"Viva San Pietro" From Virginia (Frontiero) McKinnon

Hi Joey, Here is my Fiesta Story. The Heart of Fiesta: Prayer for our Fisherman.
My son, Hilary, actually had you  post my pictures before, but they are so beautiful,
I like to  look at them over again. Virginia (Frontiero) McKinnon
PS. My Father’s side Frontiero Family is having an informal reunion at the
Cupboard on Stage Fort on Thursday, June 11 from 4-5 pm
My mother’s side the Piscitello’s are having a Grand Reunion on
Sunday, July 14th at Stage Fort Park. My mother  was the first born of 11 children.
I will send pictures and an account of the Grand Affair Piscitello Reunion..

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“Viva San Pietro”              Virginia (Frontiero) McKinnon 6/2013

Another Fiesta, another joy for Gloucester, starting with the nine day novena. I participated with my friends at American Legion Hall.
The ladies look forward to this annual event. Seeing old friends again. Rose Verga is the organizer of this pre-fiesta program. She reads a verse from the Bible, followed  with prayer to St. Peter for his intercession in keeping our fisherman safe, praying for our beautiful city of Gloucester and many prayers for healing, receiting each name of people in need of prayer.  We recite the rosary in Italian and sing our traditional Sicilian hymns .The service last for one hour. Renewing friendships over coffee and wonderful pastries each evening. On the ninth day, Tuesday evening our Pastor Father Kiley celebrated Mass. After mass our traditional  cassata cake was served. Our new St. Peter’s pins were distributed  Then the statue of St. Peter was taken down from the altar on the stage of the American Legion hall. We had a procession, chanting “Viva San Pietro,” all he way down  14 Beach Court  to Pavilion Beach.  After a dedication ceremony, the St. Peter‘s statue was taken back to the St. Peter’s Club on Roger St. On Friday evening the ladies  accompany the St. Peter statue in another procession  to St. Peter’s  place of honor on the altar in St. Peter’s Square.

So many memories and stories to tell of Fiesta’s in the past. I have seen 83 of the 86 fiesta’s, I remember seeing a group of fishermen wives and families seated in a circle on Commercial St., praying for nine days to St. Peter for his  intercession to bring their loved ones safely home from their fishing trips. proceeding St. Peter’s fiest day on June  29th. In later years beautiful ornate altar’s were erected on this spot. Every year an Italian man came from Boston with his sons and put the masterpieces altars together, mostly with paper, foil and pins. Each year the altar was different and took a month to erect. I have so many precious memories of 14 Beach Court, where my Dad lived before he married my mother. This was our family gathering place for Fiesta. My grandfather, Paul Frontiero and my Aunt Vincie made us all feel so special. Lots of cold drinks, cookies, sandwiches, everyone together having a good time. My dad had seven siblings, all had large families. I have lots of cousins. I loved watching the seine boat races on Pavilion Beach, the greasy pole, many contest for children, the procession on Sunday  and the fireworks on Sunday night.  Big set pieces fireworks on the beach followed by the American Flag display. Sometimes we would climb out my grandfather’s  bedroom window on to a little ledge for a bird’s eye view. Recently I looked up at that little ledge and wondered how all the kids were able to fit on that little ledge.

3 comments

  • I enjoy reading the stories you have posted, and this one in particular. I know Fiesta holds very special meaning for those who have experienced it for so many years and it is an honor for us to be able to read your first-hand account of what it was like in years past as well as now. Wonderful photos as well. I hope you continue to write and help Gloucester’s history and traditions to come alive for those of us who are far away. Thank you!

    Like

    • Virginia (Frontiero) McKinnon

      Thank You for your response. Fiesta as always been very special to me
      I just love to share my memories and I am happy people enjoy reading them.

      Like

  • Wonderful memories for you and your family, so enjoy reading about Fiesta and what it truly is about. I love the stories of family and how wonderful homemade food is so much a part of it. Would love to hear more, keep them coming. thank you

    Like

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