The Linquata Family St. Joseph Altar From The 40’s
Dolores, thank you for sharing this beautiful photo with GMG !
The Linquater Family is a perfect example of a Sicilian Family here in Gloucester who is known to keep up family traditions throughout the year, for many generations. I have been blessed to attend many of their celebrations over the years
Old St. Joseph Altar photos are so much more than just old photos. They are priceless treasures, tangible documents, which link us back to the roots of this cultural tradition that our ancestors started many generations ago. Each photo depicts volumes of family stories and shared times together. Yesterday while driving in the car with my twins, the topic about the importance of keeping tradition came up. My son asked me “Mah why is it so important to you to keep up the traditions that your grandparents kept?”I took a moment to gather my thought, in how to best give an example that they’d forever remember…
Me~“So BJ last weekend you went to your friends’ house to “Hang Out right?”
Me~ we all agree that spending time with your friends is very important, it’s one of the greatest gifts of life right?
BJ & Amanda ~“Yes”
Me~ So BJ, next Saturday where hosting our traditional St. Joseph Feast for family and friends, and one of your friends calls you to “hang out”, and you decide to break family tradition and go with your friends, missing the opportunity to spend important time with the family, missing out on all the day’s festivities, the joking conversations, storytelling and all the days shenanigans, which will one day be “the old stories told” to future generations
Me~Do you think 20-30-40 years from now you will remember what you did that day…while “Hanging out” with your friends. Will you remember what you talked about? What you ate, where you went, who was there, will a vivid memory of that day stick in your head that over time you will revisit hundreds of times throughout your life?
BJ~ Probably not
My response to BJ’s “Probably Not”
“When I think of my childhood I vividly remember the details of celebratory times with family and friends. I can close my eyes and hear the voices of my grandparents, uncle’s aunts, and cousins telling stories, I can smell the aromas in the air, I can taste the flavors of the food and I can feel the love that surrounded our traditional family gatherings. When I was growing up family time came first. There was never a conversation about entertaining an idea of skipping a family traditional gathering….NEVER
I then shared a conversation I had with a friend last weekend during pasta day. “Felicia, how do you get your kids to participate in all the traditions we were raised with? My kids made last minute planes with friends to “Hang Out”, and I’m so upset, I wanted them to share in this tradition of making the St. Joseph Pasta like we have been doing together with our kids for years, they always have fun and they have been looking forward to it all year and were planning to come until other plans came up.” My daughter Amanda looked at me and said, “Oh God Mah what did you tell her?”
I decided to turn Amanda’s question back to both my kids asking them “what do you think my response to her was?”… in unison they replied, “It’s not optional!”
I said exactly, it’s not optional because we are so blessed to have deep rooted customs that have been celebrated in our family for generations. When we sit around the table and reminisce about past gathering, laughing together until we can’t breath, It gives your father and I direction in guiding you to a happier life for you and your future families.
I know when we pass an old St. Joseph photo around the table the photo triggers a different memory, story and experience for each family member …these treasured photos trigger our sensors. If we don’t keep traditions, what memories will you have to share? What will bring you together as a family? What will keep you linked to our pasts and all who were in it? How unfair to future generation to let it slip away by getting caught up in busy life so much that these treasures become buried.
If you both participate, in our big Sicilian heritage celebrations and feasts of St. Joseph, St, Peter, St. Lucia. St. Anthony, and all the Sunday Dinners in between, by being full engaged you too will have the power to close your eyes and hear the voices, smell the aromas, taste the flavors and feel the love, just as I can, and that’s the greats gift I received as a child, and we, your father and I want you both to have that gift to pass on
…I have had a smile on my face ever since that car conversation took place yesterday!
Dolores Sheehan, photo originated from Joe and Nichole Curcuru. Last night during coffee time after novena at my house, Dolores shared some stories about the days of celebrating St. Joseph’s with her family related to this photo. All us women sat around the dinning room table listening to her tales, enjoying every minute and detail for hours. It was awesome!