June 17, 2015

An Embarrassment of Riches

Society of St. Anthony of Giovinazzo
Statue at Most Precious Blood Church
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli
With four different Saint Anthony celebrations taking place on Saturday (June 13th), choosing which ones to attend was no easy task. I enjoy them all, but unfortunately, I was not blessed with the gift of bilocation.
Do to timing and proximity, attending the Feast of Sant'Antonio di Padova at Saint Athanasius Church (2154 61st St.) in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn was a no-brainer. [See upcoming post] In contrast, the Giglio Feast of Sant'Antonio di Padova at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church (627 E. 187th St.) in the Bronx was the furthest away. Despite my soft spot for this celebration (this is where I lifted my first giglio) and my fondness for the shops on Arthur Avenue, I thought it best to cover multiple events elsewhere in the city.
Normally held in May, the fate of the Festa di Sant'Antonio di Padova in historic Little Italy was surrounded with uncertainty do to rumors that Most Precious Blood Church (109 Mulberry St.) was closing.* Thankfully, the beautiful church survived the recent spate of closings and the Society of Saint Anthony of Giovinazzo were able to honor their glorious patron with a Mass and procession.
Our friends from the St. Anthony of Giovinazzo Society
making last minute preparations for the feast
Even though their feast is one of my favorites, I felt it was unfair to the good people at the Shrine Church of Saint Anthony of Padua (154 Sullivan Street) not to attend their event, especially since this is when they normally celebrate.
I can't go to the Shrine Church of San
Gennaro without visiting our beloved patron
However, having arrived early to the city, I was able to briefly visit our friends from Giovinazzo at Most Precious Blood. They are still undecided on whether or not they will resume the eleven-day street festival in May but, thankfully, they are not discontinuing the Mass and procession. After making my donation and wishing them well, I made my way to Sullivan Street for Mass. [See upcoming post]
If this "embarrassment of riches" becomes the norm, I may have to rotate which feast I attend so we can continue to support them all. Viva Sant'Antonio!

* Not only did Most Precious Blood remain open, the church also inherited the Feast of San Rocco and the Feast of San Vincenzo from St. Joseph's Church (5 Monroe St.). Sadly, St. Joseph’s will be closing its doors in August.