Not one syllable.  How many of us could be counted upon to hear the Lord, follow His instructions, trust in His ways, and serve Him as He wishes, without ever saying a word?

Not me.

Yet St. Joseph gives us all the perfect example of "silent strength."  If you want to raise up a mentor for your spouse, a hero for your sons, a good example for your fathers, or a model husband for your daughters, "it ad Joseph."  Go To Joseph!

And that's an order straight from the top:

"St. Pope John XXIII, who succeeded Pius XII in 1958, added some new feasts and made some other changes to the liturgical calendar, as well as amending some of the rubrics. In his 1962 edition of the Missal, he also deleted the word 'perfidis' (Latin: 'faithless') from the Good Friday prayer for the Jews, and added the name of St. Joseph to the Canon of the Mass. The second change was particularly significant, as many had considered the text of the Canon to be practically untouchable." (underlined emphasis added)

Prior to Vatican II, Eucharistic Prayer I was the only Canon used by the Church.  And it hadn't been touched for over 1,000 years.

Tales by the camp fire from that Council have it that an elderly priest originally made the humble suggestion to add St. Joseph to the Mass.  He was scoffed at by Vatican hierarchy, only to be vindicated when Pope John XXIII approved the addition the very next day.

It Ad Joseph!  Enjoy!

History of St. Joseph Devotion

March 16, 2017

St. Patrick....'Tis Himself!

Here's a marvelous link to everything you ever wanted to know about St. Patrick!  And who wouldn't?  After all, he was Scottish, you know (!).  Enjoy!

March 15, 2017

Irish Soda Bread

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tomorrow marks the feast of this great Irish saint and to celebrate here's my favorite recipe for good ole fashioned "Irish Soda Bread" (of which there would be no "soda" without the visit to Ireland of two Americans, Mr. Arm and Mr. Hammer!).  It's my favorite because it's won out over many other failures through the years!

I cut this recipe out of a magazine years ago, but unfortunately did not cut out the magazine's name.  So, if anyone recognizes this exact recipe, please let me know so I may ascribe proper credit.  Enjoy!

Irish Soda Bread

Prep: 10 minutes
Bake: 1 hour

1/4 c. sugar
1 tbl. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 cups all-purpose flour
6 tbl. cold butter
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
1 c. golden or dark seedless raisins (optional - not authentic to original Irish soda breads, the addition of expensive dried fruits was a later American indulgence)

1.  Preheat oven to 350F degrees.  Grease large cookie sheet.
2.  In large bowl, combine sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and flour.  With pastry blender or forks, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3.  Add buttermilk just until evenly moistened.  With floured hand, gently knead dough minimally into ball.  Do not over mix or bread will be tough.
4.  Place dough on cookie sheet and shape into roughly 7" round loaf.  With sharp knife, cut 4" long cross 1/4" deep in top and sprinkle loaf lightly with flour.
5.  Bake one hour.  Cool on wire rack.

This recipe yields a lightly buttery, moist bread with a rough, crunchy, crusty outside.  MMMmmmm!

March 14, 2017

St. Patrick's Day Craft

Here's an easy little craft to get you and your children in the right frame of mind for St. Patrick's Day!  The traditional image of a rainbow leading to a pot o' gold can be endowed with Christian meaning, a la St. Patrick's use of Ireland's native three-leafed shamrock to explain to the pagans there the Christian concept of three Divine Persons in the one God of the Most Holy Trinity.

Make a simple, rainbow-hued, paper chain and a black pot with gold coins from construction paper or sturdy card stock.  Remember, however, what the Bible tells us about treasure:

"Do not store up store up for yourselves treasures on Earth...but, store up treasures in Heaven...for where your treasure is, there will your heart also be!" (Matthew 6:19-21)

Therefore, on each link of the paper chain, write one of your spiritual "treasures" in life.  For this example, I chose these:


For another example, one of my children made one for an aunt and put each of our family member's names on a link.  The possibilities are endless and as unique to each of your children!

Now, go have fun with scissors!

And remember why anyone is a saint or striving to be a saint -- because God made us ALL to know, love, and serve Him in this world and to be happy with Him forever in Heaven.  And THAT's where we should store up our treasures!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

March 1, 2017

Stations of the Cross - FREE Coloring Book

Just in time for inspiration during the Fridays of Lent, here is a lovely FREE coloring book, which you may download for your children.  It is based upon the Stations of the Cross: