Thursday, June 24, 2010
More than 25,000 people flocked to St. Helen’s in Howard Beach last week for the 1st Annual St. Anthony’s Feast.
The five-day event was held on parish grounds and was organized and hosted by St. Helen’s and the Howard Beach Columbus Day Foundation.
Msgr. Alfred LoPinto celebrated mass in honor of St. Anthony on Wednesday evening with more than 500 parishoners and visitors in attendance. After mass, there was a procession through the streets surrounding the church with devotees of St. Anthony following closely behind a life-size statue of the patron Saint of Padua.
Speaking about the venture, Msgr. LoPinto praised the Howard Beach Columbus Day Foundation for their contribution to the event. “This partnership helped to bring a feast unlike others to St. Helen’s Parish.” Msgr. LoPinto credited the great success of the event to the addition of a procession and shrine to St. Anthony as well as extensive entertainment and a wide variety of foods.
President of the Howard Beach Columbus Day Foundation Mario Faulisi also agreed that the joint venture was a successful undertaking. “At the end of the day we measure success by how many people show up and how many had a good time. In that case, this event was very
successful.” To close out the feast on Sunday, Joe Causi of WCBS radio hosted the day’s activities where crowds ate, sang, danced and enjoyed rides and games. Zeppole and cannoli eaters competed for prizes and feasters were treated to a surprise when Freestyle Queen Judy Torres of WKTU dropped and took the stage for over an hour.
Proceeds from the feast will be divided among the Foundation to support their Language Study Program and St. Helen’s School.