Public invited to view ‘Altar’ in March

Published 7:00 am Friday, March 4, 2016

By Mary Dugan Brignac

For The Daily News

The public is invited to attend the 42nd year of the Italian-American Club’s St. Joseph Altar on Friday, March 18, and Saturday, March 19.

The altar will be at the B & C Hall, located at 139 Cumberland St. in Bogalusa. This year the altar is dedicated to member Betty Puissegur. Puissegur is also chairman of the altar as she has been for the past several years.

Members of the club have been baking cookies for the past several weekends, and they will prepare the pignolatti (sometimes called “Italian pine cones”) on Friday, March 11, at the home of Leon and Betty Puissegur.

Club president Verna Haik has announced those chosen to represent the saints at this year’s altar are: E. J.Cox, representing Jesus; Anthony Saltaformaggio, representing St. Joseph; Hank Cox, representing St. Jude; Marty Paige, portraying the Blessed Mother Mary; JoAnn Saltaformaggio, representing St. Anne; and Judy Drummond, representing St. Lucy.

Haik has also announced altar hours and schedule of events for both days of the altar. On Friday, March 18, the public will be welcomed at 6:30 p.m. and Rev. Fr. Daniel Brouillette will bless the altar at 7 p.m., and the Holy Rosary will be recited.

Following this, the dedication to Betty Puissegur will be delivered. Those representing saints will also be introduced. Wine and Italian cookies will be served.

On Saturday, March 19, doors will open at 10 a.m. and the Holy Rosary will be recited. At 10:30 a.m., following the introduction of Betty Puissegur and the saints, the traditional ceremony known as “Tupa Tupa” will take place. This ceremony is a brief enactment of Mary and Joseph’s search for a place for Jesus to be born.

Following this brief ceremony, the “Feeding of the Saints” ceremony will begin. After this, the public is invited to join in the traditional St. Joseph’s meal of Pasta Milanese, vegetables, bread, wine and Italian cookies.

Angelo Pepe will narrate and explain the events and traditions of the altar and the various ceremonies, while also giving a brief history of “The Italians in Bogalusa.”

Mary Dugan Brignac is the recording secretary for the Italian-American Club.