Tag Archives: gloucester families

It’s a Wrap ~ Viva San Giuseppe!

Saint Joseph Feast ©Kim Smith 2014 -2Nina and Frank Groppo

Yesterday, March 19th, The Feast of San Giuseppe was celebrated in Siciliain-American homes throughout Gloucester. Filming concluded last night for Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Community Film Project at the home of Nina and Frank Groppo.

Saint Joseph Feast ©kim Smith 2014

I arrived shortly after 9:00 am to the Groppo home, already packed full of friends and family prepping and cooking and organizing the house to accomadate the multitudes expected. For fear of missing any wonderful moments, I was sorry to leave even briefly, but I needed to pick up the exquisite Sicilian cassata cake created by Maria, Nina, and Domenic at Caffe Sicilia.

Sicilian cassata cake ©Kim Smith 2014.Sicilian Cassata Cake

Saint Joseph Feast -©Kim Smith 2014. -6 JPGReturning to the Groppos ~ After days of preparation, cooking was in high gear, with enormous pots of Saint Joseph sauce simmering, vats of oil bubbling, and everyone working at their jobs. One of the most amazing aspects of the Groppo feast preparations is that no one person is giving orders; everybody just knows what to do and does their job perfectly!

At 11:30 guests began to arrive, and arrive they did! Literally hundreds of friends and family poured through the Groppo’s welcoming  doors throughout the day.

Saint Joseph Pasta ©Kim Smith 2014After the extraordinary feast–extraordinary for the variety of, and deliciousness of, traditional Sicilian dishes, a feast for several hundred guests, I should add–many stayed for the afternoon; for conversation, coffee, desert, more wine, and tidyng the house for the next wave of family and friends, which began to arrive at 4:30.

The most beautiful of all prayer services was held at 5:00, where at the conclusion everyone stood shoulder to shoulder, holding hands, singing, and praying. Nina gave a most heartfelt speech of thanksgiving and then everyone embraced. The loving spirit of Saint Joseph, and the love and kindness of family and friends sharing a tradition together, was felt by all. And then we ate again, the second feast of the day!

Saint Joseph Feast  -2©Kim Smith 2014.

Filming at the Groppo Family’s Saint Joseph Feast was simply beyond wonderful and I have a trunk full of memories I will treasure all my life. My most heartfelt thanks to Nina and Frank Groppo, and to their their extended Family and Friends for more than just allowing filming during their cherished Feast of Saint Joseph preparations, novena, and feast day, but for for making me feel welcome and completely at home! The thing is, they make everyone feel that way. Many come to the Groppo’s Feast straight away from work, fisherman and marine railway workers eat alongside businessmen in suits, and all are welcome at the Groppo table.

Words cannot accurately express my gratitude and appreciation to all the families that participated in the filming of Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph community film project. My sincerest hope is that the film will hold stories and moments for all to treasure.

Saint Joseph Feast ©Kim Smith 2014-5I think the most challenging part of the upcoming editing is going to be in following the documentary’s screenplay, which I wrote several years ago, about the history and significance of the traditions, while weaving together everyone’s stories, and including all the priceless, spontaneous moments captured on film.

This post is a little hurried and I would like to write more, but it is my son’s 21st Birthday celebration tonight. Time for birthday dinner cooking to get underway. Viva San Giuseppe!!!

Saint Joseph Feast Pasta ©Kim Smith 2014.

Updates will be added periodically to the film’s website: Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Film Project

Making Saint Joseph Altar Bread

Saint Joseph Altar Bread ©Kim Smith 2014Saint Joseph Altar Bread

Viva San Giuseppe! From Virginia (Frontiero) McKinnon

Virginia McKinnon shared her Saint Joseph story last year on GMG. She emailed it to me last night and I thought it would again be a treat to read it on this Saint Joseph’s Day eve.st-joseph-picture0001_thumb

I remember as a child in the 1930’s my neighbor in Gould Ct., Maria Parisi, we affection called “Zia Marrica”  would come to my home with her laundry basket. My Mom would take her little religious statutes from our China cabinet and wrap then carefully and fill her basket, also visiting other homes in the neighborhood, Zia Marrica would set up a very beautiful ornate alter in her home with candles, fresh flowers, a large statue of St. Joseph with many statutes of saints in honor of  St. Joseph. The feast day is celebrated on March 19th every year. Zia Marrica would hold open house for nine days, also inviting the children to recite the rosary and sing the traditional Italian hymns for the novena.  I loved listening to the stories she would tell us of the saints.

Our Pastor Father Kiley went to the superintendent of school and requested the children of Sicilian heritage, be allowed to be dismissed early from school on St. Joseph’s Day to participate in the festivities. I remember going to Zia Marrica’s home. I would sit very quietly as the reenactment  began. The players were orphans. A man representing St. Joseph, a women for Our Blessed Mother and a child for Jesus. The man would knock door three times, requesting food and shelter for his family, during his flight to Egypt. On the third request she would open the door and we would all shout “Viva San Giuseppe, Viva Maria, Gesu‘, Giuseppe” and greet the honored guest very affectionately. When they were seated Zia Marrica would first wash their feet, using a basin of water and towel. The table was filled with all  kinds of delicious food. Three dishes of each food. She spent most of the week cooking and neighbors also brought in food. I remember the honored guest were seated at the table.  All us children sat on the floor and we brought our own spoons. As the honored guest  tasted each dish, the food was passed down for us to enjoy. The first course was the traditional St. Joseph’s pasta.  Homemade pasta with a sauce made of chick peas, fava beans, cauliflower, and fennel. We all took a taste of the food passing the dishing around. In Sicily fava beans were believed to save the people in poor villages from famine, during a drought. They prayed for the intersession of St. Joseph to save them. Fava beans are always kept as a symbol of never being hungry again.

This year I have been  participating in the St. Joseph Novena at my friend, MaryAnn Orlando, home. We  recite the rosary first in English then St. Joseph’s rosary in Italian. We sing the traditional Italian hymns. Shouting “Viva San Giuseppe, and Viva Maria, Gesu‘, Giuseppe” after every hymn. We enjoy a social time and Italian desserts. I asked Mary Ann why she observed this saint’s day. She replied she has continued this custom down from her mother and grandmother.  She stated many people give thanks to St. Joseph for his intercession in answer to prayers and they relate many miracles through the intercession of St. Joseph. She stated her granddaughter was born with spinal bifida and look at that beautiful 13 year old serving people and bouncing with energy and happiness.

Also she stated her nephew was not expected to survive and awoke from a coma, as prayers were being said for him. Her altar is so beautiful. Our prayers are so sincere, I enjoy all the Italian hymns. I remember sitting with my mother and grandmother singing these hymns.  Many homes of Sicilian heritage in Gloucester host this feast every year.

Our parish priest visits each home blessing the altar, flour for making bread and pasta, oranges and lemons.  On the eve of St. Joseph’s day many people will visit for the blessing. A little bag with an orange for sweetness, a lemon for bitterness and a little loaf of bread for sustenance of life. On St. Joseph’s Day a bountiful buffet banquet with  traditional delicious Sicilian food  and wonderful pastry is offered. Each home has open house. All are welcome to attend. My friends, Grace Brancaleone and Katie Fontana also invite me to her homes every year to share in St. Joseph’s Day. I feel our Sicilian community is so blessed and fortunate to continue this wonderful custom.  This custom is celebrated all over this country and also in many parts of the world by people of Sicilian heritage.

Viva San Giuseppe!

virginia0001_thumb

New Film: Making the Special Saint Joseph Altar Bread

Artists-in-the-Kitchen Maria Cracchiolo, and her parents Domenic and Nina Damico, demonstrate how to create beautiful bread in shapes symbolic of Saint Joseph and inspired by nature. Watch as Maria, Nina, and Domenic artfully shape angels, a carpenter’s saw, San Giuseppe scroll, Saint Joseph sun, snails, flowers, butterflies, grapes, and more.

Many thanks to Sefatia Romeo Thekan for the suggestion to contact Maria and family to interview for Gloucester’ Feast of  Saint Joseph film project.

For improved viewing experience, click off the Vimeo HD icon in the bottom right hand corner and the video will load much more quickly.

As you will hear Maria’s story unfold (while deftly shaping the dough), her family’s tradition of making the Saint Joseph altar bread began several years ago, for a very heartfelt reason. In 2010, her young daughter was facing a very serious operation. Maria had never made the special Saint Joseph bread, but decided that year to make it her devotion to Saint Joseph. Maria taught herself how to shape the bread, finding inspiration in old photos of altars, and also from images, which she found online, of bread made in Sicily. Maria lived in Italy for five years, attending art school and studying fashion design. When I write “Artists-in-the Kitchen” you’ll see why after viewing the video.

Both of Maria’s parents, Nina and Domenic, were born in Sicily and grew up celebrating the Feast of San Giuseppe in the Sicilian tradition of feeding the poor and orphaned, and welcoming all who came to their table. Thank you Maria, Domenic, and Nina for graciously welcoming me into your Caffe Sicilia’s kitchen!

Saint Joseph Bread is available by special order at Caffe Sicilia. Call to place your order at (978) 283-2345

San Giuseppe Bread Caffe Sicilia ©Kim Smith 2014

See previous posts related to Caffe Sicilia:

Filming Continues on Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Film Project, Today at Caffe Sicilia

Caffe Sicilia’s St. Joseph Zeppole or, in Other Words, A Cloud of Sweetness Sent from the Heavens 

Sfinci di San Giuseppe

Groppo Family Saint Joseph Day Pasta

Filming continues for Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph community film project, today at the beautifully warm and welcoming home of Nina and Frank Groppo.

Many Hands Helping Feast of Saint Joseph Groppo Family ©Kim Smith 2014Many Helping Hands

Thank you from the bottom of my heart Groppo Family and Friends. I could not have felt more welcomed. Your kindness and good-heartedness reflects the true spirit of the Feast of Saint Joseph tradition.

Groppo Family Feast of Saint Joseph © Kim Smith 2014I arrived at Nina and Frank’s home early this morning, just as Groppo friends and family were beginning to stream through the door, with everyone carrying armfuls of breakfast treats. The first order of business was starting several batches of homemade ricotta cooking on the stove. After filming the ricotta-making, I headed to the garage where the men were getting set up for making pasta. They had prepared the dough the night before and were spreading white cloths on the tables and setting out many hand pasta cranks.

Homemade Ricotta

Groppo Family Feast of Saint Joseph  11 © Kim Smith 2014All morning more and more friends arrived to lend a helping hand. There were perhaps 50-75 people there in the kitchen and in the garage, and all working at super high speed shaping, rolling, flouring, cranking, stacking, and cooking. Mid-morning and it was time to take a break. Nina and her crew fed the entire pasta-making team steaming bowls of the most amazingly delicious fresh ricotta. I had never had freshly made ricotta and after observing how it is made, I would love to give it a try.

Frank Groppo Feast of Saint Joseph © Kim Smith 2014

PASTA Feast of Saint Joseph ©Kim Smith 2014Towering Tiers of Fresh Pasta

One of the tables that Frank and his crew had set up in the garage was for drying the pasta. As batches of pasta were rolled, cut, and floured, they spread the pasta on the tables to dry. The first batches quickly filled the tabletop. The men then placed wooden blocks on the table and retuned from the shed with a new tabletop to stack on top of the first, covered that with a fresh white cloth, and spread the next batch of pasta. This happened eight times, to total a tower of pasta nine tiers high. Extraordinary!!!

Groppo Family Feast of Saint Joseph  -14 © Kim Smith 2014

Groppo Family Feast of Saint Joseph -6 © Kim Smith 2014

After all pasta-making was done, amidst much dancing and merry-making, it was time to eat again! Frank and his crew cooked pasta in the garage, while Nina and her team prepared a large stockpot filled with sauce, which she had made from her homegrown harvest of tomatoes. Everyone crowded around the stove for beautiful aromatic bowls of pasta and red sauce, topped with freshly grated cheese.

Groppo Family Feast of Saint Joseph -7 © Kim Smith 2014JPG

Enzo Groppo Feast of Saint Joseph © Kim Smith 2014

Groppo Family Feast of Saint Joseph © Kim Smith 2014How I wish editing wasn’t so time consuming and that I could share in a flash all the great footage captured today! Stay tuned for more to come.

Groppo Family Feast of Saint Joseph -3 © Kim Smith 2014JPG

Groppo Family Feast of Saint Joseph  -4© Kim Smith 2014

Groppo Family Feast of Saint Joseph -5 © Kim Smith 2014

Groppo Family Feast of Saint Joseph  -4© Kim Smith 2014 -12Everyone Lends a Hand

Continue here for several more photos ~

Read more

Filming Continues on Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Film Project, Today at Caffe Sicilia!

San Giuseppe Bread Caffe Sicilia ©Kim Smith 2014Preparing and baking the special San Guiseppe bread is a family endeavor at Caffe Sicilia. Within an hour’s time, Maria, Nina, and Domenic created dozens of loaves of bread in religiously significant shapes of St. Joseph’s staff, angels, and even a carpenter’s saw, as well as beautiful and whimsical flowers, sun, snails, and bunches of grapes. While they artfully and deftly shaped and baked, they shared their St. Joseph’s stories for our camera. Thank you Maria, Domenic, and Nina!

San Giuseppe Bread Caffe Sicilia Maria Cracchiolo Domenic ©Kim Smith 2014

San Giuseppe Bread Caffe Sicilia Maria Cracchiolo Domenic ©Kim Smith 2014 -3The Family began making the bread about four years ago, and word quickly spread. Maria credits Nina Groppo for spreading the good news.

San Giuseppe Bread Caffe Sicilia Maria Cracchiolo©Kim Smith 2014.-2.

Caffe Sicilia’s San Giuseppe bread is available for sale on March 18th, as well as by special order. Not only is it beautiful, but it is also out-of-this-world delicious!

San Giuseppe Bread Caffe Sicilia Maria Cracchiolo©Kim Smith 2014.-1PGToday was a joyful day and I am immensely appreciative. Many, many thanks to Maria, Nina, and Domenic from the bottom of my heart for their kindness and help with Gloucester’s St. Joseph film project.

Saint Joseph Bread Caffe Sicilia © Kim Smith 2014 copyNote the Carpenter’s Saw in the background

Below are just some of the posts honoring last year’s participants. If you have not been contacted, please, we do not want to leave anyone out. Contact me at kimsmithdesigns@hotmail.com if you would like your family’s story included in Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph film project. Thank you.

Happy St. Joseph’s Day!

Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Film Project Website Launch

John and Kathleen Scola

Maria and Niño Cannova

Nina and Frank Groppo Family

Frances and Ann Margaret Ferrante

Mary Russo Family

Marie and Carl Silva Family

Grace Brancaleone Family

 

The Taormina Sisters and the Misuraca Brothers Gloucester Families Make The Coveted NY Times Wedding Section

Click the title for the whole story at The New York Times

The Taormina Sisters and the Misuraca Brothers

THE back-to-back weddings on a rain-drenched day in Gloucester, Mass., might never have happened if Caterina Taormina’s older sister Patty Hodges did not have a big mouth.

Enlarge This Image

Jodi Hilton for The New York Times

Annie Taormina and Kyle Misuraca after their ceremony.

Patty knew that Brian Misuraca had been in love with Caterina, who goes by Katie, since high school. She shared the secret with Brian’s boss in a chance encounter at a restaurant in 2009, and when word got back to Brian, he left a decidedly mixed message on Katie’s phone.

“I hate your guts,” he said. “I can’t stop thinking about you.”

the rest of the story here

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Things To Do- Wellspring Cape Ann Families April School Vacation FREE FAMILY FUN

Wellspring logo

Wellspring Cape Ann Families brings you:

April School Vacation: FREE FAMILY FUN

                       WHAT:  Free Model Ship Painting/Spring Pot Painting and Planting

                Coastal Clean-up/Earth Day Lesson

                Open Gym at Iron Rail Gloucester

 

WHEN: Ship Painting and Spring Pot Painting/Planting is Tuesday, April 20th 10-11:30 AM

               Coastal Clean-Up and Earth Day Lesson is Thursday, April 22nd 9-11 AM

               Open Gym at Iron Rail Gloucester is Friday April 23rd 9-11 AM

 

WHERE: Ship Painting and Pot Painting/Planting is at WCAF – 28 Emerson Ave ,    

                   Gloucester .

      Coastal Clean-Up and Earth Day Lesson will be at Halibut Point State Park

                 Open Gym at Iron Rail Gloucester is located at 8 Kondelin Road , Gloucester .

Looking for some fun ways to fill your children’s up-coming April vacation week? Please come join us for our free fun-filled events that are open to all on Cape Ann . 

At Wellspring Cape Ann Families, located at 28 Emerson Avenue , on Tuesday April 20th from 10-11:30 AM we will be painting model ships, painting spring pots and planting seeds. On Thursday April 22nd from 9-11 AM get outside and enjoy spring as a family! Join us at Halibut Point State Park for a Coastal Clean-Up followed by an Earthy Day lesson on tidal pools presented by Ramona from the Trustees of the Reservation. End your vacation week by running and jumping with us at Iron Rail Gloucester, located at 8 Kondelin Road . We will be having an Open Gym on Friday April 23rd from 9-11 AM. For all events: Please R.S.V.P. to 978.281.7856 with the number of adults, children and their age(s).  

These free events are made possible because of the generous support of the Linden Foundation.

 For more information: Courtney Karcher , 978.281.7856  e-mail: ckarcher@wellspringhouse.org