St. Joseph’s Altar dedicated to Greg Genco

Published 8:23 am Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The family of the late Greg Genco said they were more than grateful to the Italian-American Club for dedicating the St. Joseph’s Altar in his memory this past weekend.

The Altar was set up at the B & C Hall on Cumberland Street for viewing on Friday and Saturday.

Those chosen to represent the Saints at the Altar were family and Greg Genco’s closest friends. They included: brother Gary Genco as Jesus; brother Stephen Genco as St. Joseph; brother Bryan Genco as St. Jude; sister-in-law Cherie Genco as St. Anne; childhood friend Diane Moran as St. Lucy; and Italian-American Club member Jo Ann Lollar as the Blessed Mother.

On Friday, the Holy Rosary was recited, and Father Daniel Brouillette blessed the Altar. Gary Genco gave the dedication of the Altar to his brother.

Gary Genco said the family was humbled by the dedication. A native of Bogalusa, Gary Genco has lived the past 34 years in New Orleans.

“It was an honor for our family for the Italian-American Club to ask us to dedicate the Altar in memory of Greg,” Gary Genco said. “Greg was very active in church, school and community activities. He never said ‘no,’ but always said ‘yes’ to anything he was asked.”

Greg Genco was a former Bogalusa City Schools superintendent. He passed away on Aug. 12, 2014.

“Memories of Greg are still fresh on our minds,” Gary said. “The way we go on is to know all the good things that he did. In his last few months — even in ICU — he was working on projects for the church and school. “

Bryan Genco was more succinct.

“Other than thank everybody for putting it on, I’d like to say it’s just an honor to be a saint.” Bryan Genco said. “I thank the Italian-American Club for naming the Altar in memory of Greg.”

Stephen Genco recalled how his brother saw it as his duty to assist those in need.

“It was an honor to have such a loving brother as Greg,” Stephen said. “He was always there day or night willing to help regardless of the situation.”

Moran had similar sentiments

“He was a wonderful person who thought about everybody else but himself,” Moran said. “He will be sadly missed.”

Italian-American Club President Verna Haik said the organization’s dedication of the Alar in Genco’s memory was a given.

“In the past, Greg always let us use his candlesticks,” Haik said. “Every year he’d provide the flowers for the saints table and donation table. He had done this for many, many years. This year we wanted to dedicate the Altar for the work he’s done for us.”

In previous years, Haik said the Altar was dedicated to Josephine and Faye Haik, Lena Jacobs, Sam Pepe and Joe and Shirley Saltaformaggio.

The Altar chairperson was Betty Pusegur. Italian cookies were baked at her house.

Saturday’s activities included introduction of the saints, followed by the traditional ceremony known as “Tupa, Tupa.” The feeding of the saints ceremony followed. The public then took part in the traditional St. Joseph’s meal of pasta Milanese, vegetables, bread, wine and cookies.