Father Robert Marciano was singing Saturday night as wind-whipped snow reduced traffic to a crawl and some St. Kevin Church parishioners decided to forego Mass and stay in the comfort of their homes.
“The weather outside is frightful, but let it snow, let it snow,” Father Marciano sang from the Christmas classic to a round of laughs. Father Marciano was also singing the virtues of Warwick’s elected officials and, as it turned out, Episcopalians and, in particular, Mayor Scott Avedisian.
The occasion was an inaugural Mass and dinner, which has been planned for some weeks now. Proceeds from the event, totaling more than $7,000, went to the Mayor Scott Avedisian Scholarship Fund for St. Kevin School. Avedisian, an Episcopalian, is a parishioner at Trinity Church in Pawtuxet.
Good friends with Avedisian, Father Marciano held the first inaugural mass in honor of the mayor two years ago raising about $8,000 that was used for the school playground. The scholarship fund will be used to offset tuition costs for needy families.
During the mass, Father Marciano read a letter from Bishop Thomas Tobin congratulating Avedisian on his re-election and thanking him for designating proceeds from the dinner to St. Kevin School.
“Your commitment to the education of young people has been a hallmark of your public service, and your generosity to St. Kevin School will benefit many students and families who come together at St. Kevin School to receive an excellent education in the context of our faith,” the letter reads.
In remarks before the dinner blessing, Avedisian congratulated the choir for their rendition of “Protestant hymns.” On a serious note, the mayor said that Warwick Superintendent Philip Thornton has met with the principals of the city’s parochial schools and there is a “wonderful working relationship” between the schools.
Father Marciano talked about the growth of St. Kevin School, which has 246 students from pre-school through 8th grade. He said the school was strong at the school. Reached later, Principal Roger Parent said the 3-year-old and 4-year-old pre-kindergarten classes are already at capacity, as are grades 1 and 3, but there are openings for 2017-2018.
Looking over the list of sponsors for the evening, Father Marciano noted that Trinity Episcopal Church had written a check, “something I hope continues.” There were more laughs. Also attending the Mass and dinner were Ward 1 Councilman Richard Corley, Ward 6 Councilwoman Donna Travis, Ward 4 Councilman Joseph Solomon, Ward 5 Councilman Ed Ladouceur and Rep. Joseph Solomon Jr.