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It’s time for St. Patrick’s Day at SEAS

by Jane Lightbourn • Staff writer

Bob Caneff has been helping to lead the Irish in St. Patrick’s Day for years, and he’s not about to have it end.

This year’s celebration will be held this Sunday, March 16, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church. The observance begins with 11:30 a.m. Mass, followed by the Irish meal in Mother Seton Hall. Add some Irish music (some of it led by Mo McNeary Sieben) drawings, some good visiting time and the Irish and those who are Irish just for a day and you have a full celebration.

He loves it all, says Caneff, and credits the beginning with the former Guardian Angels Church near the downtown area.

“Father (William) Mertz got it going and had some musicians from the high schools. It would go from the church to the west, past the former Riviera Theater (on Sibley Street), down to Second Street to the Gardner Hotel.”

Once the parade participants arrived at the Gardner Hotel, they could eat the traditional corned beef and cabbage meal. The meals was served there until the restaurant closed, then was moved to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) clubrooms across the street. When that building was sold, the celebration was moved to Seton Church.

Of course, Caneff could not have it end.

“I don’t know how to stop,” he said.

Caneff talked to the church about hosting it, then reached out to an area restaurant to cater the meal. The Trophy House is handling the cooking this year.

He’s been selling the tickets — $12 each – for several weeks; his wife Joanne makes the buttons and asks for door prizes. Of course McNeary Sieben is part of it.

“She always gets into it,” said Caneff. “She’ll get some to dance a bit, and we hand out music.”

Some Knights of Columbus members will help with the serving as well.

The food is hot, the music is sweet and familiar, and the visiting is good for the afternoon.

“You don’t have to go to St. Paul to celebrate St. Patrick,” said Caneff.

If interested in attending the dinner, contact the church office now at 437-4254.