Monday, May 01, 2006

Notes on the Memorial of St. Joseph the Worker.

One of the advantages of sharing a name with Jesus' stepfather is celebrating your name day twice a year - first on March 19, the date traditionally known as St. Joseph's Day, and then again on May 1, the date designated as the Memorial of St. Joseph the Worker by Pope Pius XII in 1955. This second annual commemoration of St. Joseph owes its existence to Catholic anti-communism and Cold War politics. Irked by the popularity of socialist-inspired May Day celebrations in many predominantly Catholic countries, Pius XII established a new feast honoring St. Joseph as a model for laborers. Considered in the context of Catholic social teaching, today's memorial offers us an opportunity to reflect on the dignity of work and its necessary place in human life.

In Chicago's Little Italy, where I presently live, May 1 is also noteworthy as the date on which a legendary Taylor Street institution opens for the season. Regardless of what the calendar or the weather forecasters say, many believe that spring begins today when Mario's Italian Lemonade starts serving its celebrated Italian ices to an eager public. I made my maiden visit to Mario's tonight, minutes after watching the Red Sox beat the Yankees 7-3 in a game that marked turncoat Johnny Damon's first appearance at Fenway in pinstripes. (If you want to know how I feel about that, this article from my hometown paper should give you some idea.) For all of a dollar, I got a generous serving of cherry slush that offered a tasty treat as well as an opportunity to participate in a venerable local tradition. If my opening night experience was representative, Mario's deserves its reputation as a simple no-frills neighborhood joint that does one thing and does it very well. Though I return to Loyola House at the end of this week, I'll be sure to return to Mario's a few more times before I leave Taylor Street. AMDG.


Post a Comment

<< Home