Preparations for Dominican’s St. Joseph Altar brought students and alumnae together to bake 3,000 cookies for the altar that will be displayed in Alumnae Hall for public viewing on Monday, March 19, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The tradition of building an altar to honor the father of Jesus, began in Sicily. In the Middle Ages, the people prayed to the island nation’s saint to provide for them during famine. During the 1800s wave of Sicilian immigration to Louisiana, this tradition was introduced. The altar preparation is one of several events during the year that connects Dominican students and alumnae with a tradition that is part the New Orleans area’s culture.
Culinary historian Sandra Scalise Juneau (Class of 1958) gave a presentation to the sophomore class about the Sicilian-Louisiana Saint Joseph Altar tradition.