Many times, upon introducing myself somewhere around the diocese, I’ve been asked “Are you related to Peter and Dolores Latona?”
Yes, I am the nephew of this amazing couple who are fresh off their 62nd wedding anniversary. Over the years Aunt Dolores and Uncle Pete have been highly involved in prison ministry, Cursillo, Stephen Ministry and I can’t count how many other faith initiatives, making close friends in all parts of our 12-county diocese. Their commitment has always awed and inspired me.
As the feast of St. Joseph awaits on March 19, I’m enjoying warm memories from a signature event of my aunt and uncle’s. For many years they organized not one, but three St. Joseph’s Tables annually: at their home, their parish (Holy Trinity, Webster) and St. Joseph’s House of Hospitality.
Beginning in the early 1980s, I made a point of regularly going to their house for St. Joseph’s Tables. They were prayerful gatherings and festive ones as well, thanks to the many meatless dishes available and the quality time I got to spend with family members and other acquaintances. Just now I’ve closed my eyes for a couple of minutes, picturing the faces of so many loved ones during our encounters at St. Joseph’s Tables. Thank you, Aunt Dolores and Uncle Pete, for providing one of the most awesome traditions of my life.
On a related note: Although St. Joseph’s Tables are of special importance in the Italian culture, you need not be Italian to enjoy one — any more than it’s necessary to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. So, if you become aware of a St. Joseph’s Table in your region over the next few days — there are several being held in the diocese, particularly at parishes — I highly recommend that you go!