2011 Festa

We are honored to be chairing the Portuguese S.E.S. Festa 2011. We look forward to celebrating this wonderful event with the community, and invite all of you to participate and enjoy the special events leading up to our Festa. Please save the dates for our upcoming fundraisers.

If you have any questions please contact the event chairpersons listed on the fundraisers page. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Thank you and God bless,

Deborah Ann Seiter and Family


President/Festeira Deborah Ann Seiter Message

It is such an honor to serve as the U.P.S.E.S. 2011 Festa President.

Since I was young, the Portuguese Festa has been a beautiful and inspiring event – with the parade forming at the Hall, and proceeding to St. Agnes Catholic Church where the High Mass is celebrated and the new King and Queen are crowned. I find that every Festa is beautiful – whether an elaborate or more conservative production. Each year the Portuguese Festa is celebrated here on Pentecost Sunday in honor of the Holy Spirit, with our Portuguese-American community coming together to demonstrate their ongoing devotion.

The Novena to the Holy Spirit is one of my favorite devotions and the Festa has been one of my favorite Portuguese traditions.

Beyond the beautiful pageantry, I find the real beauty of the Festa is in the profound faith messages intertwined throughout. And hearing the "Alva Pomba", a hymn honoring the Holy Spirit, played over and over as the parade marches, brings tears to my eyes. With each crowning, we invoke the blessing of the Holy Spirit in Latin as the "Veni Creator Spiritus" is sung. The beautiful reminders of Queen Saint Isabel of Portugal, who had great devotion to the Holy Spirit and a servant's heart to feed the poor, are evident in our Festa. We eat sopas in the U.P.S.E.S. Hall, and we are reminded to share our bread with those in need following the example of Queen Saint Isabel. The Miracle of the Roses reminds me of God's love and protection.

This year as I watched the 2010 U.P.S.E.S. Festa Centennial Parade march down the street, I never imagined the possibility that I would be introduced as the 2011 Festa President. I believe it was God's hand gently nudging me to consider the commitment to be President of the 2011 Festa do Espírito Santo.

When I discovered that no one had offered to do next year's Festa, I was disappointed. I began thinking about the beautiful Centennial Festa and how Evelyn Feliciano made the Feast in memory of her late husband Michael Feliciano. Suddenly a wonderful idea struck me – the possibility of having the Festa in memory of my beloved brother David J. Silveira, a Portuguese-American fisherman who died at sea off Alaska on Easter Sunday, March 23, 2008.

As I continued to mull things over, another idea came to mind.

I remembered that the DaRosa/Feliciano family would be passing the Festa Crown to the next King and Queen in 2011. This thought was most compelling. Larry DaRosa and David were best friends (more like brothers) and the entire DaRosa family was special to David. Knowing that the Festa Crown would be passed to our family from theirs in 2011 filled me with joy. I knew that David would be proud and honored as well. And so my journey to be U.P.S.E.S. 2011 Festa President began.

It is with much JOY that I pass this inspiring tradition of faith and devotion to my son, Joseph Gregory Seiter, King of the 2011 Festa do Espírito Santo. What a blessing it is to celebrate our lovely Portuguese heritage together just as my parents (Lee & Sally Silveira) and my Avós (Manuel & Mary Goncalves and Joaquim & Ana Silveira) passed on their traditions to their children.

Orchestrating a successful Festa depends upon the efforts of each person in the community; no one person can make the Festa happen. I want to extend an invitation to all in the community (and beyond) to take part in the 2011 Festa celebration – a huge endeavor that includes many Fundraising Events and religious celebrations. Please help support the Festa by participating in some of the Festa fundraiser events scheduled throughout the year.

Our first event will be the Golf Tournament on September 17, 2010. Please mark your calendars to save the date! Even if you don't play golf, come and cheer on your friends who are playing, and plan to join us for the Dinner and Silent Auction.

Please feel free to contact me at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks again to everyone who has supported the Festa do Espírito Santo celebrations in the past. Your willingness to be a volunteer, whether to prepare or serve food, to obtain donations, to be a group leader or committee member, to help with decorations, to work at the bazaar, to be involved in the parade, to offer financial support at our fundraising events, or any other component of making the Festa happen; is much appreciated. All of your time and effort dedicated to the Festa supports our community. And the Festa is in need of your generosity of time and talent again this year!

I hope you will be inspired to help so that, together, we can make the 2011 Festa do Espírito Santo as beautiful as those of the past 100 years in this ongoing celebration of our faith.

Come Holy Spirit, fill our hearts with the fire of your love. Increase our faith. Like Queen Saint Isabel, bless us with a servant's heart of love and humility. Holy Spirit, bless and inspire us as we go forward to volunteer out time, talents, and our support for the 2011 Festa do Espírito Santo in Your honor.

May God bless you in abundance.

Deborah Ann Seiter

President – U.P.S.E.S. 2011 Festa


Message from King Joseph Gregory Seiter

I am so honored to be King of the 2011 Portuguese Festa. I have participated in the Festa since I was young, and will continue in the years to come. But this year, it is with great pride that I am able to be King in the Festa dedicated to my uncle, David J. Silveira, who died at sea off Alaska in 2008, and my grandfather, Elias A. Silveira, who recently passed away. The 2011 Festa will have special meaning for me and my entire family.

The honor of being the 2011 Festa King also comes with responsibilities. I have recently started going to more Portuguese functions supporting the Festa and have had a chance to meet some of the dedicated, hard-working people who make the Festa possible each year. I look forward to being involved and getting to know them better. I believe that it is important to keep the Portuguese traditions strong so that they will continue for years to come. And it is important to take the time to give back to the community. I look forward to meeting new people at the upcoming 2011 Festa Fundraising Events and the entire Portuguese community is invited to join us. The fundraiser dates are posted on the UPSES website.

Every year the Portuguese Festa is a tradition we celebrate to honor the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. We eat sopas in remembrance of Queen St. Isabel's feeding the poor. And I take pride in knowing that the community can come together each year in celebration of our faith and Portuguese traditions; I hope that in the future my children will experience the Festa as I have.

Joseph Gregory Seiter

2011 U.P.S.E.S. Festa King


Message from Queen Nicole Leanne Giglio

I am filled with both humility and great pride in accepting the honor of representing Queen Saint Isabel in the upcoming 2011 U.P.S.E.S Festa do Espírito Santo. I am eager to dutifully rise to the calls of this responsibility throughout the year in my action, my works, and my faith.

I feel so fortunate to play such an integral role in the oldest cultural tradition in San Diego. As a girl, whether I was handing out bread in traditional Portuguese costume or holding the 'M' in the 'WELCOME' group, I was eager, wide-eyed and proud to march in the Festa each year. Now a young woman in my twenties, I will be one of the older queens in Festa history. Therefore, throughout the year, I will strive to mirror not only Queen Saint Isabel's kindness and charity, but also the qualities she embodied as she matured: graceful diplomacy, tact, and persistent dedication in educating herself and others.

The 2011 Festa will be held in memory of my Uncle and Grandfather. My Uncle David Silveira fished in Alaska after the decline of the commercial tuna fishing industry here, and died at sea early Easter morning in 2008. Because many families of Portuguese descent have suffered the pain of losing a beloved member of their family while out at sea, many people offered their comfort and aid. Our culture, religion, and family were a blessing during our grieving. We honor the Holy Spirit for all of His gifts, which continually renews our faith and strength.

My grandfather Elias Silveira, a retired fisherman himself, joined David in heaven in July of this year, after struggling with Parkinson's disease. The Holy Spirit was alive and well in him his entire life, as he was a kind gentleman of great character, who always gave of himself. I pray his spirit and memory comfort and inspire me during my reign as queen.

I recognize and thank all those who chair the U.S.P.E.S, and to all those who collaborate, organize, work and sacrifice for the Festa each year. Every warm sopas pot, every booth at an event, every phone call made and every penny raised represent the time and effort of a single person. Year after year, this tradition is maintained by the combined efforts of many. Those that march may be lavished with attention on Festa Sunday, but it is each of you that is truly deserving of a crown.

I am honored to stand as the 101st Festa do Espírito Santo Queen, being preceded by 100 honorable, dutiful and beautiful young ladies. I strive to serve as commendably and gracefully as you all have in honoring the Holy Spirit.

Humbly and with Warm Regard,

Nicole Leanne Giglio

2011 U.P.S.E.S. Festa do Espírito Santo Queen