St. Joseph Altar Celebration Draws Hundreds In Moss Point

Thousands of cookies, bushels of fruit, and countless hours of preparation, all to honor one man, St. Joseph.

"He becomes a strong role model of what we're all called to be in leading our own communities," Father Michael Austin says.

Parishioners at St. Joseph the Worker Church in Moss Point marvel at the intricate designs of the edible treats.

"Did you see the sandals and all of his tools?" one viewer asked a group of children.

Kids admire hammers made of dough and the realistic looking sandals. Some say St Joseph represents a historic hero for their sons to look up to. For others, creating an alter is a chance to get more involved in their church community.

"Everything that's displayed on the alter has been made by someone in the church. They didn't think they could do it and look what they did," parishioner Shirley Mullins says. She organized the altar event.

They weren't the only ones baking cookies. St. Thomas of Long Beach lost their church during Katrina. Since they couldn't celebrate in their own building, they sent 600 cookies for the church in Moss Point to enjoy.

"I think it was a blessing for us to receive them and I think it was a blessing for them to make them since they didn't have an altar. We were somehow able to help them and they were able to help us too," Mullins says.

Not a single cookie or piece of fruit will go to waste after Sunday's celebration. Fruits, vegetables, and breads will go to "Our Daily Bread" soup kitchen Monday. That way, the church can mimic the same giving spirit they say St. Joseph is remembered for.

"It's a sign of their hope, it's a sign of their belief in what the people of Mississippi are made of. Even though in the face of disaster, through God's gifts we can bounce back and be stronger than ever," Father Austin says.

Monday March 19th marks the official feast day for St. Joseph.