“Pawtucket is a Happy Place” was the theme for Mother Provincial Alice Marie Monica’s first visit to our Home on June 21 to June 26. Mother Provincial and Sr. Francis Catherine were greeted at the gate by two special visitors, Mickey and Minnie Mouse! Minnie and Mickey followed the car to the front of the Home where everyone was in joyful anticipation of their arrival. When Mother Provincial got out the car, the Residents, staff, sisters and volunteers let their balloons go for a balloon lift while others waved Rhode Island flags and wind blowers.
When Mother Provincial arrived in the lobby, Resident Florence Corneau presented Mother with a bouquet of flowers and Bishop Francis Roque D.D. (Resident) welcomed her in the name of the Home. The staff, Residents and volunteers assembled for a welcome poem. A great spirit of excitement filled the Home for the rest of the day and the days to come!
The next day as the sun rose to a beautiful clear day, there was already excitement in the air in expectation of the coming day’s events! The day began with the Mass of Mary, Mother of Mercy offered for Mother Provincial’s intentions. The chapel was filled with Residents, sisters, many employees and AJJ. After Mass, Mother Mercy accompanied Mother Provincial and Sr. Francis Catherine to the dining rooms to greet the residents and give them a small gift. The main meal for dinner was Stuffies (stuffed clams in a shell), topped with shrimp and all the trimmings which is a favorite meal in Rhode Island since we live in the “Ocean State”!
The highlight of the afternoon was the Residents’ show titled “Pawtucket is a Happy Place” that began with “Paws” the Pawtucket Red Sox mascot greeting Mother Provincial and then everyone joining the JJ Resident Choir singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”! Since the first school house was established in Rhode Island, the Residents thought it only fit to give Mother Provincial an English lesson on the importance of dropping her “r’s” when she comes to Rhode Island! Kate, our Activity Director, explained everything Rhode Island was famous for: lemonade slush, wine biscuits, pizza chips, coffee mike; doughboys etc. and even sang the song “Rhode Island is famous for you”! Pizza chips and wine biscuits are only found in Rhode Island and were first made at the Original Italian Bakery.
Joe, from the bakery, who wrote a jingle for the radio about the Original Italian Bakery, came to sing the famous song “I love those pizza chips…” Mother was presented with the pizza chips and wine biscuits freshly made by Joe that morning at the bakery! When the show ended everyone was given a bag of wine biscuits to bring home, everyone was treated to freshly made pizza chips and to everyone’s surprise the New England Lemonade Truck was waiting outside to take their orders. The afternoon was very memorable and was the Residents main topic of conversation for the following few days. The sisters were able to take Mother Provincial to Oakland Beach in Warwick, Rhode Island, and she was treated again to one of Rhode Island’s originals, delicious, warm, fresh, Dough Boys! So, if you are ever in Rhode Island, please don’t miss the pizza chips and wine biscuits at The Original Italian Bakery!