St. Joseph’s Co-Cathedral

We broke the $4,000 mark! On my fundraising journey, this is another milestone toward my $7,000 goal. We are now just $3,000 away (well, $2,995, to be exact) away from the amount needed to guarantee production of the Piecework: When We Were French DVD.

The writing and creation of the show consisted of many hours of research, rehearsal, revision, and hard work. But those hours of sweat were punctuated by a few moments of true epiphany, where some greater creative spirit seemed to intercede and propose an idea that would make the play fuller, richer, and more meaningful. One of those moments was when I learned about the history of St. Joseph’s Catholic Co-Cathedral in downtown Burlington, Vermont. Franco-Americans from places that had larger French populations — Maine, Massachusetts, and certain New Hampshire mill towns — are sometimes surprised when I tell them that my show documents Vermont’s Franco history. I’m always quick to tell them about St. Joseph’s: the first National French parish in the U.S.

Although I attended a Mass during one trip back home and was given a copy of the parish history by a generous church employee, I doubt that the good folks at St. Joe’s realize how instrumental they were to the show’s development. But anyone who has seen the show likely remembers the church’s fictional housekeeper, who bookends the performance and acts as the caretaker of her church’s history. She could not have existed without my visits to the Co-Cathedral and my learning about its founding. I hope you’ll read more about the church’s history here.

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