St. Rocco's Feast A Righteous Event

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To say that last weekend’s Saint Rocco’s Church Feast and Festival was many things for many people would be an understatement of huge proportions.

Above all else, as Co-Chairman Richard Montella said, “Once again, our feast was a tremendous success for the parish community. We measure success in many ways; first and foremost it is our spiritual success.”

Montella, who like many volunteers performed several different duties such as cooking clam cakes, then heaped words of praise upon Rev. Angelo N. Caruso, the parish’s popular priest, who he said “went to great lengths to make certain we have speakers for each of our three opening nights of masses.”

Sunday, though, may have been the most special success of the scheduled four-day celebration that was interrupted – for a spell – because of last Friday’s rain.

“The church was filled to capacity and Father Carusi celebrated the mass in honor of Saint Rocco,” Montella said, “then we had the annual procession – and blessing of the bread – before people started coming to festival field for fun, food and fellowship that have always been the trademarks of our feast and festival.”

This year’s annual procession, though, took on many different looks for many people. Take Stephen Ucci and Richard DelFino III, for example.

“I went to school here,” Ucci, a Johnston State Representative, said while standing on the steps of Saint Rocco Church before he joined Police Capt. Mark A. Vieria in the line of the march. “This is always a special time.”

DelFino III, who represents District 1 on the Johnston Town Council, echoed those sentiments while saying “this parish and (Saint Rocco) school is steeped with history. My family has been coming here for years.”

People said that the event seemed a step or two above the norm this time around, and as Montella said there were many people to thank for that rating.

“The support provided by Rockwell Amusements assures that everyone who attends our feast has the opportunity to experience some thrilling rides and test their skills at a dozen games of chance,” said Montella, who thanked owner Harold Fera and his team who also “do a great job making our guests feel safe.”

He added, “Speaking of safe, our community is fortunate to have the finest fire and police protection who again ensure a safe time was had by all.”

Montella called the scores of volunteers “the lynchpin that hold our feast together” while citing Women’s Guild whose members rolled 100,000 straws and passed out upwards of 700 prizes at the Straw Booth.

The parish’s Holy Name Society again manned the Pan Game and Pull Tab booths and master baker Lisa Ciunci and her team made countless homemade foods in addition to the 2,000 plus doughboys that people enjoyed on Sunday’s final note.

“I want to give special thanks to Don and Alicia DePetrillo from the Original Italian Bakery for again donating the dough and let it be known their recipe ensures our patrons had an exceptional doughboy each and every time. There is no substitute for experience so having three generations of volunteers frying the dough makes certain our quality is assured for years to come.”

Another highlight of Sunday was during the procession when Deacon Robert Troia, who recently celebrated his 40th anniversary as a deacon at Saint Rocco’s, marched along the route offering people a chance to kiss the relic of Saint Rocco.

Five lucky people – headed by Gregory Spremulli – went home with super prizes. Spremulli won the Grand Prize, a two-year lease on a 2017 Lincoln that was also donated by Don DePetrillo – while second and third cash prizes were won by Lucille Baldini and Anthony Caprio respectively.

Clifford Esposito won the Major Donor Raffle and Ralphs Fleming III took home the 50/50 raffle prize.

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