Every year St. Joseph’s Home is transformed into New Orleans as we celebrate Mardi Gras with music, decorations, beads, mask, and a star-studded Residential Royal Court. Everyone knew to “bead” there for a wonderful afternoon. 2013 was no exception. We entered the auditorium listening to New Orleans Jazz, placed beads and masks carefully over our heads, and wondered who would be part of the Royal Court, and who would be the King and Queen of Mardi Gras this year.
The Royal Court made their entrance in grandeur and splendor. As each member of the court approached the auditorium, an introduction was read. Members of the court made their way down the center aisle, waving to their subjects. The subjects shook hand clappers to greet their royalty as the music played.
Our distinguished Mardi Gras court included:
- Joann, Mother of the Queen, Princess and Keeper of the Beautiful Flowers. Known for her prayerful thoughtfulness.
- Beverly, Countess of Georgia and Keeper of the Peaches. Known for defending the poor and the hungry.
- Willa, Princess of New Orleans, and keeper of the Mardi Gras memories and beads. Known for changing all the streets into sidewalks during Mardi Gras so that everyone is able to walk safely.
- Anita, Visiting Queen Fish of the Deep Blue Sea and Keeper of the Royal Cats and Dogs. Known for entertaining the Royal Pets with playing Rock n’Roll on the harmonica.
- Ed, visiting King Fish of the Deep Blue Sea and Keeper of the Library Table. Known for making smiles and laughs.
- Pat, Baroness of South Africa and Keeper of the Bells. Known for hitting notes on time.
- Evelyn, Dutchess of Egypt and Keeper of the artifacts. Known for being the new Resident on the block and making new friends.
- June, Queen of Hearts, and Keeper of the Playing Cards. Known to be a card shark at Bridge, Pinochle, and Poker.
- Princess Virginia, only daughter of the King and Queen of Ireland, and Keeper of the Official Writings. Known for her desire to try to beat Verlie at Wii Bowling, but so far unsuccessful.
- Queen Anna, the beautiful and gracious Queen of Poland, and the reigning Queen of Mardi Gras 2013. Known for her humility and helping her subjects by babysitting children. Long live the Queen! Hail, Hail, Long live the Queen!
- King Stan, the gentle-hearted King of Poland and reigning King of Mardi Gras 2013. Known for bringing singing and dancing back into the Kingdom. Long live the King! Hail, Hail, Long live the King!
Once the Royal Court was acknowledged, it was time for some fun: a dice game with the Royals. Each of us rolled a die to see if our number matched the roll of a member of the Royal Court. The afternoon was completed as we were treated to root beer floats and the King’s Bread.
There is also an Italian tradition of celebration the day before Ash Wednesday called Martedí Grasso (Fat Tuesday). As a special gift to the Little Sisters, our own Resident Monnie Tutomase (getting ready to celebrate her 90th birthday) prepared a feast for the Sisters from her treasured family recipe of Spaghetti, Mostaccioli and meatballs.
Over flowing from a day filled with celebration and good food, we were ready to begin our Lenten journey.