Colorful poinsettias surround the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Christ Child in St. Joachim Church-Our Lady of the Angels Parish, Trenton. Courtesy photos
Colorful poinsettias surround the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Christ Child in St. Joachim Church-Our Lady of the Angels Parish, Trenton. Courtesy photos
Growing up in the 1970s, Paul Pennacchi vividly recalls the colorful Christmas flowers and decorations adorning the sanctuaries, naves and grounds of the two parishes in Trenton's Chambersburg section – St. Joachim and Immaculate Conception.

“It was really special to see, something I will always remember,” Pennacchi said of St. Joachim Church, his home parish and where he was baptized, and Immaculate Conception Church, which is less than a mile away from the then-parish grammar school from which he graduated.

Pennacchi has never ventured far from his Trenton area roots. He and his family reside in Hamilton; he is a member of St. Paul Parish, Princeton, and serves as president of A. Pennacchi & Sons Masonry Restoration Company, also based in Hamilton, which has provided services to a number of parishes, schools and institutions in the Diocese.

About five years ago, it became Pennacchi’s fervent desire to help St. Joachim and Immaculate Conception Churches at Christmastime in return for the integral roles they played during his childhood.

As a gift, Pennacchi enlisted the services of Steve Makrancy, owner of Makrancy Florist.

Now the two worship sites – which are now part of Our Lady of the Angels Parish – are adorned with florals, greenery and decorations each Christmas. Pennacchi said it his hope that the annual gift will help enhance the prayer experiences for those who worship in each church.