Tag Archives: Groppo Family


The Best Day!

Feast of Saint Joseph Gloucester Groppo Kim Smith Designs 2016Nina and daughter Enza

From beginning to end, the pasta-making team is well cared for. When you arrive, Nina and friends have fresh bread baking in the oven and large vats of homemade ricotta steaming on the stove top. The friendships, the fun and conversation, and especially enjoyable is observing how greatly the children love to participate. From the oldest grannies to the teens, tweens, toddlers, and everyone in-between, making pasta with friends and family makes for a simply wonderful day!

Feast of Saint Joseph Gloucester Groppo Kim Smith Designs -6 2016Feast of Saint Joseph Gloucester Groppo Kim Smith Designs -5 2016DSCF8091Feast of Saint Joseph Gloucester Groppo 17 Kim Smith Designs 2016Tower of Pasta Power!

Feast of Saint Joseph Gloucester Groppo -28 Kim Smith Designs 2016Feast of Saint Joseph Gloucester Groppo -19 Kim Smith Designs 2016Feast of Saint Joseph Gloucester Groppo -20Kim Smith Designs 2016Resident Photo Bomber Leo

If you would like to learn more about Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Community Film and the accurate account of how the project evolved, please go to the film’s website and click on the About the Film link and the Director’s Statement link. For periodic updates about the film, you can keep in touch on the blog page of the film’s website or friend me on Facebook.


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 copy-st-joe-header-final-saturatedGloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Community Film Project

Filming continues, with great joy, appreciation, and thanks to all the families for their continued help. Dislocating my elbow this past winter set me back a bit in the editing department, however, every cloud has a silver lining. We have filmed additional scenes and are adding more daily. I recently invested in a second hard drive for the film and now all the footage from the past several years is thankfully backed up and in one safe place.

First and foremost, my deepest gratitude and most heartfelt thanks goes to the Groppo Family and Friends, who for the past several years have included me and my camera in every aspect of their Feast of Saint Joseph Novena and preparations.

Tremendous thanks goes to Maria Cracchiolo and Joe Virgilio for allowing filming of their Saint Joseph bread and pastry making. Thank you to Mayor Romeo Theken for her suggestion to get in touch with both Joe and Maria.

Again, I would like to thank all the families who granted interviews and took the time to share their beautiful stories and traditions. Special thanks to Felicia Ciaramitaro and Mayor Theken for their introductions and help organizing the interviews during the project’s earliest beginnings.

I think an additional thanks is owed Sefatia for her wisdom in organizing the trolley tour of Gloucester’s Family altars, which allowed for a window into this world of deep devotion and community spirit.

If you would like to learn more about the film and how the project evolved, please go to the film’s website and click on the About the Film link and the Director’s Statement link. For periodic updates about the film, you can keep in touch on the blog page of the film’s website or friend me on Facebook.


Nina and Frank Groppo Saint Joseph Feast ©Kim Smith 2014 -2This year the Groppo’s are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Saint Joseph honoring Nina’ s mother, Di Gaetano Vincenza. Tomorrow night, Thursday, the nine day novena begins and all are most sincerely welcome at the home of Nina and Frank Groppo.

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

Saturday is Saint Joseph pasta-making day at the Groppo’s and it is the most fun, with everyone lending a hand, from the oldest granny to the youngest child.

Gloucester's Feast of Saint Joseph pasta making -2 kim smith designs.com 2016

Gloucester's Feast of Saint Joseph pasta making kim smith designs.com 2016saint-joseph-bread-caffe-sicilia-c2a9-kim-smith-2014- (1)Caffe Sicilia’s Maria Cracchiolo is returning from vacation on Saturday and special orders for her beautiful bread can be placed then. You can see a demonstration of how she expertly shapes the Saint Joseph altar bread here.Flowers feast of saint Joseph altar kim smith designs.com

Jane Harper Beddus Feast of Saint Joseph kim smith designs.com 2016Jane Harper Beddus, the ‘flower lady’ arranging this year’s altar flowers

A BEAUTIFUL SAINT PETER’S FIESTA SUNDAY ~ Good Night Saint Peter, Until Next Year!

Part Two ~ to read part one, click hereSaint Peter's Fiesta Greasy Pole Gloucester harbor©Kim Smith 2014 -3The ride to the platform was thrilling, and a little terrifying, as I wasn’t exactly sure how my not-waterproof camera gear would fare.Saint Peter's Fiesta Greasy Pole ©Kim Smith 2014 Saint Peter's Fiesta Greay Pole ©Kim Smith 2014 -4Saint Peter's Fiesta Greay Pole ©Kim Smith 2014 -2 After the pole walkers disembarked, the skipper kindly gave me a ride to shore to continue filming from Pavilion Beach. Saint Peter's Fiesta Greasy Pole Pavilion Beach ©Kim Smith 2014 The Walks began under windy conditions and the tide was low, as it had been all weekend, which made for a very, very long drop when the guys hit the water. Saint Peter's Fiesta Greay Pole Mark Allen ©Kim Smith 2014

Mark Allen

Congratulations to Mark Allen for winning the Sunday 2014 Greasy Pole title. Congratulation to Sunday’s Senior Seine Boat champions, the Wharf Rats, and junior champions, Bad Intentions! Saint Peter's Fiesta ©Kim Smith 2014.-2Festivities continued throughout the night with the awards ceremony and live music. Around 11pm, after the late night carnival crowd had dispersed, a beautiful event began to unfold. From all corners of Gloucester, people gathered around to fill the fair grounds. Saint Peter was again lifted down from the stage and a throng of hundreds lined the square to carry the statue around the Fort. With much cheering and jubilation, Saint Peter and his followers were welcomed throughout the neighborhood. Midway during the route, the procession paused and confetti rained down on all. Rounding the bend, a fabulous fireworks display had been organized for the crowd. Sparkles shot all around, and I stayed close to my friends Nina and Frank as we reveled in the sheer beauty of it all. The fireworks concluded and the procession continued, with the sight of Gloucester’s exquisite port illuminated by the nights’ light. Arriving at Saint Peter’s Club, another shower of confetti greeted Saint Peter. The statue was carefully removed from the carrying stand and placed back in the window of the Saint Peter’s Club. 

Saint Peter's Fiesta  St. Peter's Club ©Kim Smith 2014Good Night Saint Peter, Until Next Year!

Thank you to the beautiful Nina and Frank Groppo and their friends and family for always welcoming me with their open arms. Thank you to the beautiful Giambanco family for welcoming us all to their home for their fabulous Sunday Fiesta Feast and Fun! See Part One Here

A Beautiful Saint Peter’s Fiesta Sunday

Saint Peter' Fiesta Mass ©Kim Smith 2014Part One

Every seat for the outdoor Mass at Gloucester’s Saint Peter’s Square was filled by 10am, with people spilling out under the trees and a standing room only crowd along Roger’s Street. Blue skies and wispy white clouds above made for an exquisite June morning, while the aromas of suntan lotion, popcorn, and the salty sea filled the air. The crowd was jubilant with everyone dressed in bright pretty colors and fresh fiesta whites and especially sweet were the little girls in their summer frocks and sandals. Friends greeted friends and families prayed together, accompanied by cheers of Viva San Pedro. Bishop Arthur Kennedy gave the Mass, relating Saint Peter to the work of fishermen today, and was assisted by Father Jim of Our Lady of Good Voyage and Holy Family parishes. Saint Peter' Fiesta  Groppo Family ©Kim Smith 2014.-8

Groppo Family

Saint Peter' Fiesta Jope Novello AnnMargaret Ferrante  ©Kim Smith 2014.

Ann Margaret Ferrante and Joe Novello

Saint Peter' Fiesta  Frank and Nina Groppo©Kim Smith 2014-10 Frank and Nina Groppo Saint Peter' Fiesta  ©Kim Smith 2014-9Saint Peter' Fiesta Ann margaret Ferrante Melissa Cox  ©Kim Smith 2014.

Melissa Cox and Ann Margaret Ferrante Saint Peter' Fiesta  ©Kim Smith 2014 -5Following the Mass, Saint Peter was brought down from the stage and the stunning and lovingly made floats and marching bands lined up behind the statue for the procession through town. Saint Peter was hoisted upon the shoulders of eight bearers and the parade began, following the long established route up Washington Street to stop in front of Our Mother of Grace Club, then onto Our Lady of Good Voyage, before making its way back to the Saint Peter’s Club, where the statue was then carefully returned to the stage.

Saint Peter' Fiesta Saint Peter statue  ©Kim Smith 2014. Meanwhile, over at the Giambanco Family home, preparations were well underway for their annual Sunday Saint Peter’s Fiesta celebration. Friends and family flowed through the welcoming doors of the childhood home of sisters Rosaria, Sefatia, Marianne, and Grace. Saint Peter' Fiesta  Rosaria Floyd Sefatia Romeo Thekan ©Kim Smith 2014.

Rosaria and Sefatia

Saint Peter' Fiesta  ©Kim Smith 2014 Lia and April

Lia and April

Saint Peter' Fiesta Brandon Marianne Paquette  ©Kim Smith 2014.

Brandon and Marianne Paquette

Saint Peter' Fiesta  ©Kim Smith 201412Sefatia and Matt Thekan Saint Peter' Fiesta  ©Kim Smith 2014.

Sefatia and Matt

Anticipation for the arrival of the hilariously costumed Greasy Pole Walkers was palpable. Saint Peter' Fiesta  ©Kim Smith 2014. -15 Saint Peter' Fiesta Grace Anthony Saputo  ©Kim Smith 2014. Saint Peter' Fiesta  ©Kim Smith 2014. Greasy pole Walkers

Saint Peter' Fiesta Sefatia Gresy pole Walkers  ©Kim Smith 2014.Sefatia Leads the Cheer

After the rally at the Giambanco home, the Walkers next stopped at the Gloucester House. Upon arriving there, shouts of LENNY, LENNY, LENNY filled the restaurant as Mr. Linquata greeted the band of merrymakers. Saint Peter' Fiesta  ©Kim Smith 2014.-14 Frequent stops along the way were made before arriving at Saint Peter’s Club for the final rally prior to setting off on the rig that took the Walkers to the Greasy Pole platform.

Read Part Two Here

See More Snapshots Here

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Nina and Frank Groppo Family

Many, many thanks and our deepest appreciation to the Frank and Nina Groppo Family for agreeing to be interviewed and for allowing us to film their beautiful St. Joseph celebrations. While interviewing and during the feast, their wonderful home was overflowing with family and friends, joy and grace. Thank you Groppo Family and Friends!

Nina writes:
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this – we appreciate yours and everyone’s devotion and faith to Saint Joseph.
We hope to continue with this devotion and tradition for as long as Saint Joseph and the good Lord give us the strength to do it and send us the help to do it – not just for us but for all that join in this beautiful tradition of faith, whether for just one day or for the full Novena!!

Groppo Family Feast of St. Joseph Altar©Kim Smith 2013Left to right back row: Vincenza Ferrara, Kathy Pratl, and Francesco Groppo.

Left to right front row: Eleonora D’Angelo, Angela Sanfilippo, Agata Groppo, Fina Briguglio, and Maria Sanfilippo.

and Nina “Crocetta” Groppo sitting on Agata’s lap.

Click portrait to view full size image.