This past Saturday afternoon hundreds of Somerville and Medford boaters paraded through the Mystic River to be blessed at the annual Blessing of the Fleet ceremony and to take part in a weekend long full of festivities.
Medford Mayor Michael McGlynn helped bless the passing vessels standing alongside all four Mystic River club’s commodores and a local priest aboard the power vessel “San-dee” belonging to Somerville’s Winter Hill Yacht Club’s Commodore Joe Dunne.
Even the crew of the “Miss Sambvca” from the hit tv series “Wicked Tuna” piloted by Captain Robert “Jr” Dunne who was in between filming the hit series, steamed over to the Mystic River from their home port in Gloucester to attended the event.
Immediately after the blessing ceremony, all boats, from all four boat and yacht clubs that are on the river made their way to the Mystic Wellington Yacht Club in Medford where Commodore Joe DiGirolamo and his club members hosted an overnight weekend event for the boaters complete with a “Blessing of the Fleet” celebration lunch and dinner.
The Mystic Wellington Yacht Club (MWYC) awarded two scholarships to graduates of Medford High School at its Blessing of the Fleet activities on Saturday, June 21, 2014, as it has done in previous years. This years’ recipients were Regine Jacques and Brian Whooley. Both graduated in the top 10% of this year’s graduation class at Medford High School. Ms. Jacques will be attending Boston University and Mr. Whooley will be attending the University of Connecticut in the fall.
Bottom photo pictured from left to Right are Mayor McGlynn, Regine Jacques, Brian Whooley, and George White, Chairman of the Scholarship Committee. Missing from the picture are Commodore Joseph DiGirolamo an other Scholarship Committee Members MarshaRosselli and Jimmy Dwyer.
The Blessing of the Fleet is a tradition that began centuries ago in Mediterranean fishing communities. The practice is predominantly Catholic and a blessing from the local priest was meant to ensure a safe and bountiful season.
In most United States ports, the event was brought by immigrants who held strongly to their Catholic religious beliefs. The events that are part of the ritual vary by community and range from a simple ceremony to a multi-day festival including a Catholic mass, Parades, Pageantry, Dancing, Feasting and Contests. The Blessing of the Fleet is held at coastal fishing communities throughout much of the world.