I.F.E.S. (Irmandade da Festa do Espirito Santo)
History and organization of I.F.E.S. By: Rose E. Soares (now deceased)
The first annual festa, celebrated by the Portuguese people of Mountain View, California, was held in the home of Jose F. Costa. His home, May 22, 1926, was located on Charleston Road.
The festa began after a promise that Jose made to the Holy Spirit. People came to his home at night, for a week, to pray, the Rosary to the Holy Spirit.
On the Sunday following prayer week, everyone drove to Mayfield Catholic Church. The Church, at that time, was located on Page Mill Road. After High Mass, came the crowning of the Queen of the day. The first queen was Elsie Soares. After the crowning of the queen, all of the people drove back to Mr. Jose Costa’s home on Charleston Road, to enjoy the big dinner of soupas and meat that was served.
The Tradition of the Holy Spirit festa was celebrated by, the Portuguese people in the Azores Islands. This tradition of our forefathers was started by Mr. Costa in this part of California. This is the year of its 50th Anniversary. (1976). Each year, since its first celebration, in 1926, its the big event of the year for us.
All the committee members of that first celebration are now deceased. Their names: Jose F. Costa, Manuel Borges, Joe F. Costa, John F. Costa, George Costa, Frank M. Neto and Antone S. Soares.
The second ( 1927) year the celebration was held at the home of Frank J. Tereza, on Crittenden Lane, Mountain View, California. The week of prayers, as in the first year, was followed by the pilgrimage to the services at Saint Joseph Catholic Church. The Queen of the Day was Laura Tereza. All the people drove back to the Tereza home for the traditional dinner of soupas and meat. At the first of these yearly celebrations they were held at the ranch homes, and had plenty of space for those attending.
The third year (1928) the festa celebration was held at the home of Manuel Lopes on Steirlin Road, mountain View, California. The festa was continued by Mass At Saint Joseph’s. The new Queen of the Day was Rosie Lopes. The usual dinner and dancing followed the crowning of the queen.
The fourth year (1929) the festa celebration was set to be held at the home of Joe Cardoza of Mountain View, but as the crowds became too large to hold the meetings in a home, it was decided that something must be done. The committee members decided to form an organization to buy the property on Steirlin Road. (Known as the I. F. E. S. property). The organization was incorporated in 1929 as the I. F. E. S. And to this day, this has been the location of our annual festa on the I. F. E. S. grounds.
That beautiful crown, that the new queen holds in the parade, was donated by Joe P. Nunes (now deceased) of Los Altos) in 1928.
From the early years the beautiful parade would form and march down Castro Street to Saint Joseph Catholic Church for our services, and the crowning of the Queen of the Day. The parade would return to the I. F. E. S. Grounds to enjoy our big dinners of soupas and meat served in our big dining room. These enjoyable dinners were free for all those that desired to share them with us. The meat served at our celebrations is donated by the members of I. F. E. S. ) plus many others. All dinners are followed by the dancing in the afternoon.
This organization (I. F. E. S.) is known as the brotherhood of the Festa of the Holy Spirit, or Irmandade da Festa do Espirito Santo. These words of Rosa E. Soares were typed from her “hand-written” letter to the I. F. E. S. members received sometime prior to her death.
This was typed by: James M. Kuykendall ( member I. F. E. S.) husband of Rosa Cardoza Medina Kuykendall.