‘Breaking bread like a family’: St. Brigid’s Church centennial culminates with Italian Festival

Johnston Sun Rise ·

St. Brigid’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.

“[The Rev. Robert] Rochon loves these types of events,” said Millie Santilli, who chairs St. Brigid’s Social Ministry. “He enjoys seeing people join together as a parish community … breaking bread like a family.”

Santilli said the festivities were made possibly by the generosity of the Marchetti family – which worships at St. Brigid’s – and a number of local businesses that made donations and gave gift cards for the raffle.

The Marchetti family, which owns and operates Marchetti’s Restaurant in the Knightsville section of Cranston, donated the food for Sunday’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: “Our dessert table was unbelievable, and all the pastries were baked by our parish members. They did an extraordinary job this time.”

While the festival served as the finale of a yearlong list of events commemorating the parish’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 – with Santilli making a special announcement – presented Rochon with a special T-shirt that featured the words “St. Brigid’s 100th Anniversary 2016” and a picture of the church.

“What a nice gesture,” Santilli said of Giardina’s efforts. “Chris is always doing something special for someone.”

Likewise, Santilli issued a special “thank you” 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 “Confirmation kids” – Nelson Rivas, Leslie Rivas, Melanie Versella, Skylar Stone, Alex De Vozza, and Joseph Johnston – 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.

“Carol is always ready to help,” Santilli said. “She works tirelessly, donating her time whenever needed. She is a great asset to St. Brigid’s.”

Among those local businesses that helped make the raffle a success were The Original Italian bakery, Music Man Café, Governor Francis Farms, Big Rick’s, Nino’s, Christmas Tree Shop, Marchetti’s, Pan e Vino, Cheese Cake Factory, Cucina Rustico, and Well Spring Spa.

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