On Saturday, September 28, 2013, more than 250 members of St. Catherine of Siena celebrated the 100th anniversary of the parish with a gala Centennial Dinner held in the James and Catherine Lucey Parish Hall. The dinner was one of numerous activities held during the centennial year that included a Centennial Mass and reception, an interfaith panel discussion, a Mozart concert, a trip to Italy, and the upcoming choral concert featuring Chanticleer on October 26th. All of the year’s events honor the diversity and breadth of the parish and its parishioners.
Billed as “An Evening in Siena”, the dinner celebrated the beauty, pageantry and culture of Siena, Italy, birthplace of the parish patroness, St. Catherine. Guests were welcomed into an Italian courtyard, replete with a fountain, grape arbor and beds of lavender, where they received seating cards for their “contrade,” as dinner tables were grouped into the ancient districts of Siena. Parish music director Mark Kaczmarczyk and cantor Abby Powell presented a selection of Italian arias, love songs and familiar favorites. Aux Délices catered a sumptuous Tuscan dinner, and Billy and the Showmen delighted the attendees with Italian standards and dance music throughout the evening. A highlight was the staging of Il Palio, the centuries old horse race that takes place each summer in the central Piazza of Siena. The contestants, representing their contrade, were cheered mightily as they advanced astride their hobbyhorses, with the winning contrade celebrating with a prosecco toast. The evening’s festivities were captured by photographer and parishioner Kathy DiGiovanni.
“This was a great evening put together by a wonderfully talented team of parishioners,” said Eileen Grasso, chair of the Centennial Committee. “I think we truly captured the rich heritage and spirit of this great faith community.”
Newly installed Bishop Frank J. Caggiano was a special guest and complimented the committee and the parishioners on the vibrancy of the parish. Caggiano asked the assembled to pray for him and said he is "ready to listen and learn about the needs of all of God's people, as fellow pilgrims on the journey of faith." Bishop Caggiano then circulated throughout the hall and personally greeted all of the attendees.
Msgr. Alan F. Detscher, pastor of St. Catherine of Siena, “I am proud to be the pastor of this wonderful community of people which now includes over 2,200 families. St. Catherine’s Church recently renovated and restored the spiritual home of this vibrant community. It is a place where God’s word is proclaimed, beautiful music and liturgy, intellectual challenge and personal connections nourish and inspire all who worship here.”
The final Centennial Year event will be a performance by Chanticleer, the multi-Grammy Award-winning a cappella ensemble on Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 8 pm at St. Catherine of Siena Church. For information about concert tickets, to learn more about the history of St. Catherine of Siena Parish and to view photos from all of the year’s Centennial celebrations, visit www.stcath.org.