Photos and text by Algerina Perna
The 80-year-old tradition of ravioli-making is going strong at St. Leo’s Church in Little Italy. A welcoming atmosphere and a desire to pass on the practice to children and grandchildren, or lean something new, keeps volunteers coming from all around the region.
From pre-teens to octogenarians, 80 volunteers came together on each of two recent Saturdays to make a total of 12,166 raviolis using 350 pounds of flour, 620 pounds of cheese and 1,090 eggs. St. Leo’s Church holds two ravioli dinners a year, which are major fundraisers for the church, says Sue Corasiniti, the co-chair with Rob Daniels. The next dinner on March 5 will serve 1,000 people in the school hall and another 1,000 take-out dinners in the church hall. The meal includes dessert donated by Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry Shop and Sabatino’s Italian restaurant.
Daniels, who was hired as the maintenance facilities manager three years ago and has helped with six dinners, says: “You just feel like you’re part of the family. Everyone accepts you. I feel like I have 200 grandmoms and grandpops and moms and dads. It’s not just me. It’s anyone who comes in is all part of the family.”
Corasiniti who has been affiliated with the parish for 20 years, says, “We sort of go on the 3 f’s: family, food and fun.”