When we hear the word Mardi Gras, our thoughts go to New Orleans, beads, parades, masks and costumes. However, Mardi Gras has its roots in the Catholic Church. The Roman Empire celebrated Lupercalia, a circus-like festival in mid February. The early church Fathers decided to incorporate this celebration into the Catholic faith. Carnival or Mardi Gras was born and became the period of merriment that came before the penance of Lent, giving this tradition a Christian interpretation to the Roman custom.
It was a packed house as the Mardi Gras celebration began at St. Joseph’s Home. The auditorium was ablaze in the deep purples (representing justice), green (representing faith) and gold (representing power) colors of Mardi Gras. Balloons rose from the tables, while metallic beads were given out to all. Reminiscent of a masquerade ball, masks of feathers, sequins, and glitter adorned our Residents.
The presentation of our Resident Mardi Gras Royal Court was met with cheers and applause. The Gentle Hearted Great King Tom Schurr and the Beautiful and Gracious Queen Dolores Driscoll were surrounded by their court: Mother of the Queen, Queen of Wisdom JoAnn Sergott, Pope George Valentino the First, Princess of Easter Lillies, Virginia Mindy, Princess Jean Olakowski the Giving Princess, Prince Arthur Dyon, the Valiant Prince, Dutchess of the Royal Court, Br. Hilary Wasilewski, Countess Ann Gibbons of the Kindhearted. Baroness Willa Turner, Defender of the Poor and Downtrodden, Princess of the Purest of Hearts Alma Goekle and Holder of all Giggles and Laughs Court Jester, Gloria Orkon.
“As the Saints Come Marching In” playing in the background, a Mardi Gras Parade circled our auditorium. Dancing, singing and laughter filled the afternoon. Fat Tuesday successfully gave us one last celebration before Ash Wednesday brings us into the Lenten Season.