St. Joseph’s Supper at Provincial House raises over $350

Sister Paula

Sr. Paula, PH Coordinator, greets the participants

Sister Eleanor Baldoni understands poverty; she sees it every day. Eleanor, a member of the Secular Branch of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit, has spent 39 years as the assistant director of Project Northeast, one of the region’s non-profit, non-denominational, private food pantries and social service agencies for the needy.

In order to help in Sister Eleanor’s work, on Monday, March 20, the Daughters of the Holy Spirit held their Fifteenth Annual St. Joseph’s Day Supper in the dining room at the DHS Provincial House, where the sisters donated over $350.

Believed to have begun in Sicily in the Middle Ages, St. Joseph’s Supper is a traditional vegetarian Lenten celebration, where people eat very little and donate the money that they would otherwise have spent on food to those in need.

After the supper of vegetable soup and bread, Sister Eleanor told the participants about some of the local people she has helped recently: the mother suffering from tuberculosis who had no food for her two young children, the man who needed gasoline for his car so he could get to medical appointments, the alcoholic man who needed $50 a week in order to stay in rehab, the man with no money who had to pay court fees or go to jail, the homeless man who they put up in a hotel for three days while they found him a place to live – people without heat or electricity or food or rent – or without anything at all.

Sister Eleanor

Sister Eleanor explains her work at Project and thanks the Sisters for their offering.

Located in two small basement rooms at St. Mary Church of the Visitation on Providence Street in Putnam, Project Northeast helps an average of about 150 of the region’s families every month, based solely on need, regardless of race, color or religion. Those in need from Plainfield and Sterling, north to the Massachusetts border, can get temporary help, if it’s available, with non-perishable food, and with money for rent, electricity, heat and other basic necessities. Although it’s a ministry of the Diocese of Norwich, it is supported entirely by donations. At the moment Project Northeast gives away an average of $3,000 to $4,000 a month,depending on how much money comes in.

“We don’t have a budget; the more we have, the more we can give to the people who need it,” Sister Eleanor said.  She added:  “Nobody gets cash. We talk to landlords and electric companies and whoever we need to and pay them directly, so we know that the bills are paid.”

Coincidentally, the donations from the Sisters came on the same day Putnam Boy Scout Troop 21 and Cargill Council 64, Knights of Columbus, gave Project Northeast just over $2,300 they raised from their recently-completed annual food drive. Project Northeast Director and DHS Chaplain Rev. Richard L. Archambault is grateful for the help. “All the money we get goes for the poor people in our area,” Archambault said. “They’re our neighbors and we’re grateful that the donations come in so we can help them.”  Eleanor quickly added. “God bless everyone who helps us to help them.”

For more information on this St. Joseph Day Activity or on Project Northeast please contact our Office of Development at 860 928-0891 or

sharing a meal
Eleanor Baldoni and Rev. Richard Archambault share St. Joseph Meal with Sisters.
Sharing a meal
Sisters in residence partaking the meal


Sharing a meal
Sisters in residence partaking the meal
sharing a meal
Sisters in residence partaking the meal






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