March 10, 2006
By MELISSA PIONZIO, Courant Staff Writer
For more than 25 years, Sister Maureen
Faenza and Sister Theresa Foni have worked to relieve hunger among
the city's homeless, unemployed and working poor at the House of
Bread, a soup kitchen in the city's North End neighborhood.
In recognition of their efforts, the
women, who belong to the order of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, have
been named Persons of the Year by the Central Connecticut Celtic
Cultural Committee. The award is presented by the committee in conjunction
with the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade, which will be held in
It is the parade's 35th year in Hartford.
"I always go to the parade as
a viewer. This year will be quite different going as a participant,"
said Foni, who plans to march with Faenza. "Being 100 percent
Italian, I become 100 percent Irish on the day of the event. It
should be a lot of fun."
Representatives from 12 towns will
participate: Hartford, Wethersfield, East Hartford, South Windsor,
Rocky Hill, Glastonbury, Windsor, Manchester, Suffield, Newington,
West Hartford and Enfield. Bands from eight high schools and five
middle schools will march with traditional bag pipe groups and pub
Since school bands are such a big part
of the event, the parade committee will hand out awards to three
of this year's participating bands, said parade chairman Jim Moriarty
of Rocky Hill.
"We are doing a kind of battle
of the bands," said Moriarty, who is employed as a school administrator.
"There is always a need for instrument replacement and repair,
so there is a need for money to be returned for those types of things.
... It is nice to see the interest of school bands and the effort
that is put into getting a group together and getting them out there
to perform on the street."
As in previous years, a St. Patrick's
Day Parade Mass will be held today at 7 p.m. at St. Peter's Church
on Main Street, during which Foni and Faenza and parade marshal
Stanley Tuller of East Hartford will be honored.
Tuller, a longtime supporter of the
parade and the Irish American Home Society in Glastonbury, will
be given his shillelagh, or Irish walking stick, to carry during
the parade. A traditional blessing of the shamrocks and the prayers
for good weather will also be given.
"I've cooked corned beef down
there for years, done the dinner club since its inception ... it's
a great place. I've met a lot of real nice people," Tuller
said of the Irish Home. "You think of all the people that are
members of the Irish club in the last 30 years and I'm one of 35
[grand marshals]. It shows that they appreciate what you do for
The parade starts at 11 a.m. at Capitol
Avenue by the state Capitol. From there, marchers will head east
on Capitol, left on Main Street and left on Asylum Street. The parade
then turns left again onto Ford Street, and will end by the Memorial
The streets on the parade route will
begin to shut down around 10 a.m. Other planned closings include
the Whitehead Highway at the Prospect Street exit beginning at 10:30
a.m.; I-84 East at the Capitol Avenue exit beginning at 9 a.m.;
the staging area for the parade will be closed by 9 a.m. and includes
Capitol Avenue from Broad to Hudson streets; all of Trinity Street;
all of Elm Street; Washington Street from Capitol Avenue to Park
Street; Oak Street; and Hungerford Street.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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