Marion Crudale was baptized in the original St. Rocco Church in 1936. By the time she was ready for confirmation, so was the new church.
“It was quite different. It was amazing, after having the smaller church,” she said.
Crudale is one of many lifers at St. Rocco, and she has brought in a new generation.
She met her future husband, Al, at her cousin’s wedding. His family didn’t save him a seat, so he was relegated to a table of young women; Marion caught his eye.
“That was the beginning,” Marion recalled. “He was a little older, but he was cute.”
Al came from St. Mary’s in Cranston originally, but for Marion, St. Rocco was the church for her. The couple married at the church on Sept. 7, 1957, and both of their daughters would go through their sacraments there. Now, their granddaughter, Marissa DiBiase, sings in the choir and serves as the cantor. Both Al and Marion used to be members of the Legion of Mary, and Al still volunteers as a eucharistic minister.
“We enjoy all we do. I think it’s nice to be involved and give what we can to our parish,” Marion says.
She says staying at St. Rocco has been a blessing. She doesn’t think the church has changed all that much, but it brings her joy to see young people coming in, continuing the parish traditions, from the Italian inspired music to the Feast and Festival. The Crudales always look forward most to the Sunday mass.
“The mass is the most beautiful part of the Festival, especially at the end when they bring the saint in and play the Italian national anthem,” Marion said.
DiBiase, too, is proud to be a part of the church’s heritage.
“It’s like a second family,” she said. “It feels good to be a part of it, because I know I’m keeping a tradition that’s been a part of my family.”