Saturday, April 30, 2022


"I Nuri" Carry The Statue of St. Sebastian During the Annual Feast-Photo By Frank LoGiudice



"It will happen," stated Tri-Chairman Dr. Gene Nocera at the opening of the "Century of Devotion" exhibit at the Middlesex County Historical Society last December 9, 2021 regarding the 2022 Saint Sebastian's Church Festival. Nocera stands by his earlier comments he made and believes this year's festival is 100% guaranteed despite the Omicron Subvariant BA.2. Nocera stated ¨We see no indication that the Omicron will affect the feast. I don´t see that it will happen.¨  


The 2ndTri-Chairman Sal Nesci agrees with Nocera’s 100% assessment that the feast will happen. Nesci commented “Ït seems like the pandemic situation is well under control. The numbers are very low and manageable¨ and he is asking residents “to use prudence and good judgment regarding their health.”  Nesci pointed out that the church “will have masks available to make people feel comfortable if they want to wear it.” Nocera noted that wearing a mask inside the church will be voluntary. Plus, there will be hand sanitizing stations available during the feast both inside and outside according to Nesci. 


The church will be following guidelines from the CDC, the CT DPH and the city’s health department according to Nocera & Nesci. Nesci stated, “Whatever the guidance is given to us from the CDC, the state & the Middletown Health Departments we will follow.”  Nocera pointed out there are “No restrictions for crowds gathering outside.” 


This year the Saint Sebastian Church festival will be commemorating 101 years & because last year’s celebration was cancelled due to COVID-19 church organizer Phillip Pessina stated, “Our Feast Committee decided that since we cancelled our Feast which would have been our 100th, it was decided to entitle the 2022 Feast as “100+1.” 


Nocera explained “We will be celebrating the 101stanniversary with all of the past events that occurred before including the High Mass, the carnival, vendors, the food auction, showmobile, kiddie rides. It will be all there.” 


The highlight of the 3-Day feast will be the High Mass in honor of Saint Sebastian beginning at 11 a.m. on Sunday and it will be broadcast on local radio stations WLIS/WMRD-AM 1150 & 1420.  


The celebrants for the mass will be Monsignor Leszek Janik of the Diocese of Norwich and Pastor Father James Thaikoottathill. 

The "I Nuri" Return The St. Sebastian's Statue Inside The Church.  Photo By Frank LoGiudice

At the conclusion of the High Mass the “Nuri" will run into the church proclaiming the Italian phrase “E Chiamamulu Paisanu! Primu Diu E Sammastianu!” translated to English it means “He's one of our own! First God and then Saint Sebastian.” According to Nuri organizer Joe Spatola approximately 300 "Nuri" from around Connecticut will be participating in the annual "I Nuri Run" on Sunday. Plus, two buses from Pennsylvania & Massachusetts will be coming on Sunday for the event. Nocera stated “About an additional 50 runners will be participating from out of state who come on the buses.” 


The entertainment for the 3-day feast will include regional bands according to Nesci.  On Friday night from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. the “We 3 Trio” band will perform with former & retired Coginchaug Regional High School Band Director Dean Coutsouridis as a band member.  According to Middlefield resident Bill Currlin he commented about Coutsouridis' musical abilities. "He has one of the most sought-after bands around.  There are only three of them, but he adds (very artistically) all different instruments which he plays and records.  Dean was well liked in CRHS and now very well liked everywhere. “We three” plays all over and often. I recommend that you... go to hear them. All popular songs and a good time!" Coutsouridis retired from RSD-13 in 2016.  The other band members are Joe Cannata & John Morello. 


On Saturday from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Enzo Boscarino will be strolling the church grounds playing Italian music. On Saturday night the “Sound Alternative” an Italian band will play from 6 p.m.-10 p.m.  Plus, local parishioners Joe Muzik & Lou Aresco will serve as DJ's during the feast according to Nesci. They will be playing both Italian & American music.  


As a public service the city’s fire & police departments will be at the corner of the festival “so the kids could see the inside of their vehicles and there will be no admission fee,” according to Nocera.  


An outdoor reception for the “Century of Devotion” exhibit about the Saint Sebastian's Church festival will take place on Saturday, May 7that the Middlesex County Historical Society beginning at 12 p.m. According to Executive Director Dr. Jesse Nasta “The Middlesex County Historical Society will host a free concert by Sam Vinci as part of the St. Sebastian Feast centennial celebrations. Middletown-based musician Sam Vinci, who has provided music for the Feast here for seven decades, will play music from Melilli, 

Sicily with his five-piece band. The event will be held in the backyard of the historical society's General Mansfield House, at 151 Main Street in Middletown. Please enter the backyard through the gate in Spear Park, at the corner of Main and William streets.” Nasta commented that people will be able to view the "Century of Devotion" exhibit on May 7 either during or after the concert. The display will be up until the Fall 2022 and the hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am to 3 pm- and by appointment from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 


To get a preview of the bands and performers for the 2022 St. Sebastian’s Church “100 +1” Festival please see the following websites: 

If you have not been vaccinated against the COVID-19 Virus, please get your shot.  If you have please do not forget to get your booster shot too.  To find out how please go to 

Enjoy the video.



Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Invasive plant management at Wilcox Conservation Area, Saturday 4/30, 10:00-Noon

Join us for an invasive plant management activity at Wilcox Conservation Area! This project applies research on two invasive plant species – garlic mustard and Japanese barberry – to plant management at Wilcox Conservation Area, a city-owned 150-acre open space property in western Middletown. The dense forest canopy supports many native plant species, including spring ephemerals, which are threatened by expanding and new populations of invasive plants. We’ll start by taking a short walk to ID some natives. Then teams will remove and quantify plants of the two target species from study plots, and in some cases, replant with natives and/or amend the soil. Revisiting these plots next spring will generate data that can be used to determine best management practices and apply them to Wilcox and Middletown’s many other open space properties.  

This is a collaborative project between University of New Haven (Independent Study by Nora Doonan) and the City of Middletown (Land Use Department and Commission on Conservation and Agriculture), with supplies from Middlesex Community College and volunteers from UNH, Wesleyan University, the Commission and the public. For more information, to RSVP and/or inquire about carpooling from UNH or Wesleyan, contact Dr. Kate Miller at or  


Wilcox Conservation Area, Middletown. From its intersection with Interstate 91, take Country Club Road west 0.5 miles to Atkins Street. Go north on Atkins Street. Continue on Atkins Street for 0.7 miles and turn left on Footit Dr. Go ~ 0.5 miles down Footit (up and over a hill, toward the end, parking on right or along road past pull-out).  

To wear/bring
Long pants and sturdy shoes are recommended. There will be gloves and tools available (unless you'd like to bring your gloves and trowel!) 

This Week at The Buttonwood Tree: April 28 - May 1, 2022


The Buttonwood Tree 
605 Main Street, in Middletown

April/May 2022
The Buttonwood Tree Presents:

Event descriptions are excerpted from The Buttonwood Tree online calendar. Click on event links in text for more information. 



APR 29

 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm  

Kris Allen & Noah Baerman Duke Ellington Birthday Celebration

Notes from Noah ...
Kris Allen and I will be playing a program of music composed by the great Duke Ellington, for whom that day represents his 123rd birth anniversary. It occurs to me we should probably be doing more waltzes than we are (so we can count off "1 2 3" in honor of the milestone) but hopefully you'll deem it enough that we'll be examining his songbook from some of his best-loved tunes to some comparatively obscure ones. Kris and I have been playing together for 30 years now, but this will be our first public performance in a duo setting, so I'm extra excited about that.

APR 30 

 10:30 am - 12:15 pm

Align with Source Workshop

'Purifying Your Space, Setting Your Direction'. Continuing the letting go of what must, you provide the space for that which you came to BE. Shift those lower thoughts and feelings. Place your mind on your Heart and ask: Who are you? What and whom do you identify with? Where do you see yourself in relationship to your GodSelf? 

These are mighty questions that deserve deep thought; and to understand Oneness we must go there, deep into the Heart to discover just how One we are. It is now that the world needs your Best Self. Your Light is more powerful than you can imagine so why not take that bold step in turning the switches of Oneness on! So consider all those aspects in life that keep you stuck and ask yourself, 'how does it serve you?' Let's do this together in Love and Light. 


 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm  

Lucas Neil

A folk singer from the heart ...


MAY 1 

May Art Reception: “Water Music” 

by Donald Logie

3-5 pm  (This show will run through May 31st)

“All physical life comes from water. For me, so does emotional life, particularly in the time of COVID. Being by water calms me. Its (usually) gentle flow, steady rhythm, and soothing sound relax, refresh, and rejuvenate me.

Water is like a sponge. It absorbs and reflects whatever it comes in contact with. This includes color, which can come from sunlight hitting the water; sunlight bouncing off the bottom of a body of water; sunlight hitting objects in the water, under the water, by the water. If there is no or little sun, there is still color, just different ones.

Water creates calm. Its colors create energy. Who doesn’t react to seeing vivid colors!? The calm imparted by water creates flow and direction for the energy generated by its color. The water flows. So do we.

In this project called WATER MUSIC, I hope to show the calm flow of water and the energy of its colors, which dances like music. I also hope that the project helps its viewers to find calm and flow for their energy.”

-Donald Logie

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Professor Brian Stewart's Annual Earth Day Talk -- Public Invited

 Fifty years ago, in 1972, a quantitative inquiry into the human prospect entitled Limits to Growth was published.  After a decade of growing environmental awareness, the public was primed to consider the boundaries that constrain human activity, and the book rapidly became an international bestseller.  Its message soon ran into a counternarrative in support of unlimited expansion of the human project.  This talk will examine the tension between these two narratives and take a hard look at how the forecasts of Limits have held up after half a century.

The event will take place in the Exley Science Center at the corner of Cross and Pine Streets. 

A Zoom link for remote attendance is available from our administrative assistant Dana Gordon-Giannuscio (


Sunday, April 17, 2022

Earth Week Citizen Town Hall

You are invited to a Zoom meeting with local environmental advocates during Earth Week.  What new initiatives are under way? What challenges do we face, and what opportunities for volunteer work and engagement exist?  

This will be a community-directed conversation.  The program will begin with short introductions by panelists on topics such as climate, trees, wildlife habitat, bike-ped projects, river quality, invasive plants, waste reduction, and volunteer opportunities, Then, anyone in the meeting may ask about any of those topics or any other environmental issue, or share an idea or concern. This will be a community-directing discussion.

To receive the Zoom link and meeting info, send your name and email address to the Jonah Center using the "Contact" tab on the Jonah Center website here

Friday, April 15, 2022

Happy Easter & Happy Passover 2022!

Happy Easter April 17, 2022 & Happy Passover-April 15-23rd! 


What is Easter? According to's article about "Easter" written by Hans J. Hillerbrand he wrote that Easter "...which celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his Crucifixion."  


What is Passover? According to article's "Passover" the holiday commemorates "... the Hebrews’ liberation from slavery in Egypt and the “passing over” of the forces of destruction, or the sparing of the firstborn of the Israelites, when the Lord “smote the land of Egypt” on the eve of the Exodus.”  Passover began on Friday, April 15th and ends on Saturday, April 23, 2022.  


Passover Services At Adath Israel Synagogue In Middletown:   


According to Rabbi Nelly Altenburger of the Adath Israel Synagogue she stated “The communal Seder will be in person only, on Sunday. Services on Saturday and Sunday mornings will be in zoom and in person.”  The information for services can be found in the website, 


Easter Services At Saint Sebastian’s Church & Saint John’s Church In Middletown: 


Holy Saturday, April 16th:  Solemn Easter Vigil With Holy Mass At Saint Sebastian’s Church 8 p.m.  


Easter Sunday, April 17th: 

Solemn Masses:  9 a.m. Mass at Saint John’s Church. 

11 a.m. & 5 p.m. Masses at Saint Sebastian’s Church. 


If you have not been vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, please get your shot.  If you have gotten it, please don’t forget to get your booster shot too.  To find out how go to 


For more information about Easter, Passover, and how to become vaccinated against the deadly COVID-19 virus please see the following websites: 


I would like to wish everyone a Happy Easter and a Happy Passover 2022.  


Enjoy the videos!