Attleboro's Holy Ghost 'Festa' Combines Tradition with Spirit

The Holy Ghost parish is kicking off its annual Holy Trinity feast beginning Friday night.

For more than 40 years, Attleboro's Holy Ghost Parish has been celebrating a tradition deeply routed in the Portuguese culture. This year is no different. The parish will continue the tradition of its three-day long Feast of the Holy Ghost, an adoration to the third person of the Blessed Trinity, with an auction, Mass, procession and feast. 

Frank and Melissa Pacheco, parishioners at Holy Ghost, are not only organizers of the event, but they are this year's "mordomes." Mordomes are the people the population trusts, respects and counts on to carry out the tradition.

"It's about getting involved with all of the community, the church, our Priest, Father John Murray and  also showing leadership in the annual Holy Ghost Feast that is celebrated not just this weekend coming but throughout the year," Pacheco said. "This tradition was brought over here from our ancestors and it really keeps the Portuguese community together."

The feast is the only kind of Portuguese celebration found in Attleboro, according to Pacheco. 

"It's so very important because surrounding cities and towns also carry on this tradition and there's nothing better than some good home cooking," he quipped. 

The Mordome is referring to the tradition of giving the community Portuguese sweetbread and wine, a tradition that dates back to when Queen Isabella of Portugal, who was devoted to the poor, opened the doors to peasants and fed them meat, wine and bread and crowned one of them to symbolize that everyone was equal in her eyes. 

The giving back to the community will happen during a  procession Saturday when those in the procession, who are carrying crowns, flags and banners, will also give out the bread and wine during the procession. 

The most important part of the three-day celebration is Sunday's Mass at Holy Ghost Church. Pacheco said members of the community are expected to fill every pew in the church. 

"After the mass there's a small procession and then we have the famous "soupas," which is not just for the Portuguese but for everyone who will come from far away to eat the soupas, which is made the "old-fashion" way.

Schedule of the three-day feast can be found


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