St. Michael’s Day in Fall River is scheduled for July 16-18

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FALL RIVER – The Great Festival of the Holy Spirit is canceled this year, but the churches of Fall River still have their individual parties this summer. St. Michael’s Catholic Church will be holding its traditional festival and procession this weekend.

“We were determined once the governor opened to host this celebration,” said Father Jay Mello, the church’s pastor.

The party, like most big events, was canceled last summer due to the pandemic. The three-day celebration, which begins this Friday July 16 and ends Sunday July 18, will feature live Portuguese and American music, Portuguese food and activities for the kids. On Sunday, after a bilingual Mass in the morning, there will be the traditional procession through the neighborhood around the church with the statue of Saint Michael and other important statues, with children dressed as saints and angels and the faithful lining the streets with flowers and colorful wood shavings.

A file photo from the Herald News shows a boy dressed as Saint Michael and parishioners carrying a statue of the saint during the annual feast of Saint Michael's Church.

Mello said organizers are confident it is safe to organize the party this summer, but added that anyone who wants to avoid large gatherings can still drop by and have their food to go.

“We’re getting ready for big crowds, because people like that stuff and we haven’t been able to have it for a while,” Mello said. “It will be a great way to try to get things back to normal.”

Typically, the church had its feast in August, but it was moved this year to give them more time to prepare their parish school for the upcoming school year after the feast ended.

While some members of the ward have health issues that mean they still need to exercise caution due to the pandemic, many signs of pre-pandemic life have returned, with churches reopened with no capacity restrictions.

Santo Christo de Fall River Church held its own annual feast at the end of last month, and St. Anthony of the Desert Maronite Catholic Church is plan a traditional Lebanese mahrajan for August.

“People are grateful to be able to attend Mass again, to come together for the sacraments,” Mello said. “In general, there is an optimistic spirit throughout the community. “

You can reach Audrey Cooney at acooney@heraldnews.com. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Herald News today.

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