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I always felt lucky growing up. I had this thing that was different. I went to mass on Sunday downtown, not with the kids in my class at St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. I called my grandma and grandpa, Thitha and Jiddo (many different spellings.) At holiday meals there was the ham or turkey but also the kibbi and grape leaves. I didn’t have the usual 10-15 cousins, I had like 500 lol. Because everyone is your cousin when you’re Lebanese. And everyone is family at St. Raymond’s. You may have heard of it? It’s downtown at Chouteau and Tucker. You’ve probably been to the Cedars (the banquet hall attached) for your prom or a wedding. Or maybe the weekly Wednesday lunches from 11a-2p served and made by the women and men of the church. If you haven’t been, I’m inviting you to be my “cousin” for the weekend and join us for the Lebanese festival. It’s a chance to try the food and maybe do a little dancing or dabkeh as we call it. We are Catholic, Maronite Catholic. But don’t worry we are under the Pope so if you go to mass, it counts. I put together some pictures of the food, my first time making meat pies. The recipe was my thitha’s and she didn’t write anything down and it wasn’t really a recipe. My mom had to watch her and measure what she was putting in. My mom makes the best Lebanese food, in my opinion. I guess she had to, to make my dad happy lol. His parents are both from Lebanon. Since my thitha passed when I was about 3 years old, my Aunt Rita was the glue to the family. I really hope you enjoy the pictures (pics include the church, the food, my family) and you have a chance to come out this weekend. (photo gallery is at the bottom)

The festival is a two day admission free event celebrating Lebanese culture and heritage.
Theme: “A Taste of the Middle East in the Midwest”
Saturday September 14, 2013 6pm-10pm Traditional Lebanese food (Foutoush, kibbee nayee, hummus, tabouli, and other appetizers), cash bar, and live music from Joseph Beshara and his band.
Sunday September 15, 2013 11am-6pm The Cedars Hall will be serving Lebanese food (kibbee nayee, kibbee aras, meat pies, spinach pies, cabbage rolls, grape leaves, za’taar bread, labneh, and much more), cash bar, music, children’s game booths, Cathedral tours, and raffles including a 2013 Ford Focus. St. Raymond’s Cathedral is located at 931 Lebanon Dr. St. Louis, MO. 63104. The website with more information is (Click on Homecoming/Festival) and the phone number is 314-621-0056.

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