Feast of St. Joseph home altars in Gloucester

Women in Gloucester, Massachusetts, are marking the Roman Catholic feast of St. Joseph on March 19 by gathering to pray around home altars (like Marie Silva’s pictured above) decorated with flowers, candles, breads, fruits, and statues of saints. “The lemon is for the bitterness of the world,” one woman explained. “The orange is for sweetness. The bread is for the Holy Spirit of life. … My father taught me that.” Many of the women are continuing traditions begun here many decades ago by their mothers, who themselves brought the tradition over from their native Sicily.

Related:Dana Salvo photographed many St. Joseph home altars in Gloucester in the mid 1990s. And Father Matthew Green has been photographing many of the altars after blessing them this year.

Crocetta Gropo’s altar.

Crocetta Groppo (top center) leads the Rosary prayer in front of her home altar.

Women say the Rosary before Katie Fontana’s altar.

Father Matthew Green gives a blessing at the home of Katie Fontana (who stands behind him in a maroon sweater).

Katie Fontana’s home altar.

Nina Conti’s altar.

Father Matthew Green says a blessing at the home of Nina Conti (seated at right, at the end of the table).

Frances Ferrante and her daughter, State Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante, stand in front of their altar.

Frances Ferrante’s home altar.

Margherita Pelliccia’s home altar.

2 Responses to “Feast of St. Joseph home altars in Gloucester”

  1. [...] to a bunch of houses and took some fantastic photos of the altars which you can see at his site- The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research check them [...]

  2. Marty Morgan says:

    Hi Greg, Really great photos of this very special event!