St. Brigidâ€™s Church held its annual Italian Festival on Sunday inside the Parish Center located at 1463 Plainfield St., drawing more than 100 proud parishioners and many of their friends for a day of fun and fellowship.
â€œ[The Rev. Robert] Rochon loves these types of events,â€ said Millie Santilli, who chairs St. Brigidâ€™s Social Ministry. â€œHe enjoys seeing people join together as a parish community â€¦ breaking bread like a family.â€
Santilli said the festivities were made possibly by the generosity of the Marchetti family â€“ which worships at St. Brigidâ€™s â€“ and a number of local businesses that made donations and gave gift cards for the raffle.
The Marchetti family, which owns and operates Marchettiâ€™s Restaurant in the Knightsville section of Cranston, donated the food for Sundayâ€™s festival. Attendees enjoyed a menu that included chicken parmesan, pasta, sausage, potatoes and onions, meatballs, salad, Italian bread, and wine.
And, as Santilli said later: â€œOur dessert table was unbelievable, and all the pastries were baked by our parish members. They did an extraordinary job this time.â€
While the festival served as the finale of a yearlong list of events commemorating the parishâ€™s 100th anniversary, the day also included a surprise and special tribute to Rochon, courtesy of Chris Giardina.
The longtime volunteer, who has helped many non-profits in Johnston, is also well known for the unique T-shirts he makes inside his home.
Sunday, Giardina â€“ with Santilli making a special announcement â€“ presented Rochon with a special T-shirt that featured the words â€œSt. Brigidâ€™s 100th Anniversary 2016â€ and a picture of the church.
â€œWhat a nice gesture,â€ Santilli said of Giardinaâ€™s efforts. â€œChris is always doing something special for someone.â€
Likewise, Santilli issued a special â€œthank youâ€ to her Social Ministry friends Cindy Galipeau, Louisa Iannotti, Doris Haskins, sandy McCarthy, Rose DeLuca, Angela Fillipone, Josephine Gemma, Nadine Corona, and Sandy Cerrito.
She also acknowledged the â€œConfirmation kidsâ€ â€“ Nelson Rivas, Leslie Rivas, Melanie Versella, Skylar Stone, Alex De Vozza, and Joseph Johnston â€“ who came to help setup and serve and clean under the direction of Carol Morocco, who worked behind the scenes orchestrating the food and pastries.
â€œCarol is always ready to help,â€ Santilli said. â€œShe works tirelessly, donating her time whenever needed. She is a great asset to St. Brigidâ€™s.â€
Among those local businesses that helped make the raffle a success were The Original Italian bakery, Music Man CafÃ©, Governor Francis Farms, Big Rickâ€™s, Ninoâ€™s, Christmas Tree Shop, Marchettiâ€™s, Pan e Vino, Cheese Cake Factory, Cucina Rustico, and Well Spring Spa.