"Diary of a Parish: Church of the Assumption, Providence, R.I. 1870-2021

Compiled and edited by Paul Tognetti

Revised: August, 2021

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When I began working on this project back in the summer of 2006 my expectations were quite modest. What I had to work with initially was the program from the Assumption Parish 100th Anniversary Celebration which took place in June, 1971. Inside was a very rudimentary capsule history of the parish. It was not very exciting but it was a start. Over the ensuing years we have been able to add context and personality to the narrative. We did this by doing extensive research and by conducting numerous interviews with current and former parishioners, clergy and religious who were all too happy to contribute their recollections of the rich history of Assumption Parish.

Source material includes articles from:

  • The Providence Visitor,
  • Rhode Island Catholic,
  • The Providence Journal-Bulletin,
  • documents from the Assumption parish archives

A special word of thanks to Mr. Pat Dineen of Huntington Beach, CA, a former parishioner who had been researching the early history of Assumption Parish and the Sisters of the Cross and Passion for many years. When this project was in its infancy, he graciously consented to share his considerable information with me. It was a huge shot in the arm.

Meanwhile, a large number of interesting documents were unearthed by parishioner Luisa White in 2010. In the ensuing years some new entries were made, but work on the history resumed in earnest in January 2018. Lots of new and interesting information has been uncovered.

I would like to acknowledge in a very special way Father Robert Hayman, archivist for the Diocese of Providence, for graciously sharing his extensive files on the parish with me.

I would be remiss not to acknowledge the entertaining and informative “The Women We Come From: The Sisters of the Cross and Passion in North America 1924-1968” by Sister Mary Ann Strain, C.P. from which I have recently gleaned a fair amount of information that I had not seen anywhere else.

The parish history is a work in progress. We are always looking for new material. If you have any information, memorabilia or photos that might be helpful please contact Paul Tognetti at 401-461-7718 or by e-mail at pmtognetti@protonmail.com.