Mary’s Month: a Sweet Farewell


What a gift to have been able to post every Friday in May something wonderful about the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

In this series — called “The Mary Monmouth of May,” there was only time to scratch the surface of the wealth of traditions, customs, art, architecture and literature connected to Our Lady and to craft a few recipes that reflected this lovely month dedicated to her. We hope very much that you enjoyed stopping by.

Stained glass window of the Assumption of Mary in St. Mary Cathedral, Trenton

It seems only fitting to conclude the series today with a visit to Mary’s house in Trenton: the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption by way of a photo gallery that graphic artist Jeanne Scarpato and photo and online editor Scott Alessi collaborated on. Click here to visit the gallery.

It’s been my very good fortune to spend a considerable amount of time there over the last decade and I look back with joy on all of the wonderful celebrations I’ve attended while working for The Monitor, recalling with fondness memories of the visit of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Cardinal John O’Connor, to name but two special visitors. Bishop John M. Smith’s ceremonial arrival at the Cathedral as coadjutor bishops was another memorable occasion as was the Golden Jubilee — the 50th anniversary of priestly ordination — of since retired Bishop John C. Reiss.

The life of the cathedral blooming in Mary’s name is very special indeed. First and foremost, the cathedral is a parish church with a rich sacramental life and it is home annually to many liturgies that call attention to the faith of those living within the four counties of the diocese. The Chrism Mass at the beginning of Holy Week is an opportunity for the whole diocesan family to come together for the blessing of the oils used for the sacraments in all the parishes. The annual Blue Mass draws officials and civic officials, family members and the community at large from around the state to a celebration of the dedicated service of law enforcement officials each spring.

Enjoy the photo gallery and the recipes that features the fruits of this lovely month that bears Mary’s name.

Featured are a romaine salad with turkey, feta cheese and California Bing cherries and a super easy strawberry shortcake made with Jersey strawberries. The cherries and Jersey strawberries are in and just lovely this year. Find the cherries at supermarkets and the strawberries at farmer’s markets such as The Trenton Farmers Market where on Thursday, they served up pretty much what our shortcake recipe calls for.

Our Lady’s Salad

Ingredients: 1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped; 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese; 1/4 cup vidalia onion; 1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges; 1 cup turkey breast cut into cubes; 1 cup California Bing Cherries, washed, halved and pitted. Vinaigrette:  1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil; 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar; 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard; 1 teaspoon honey; salt and pepper to taste.

Directions: toss all the salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together in a bowl, drizzle over salad and toss to coat.  

Easy Strawberry Shortcake

Ingredients: 1 package yellow cake mix; 2 pints of fresh, Jersey strawberries, hulled, washed and sliced; one can of real whipped cream.

Directions: Mix the cake according to package directions and bake. After the cake has cooled, take the end of a wooden spoon and press holes into the cake about every two inches. Slice the strawberries and toss them with sugar to taste and let them sit for an hour

Shoppers at the Trenton Farmer's Market enjoy a delicious piece of cake!

 or until juices form.

Pour the strawberries and juice over the cake. Refrigerate for at least two hours before slicing the cake into serving pieces and topping with real whipped cream.

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