Parish Say Thank You to Zita Finora for Fifty Years of Service as Sacristan
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If you have an interest in the history of our church, you'd love talking to Zita Finora. She was born in Italy and at the age of seven she began her training to care for the church altar cloths and prepare the altars. She also learned how to make hosts at the convent in her town, using broomsticks as rolling pins. She immigrated to Canada in 1954 and in 1956 married Maurice Finora, caretaker here at the Church of Our Lady. Maurice and Zita raised their children, Gerry, Virginio, Livio, and Yolanda in the little house next to the rectory. They even planted a large garden, which Zita dug by hand. Maurice erected a clothesline that ran from their house to Northumberland Street. Zita had two children in 10 months and the clothesline was filled with diapers. She recalled, with a chuckle, that Father Noonan had offered to buy Zita a washer and dryer, as he had received numerous complaints. Zita had refused the offer and advised Maurice that he should look for a new job.
Zita spoke fondly of the many pastors and staff that she had the privilege to work with over the years. She recalls a choir master, John Marrin, inviting her to sing “Agnus Dei” on special occasions.
As sacristan, Zita remembers making and edging altar cloths with fabric that her mother sent from Italy. She launders the cloths and altar server vestments. She also ensures that the liturgical vessels and decorative objects are kept in good condition and available for celebrations. Zita stated, “I like my sanctuary to be perfect.” Father Noonan was so impressed with the quality of her work that he told her she should have been a nun!
On Sunday, October 20, 2013, the Church of Our Lady celebrated its 125th Anniversary. On the recommendation of our pastor, Father Noon, Bishop Crosby presented Zita Finora, our long-serving and much loved sacristan with the Diocesan Medal of Service at Mass. This honour was a complete surprise to Zita, who has served our parish for 50 years. When Zita received a standing ovation, it was a stirring moment for our parish family.