April 24, 2018

Evviva San Giorgio! Celebrating the Feast of Saint George in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

Evviva San Giorgio!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo and Giorgio Giudice
Before work Monday morning, I joined my St. Rocco Society brethren in honoring glorious San Giorgio Martire on his Feast Day at Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary and St. Stephen RC Church in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Among the many old southern Italian society statues in its possession, the church boasts a magnificent bust of the warrior saint originating from Testaccio in Barano d'Ischia. As is the custom, we brought flowers (courtesy of the LaRocca family), lit a few candles, meditated and said our prayers, including the daily orison of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George. Tranquil and serene, our short, but gratifying visit was the perfect way to begin our day.
Bust of San Giorgio and placard on the bye-altar
Devotees venerate our beloved patron
Each year, the LaRocca family offer the saint a beautiful bouquet of flowers
Cav. John Napoli of the Sacred Military Constantinian
Order of St. George was in attendance
A close-up of the saint and his standard

Photo of the Week: Marble Bust, Museo del Duomo di Ravello, Salerno

Marble bust, Museo del Duomo di Ravello, Salerno.
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

Announcing the 2018 Feast of San Cono di Teggiano in Newark, New Jersey

April 23, 2018

Feast of San Giorgio Martire

Viva San Giorgio!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
April 23rd is the Feast Day of San Giorgio Martire (St. George the Martyr), patron saint of valor, chivalry and soldiers. Widely venerated across southern Italy, he is the principal protector of Reggio Calabria (RC), Modica (RG), Ragusa (RG), Prizzi (PA) and Barano d'Ischia (NA), among others. As a devotee and Knight of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George, the feast has an additional special significance to me. In commemoration of the great warrior saint I'm posting a Prayer to Saint George. The accompanying photo of the statue of San Giorgio, protector of Testaccio in Barano d'Ischia, was taken at Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary and Saint Stephen's Church in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.
Prayer to Saint George
Faithful servant of God and invincible martyr, Saint George; favored by God with the gift of faith, and inflamed with an ardent love of Christ, thou didst fight valiantly against the dragon of pride, falsehood, and deceit. Neither pain nor torture, sword nor death could part thee from the love of Christ. I fervently implore thee for the sake of this love to help me by thy intercession to overcome the temptations that surround me, and to bear bravely the trials that oppress me, so that I may patiently carry the cross which is placed upon me; and let neither distress nor difficulties separate me from the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Valiant champion of the Faith, assist me in the combat against evil, that I may win the crown promised to them that persevere unto the end. Amen

Announcing the 94th Annual Santa Lucia Festival in Omaha, Nebraska


April 22, 2018

Saint Rocco Boys’ Night Out at Peppino’s

Peppino's restaurant in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli
Friday evening, members and friends of the St. Rocco Society of Potenza convened at Peppino’s Restaurant (7708 3rd Ave.) in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn for our monthly “boys’ night out” dinner meeting. In reality our recurrent gathering is more like a party than a meeting, and after a busy work-week our crew always looks forward to blowing off a little steam, having a few laughs, and, of course, eating well. 
The boys came hungry and ready to party
Warmly welcomed by chef Joe Mancino’s crack wait staff, our jovial party was promptly seated and served. After our drinks and entrees were ordered, a seemingly never ending array of hot and cold antipasti was brought to our table. Beginning with Joe’s own rendition of bruschetta al pomodoro and affettati e formaggio, we were treated to several classic southern Italian specialties, including fresh insalata di mare, cozze alla marinara and vongole al forno.
Insalata di mare
The beer and wine flowed almost as freely as the lively conversation. A veritable free-for-all, revelers discussed everything from religion, politics and history to the hit Italian television crime drama Gomorrah. Though I never saw the show (I don’t care for the gangster genre), I did enjoy listening to their take on it. I won’t give away any spoilers, but I do find it interesting that my friends appear to enjoy the fact that they speak Neapolitan (as opposed to Italian) on the show more than the actual storyline. 
Vongole al forno
After a much needed breather, our appetites magically returned with the arrival of our main courses. We each had a delicious fish or pasta entree, with a side of friarielli (broccoli rabe) or scarola aglio e olio (escarole). I enjoyed a heaping serving of spicy linguine con calamari, which was perfectly cooked and very tasty. As always, Chef Mancino outdid himself and dished us up another memorable meal.
After coffee and dessert, the diehards among us went out for after-dinner drinks, while the rest of us called it a night. Normally I would join them for cocktails, but I was feeling a bit knackered and needed to hit the hay. 
Linguine con calamari
More than just a feast society, our tight-knit group has become a second little family. Many of us socialize, do business, and pray together on a regular basis. I actually see some of them more than I do my own blood, who—having succumbed to the temptations of the false cult of progress—have sadly scattered to the wind. Our faith in God and devotion to San Rocco has brought us together and drives us to keep our time-honored traditions and culture alive. I am truly blessed to be a part of such a wonderful group. Viva San Rocco!
Gamberi oreganata con linguine

Missa Cantata in the Extraordinary Form on the Fourth Sunday After Easter in the Bronx, NY

April 20, 2018

Chef Giuseppe Marrone’s Anniversary Blowout at Acqua Restaurant and Wine Bar

Our most gracious host serves up some fresh vongole crude
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
We couldn’t be happier for our friend chef Giuseppe Marrone, who celebrated one year at the helm of Acqua Restaurant and Wine Bar (21 Peck Slip) Monday evening in Manhattan’s historic South Street Seaport. Generous and appreciative, Giuseppe thanked his friends and loyal customers with another one of his famous blowout parties, complete with complimentary food, live entertainment and a DJ. Packed to the gills, partygoers mingled, ate their fill, and merrily danced the night away in honor of our revered host. We wish Giuseppe continued success, prosperity and much happiness as he continues to reach his goals! 
Frédéric and Alexandra enjoy a little Vigne Mastrodomenico 'Mos' Aglianico del Vulture from Basilicata and Sertura Fiano di Avellino
The man of the hour was joined by one of his many admirers
Two rock stars: Andrew Giordano of the Black Cats NYC with Chef Marrone
A neobriganti hotspot, we nicknamed the restaurant “The Brigands’ Roost”
Revelers spill into the streets to enjoy the cool night air
Also see:
Tuesday Stations and Lenten Repast with the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George
Acqua Restaurant and Wine Bar Fall Party
Commemorating the Battle of Bitonto in NYC
Argenio Napoli Presents Their New Line at ACQUA Restaurant
Chef Giuseppe Marrone Takes the Helm at ACQUA Restaurant and Wine Bar at Peck Slip, NYC

Announcing the 2018 Feast of the Madonna Della Fontana & San Michele Arcangelo in Newark, NJ

Also see:
• A Look at the 2016 Feast of San Michele and the Madonna della Fontana in Newark, New Jersey

April 19, 2018

NYC Auxiliary Malta Walk, April 2018

Francesca Tempesta, DM (right), and members of the Order of Malta Auxiliary
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
Meeting every third Tuesday of the month at the rectory of the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral (263 Mulberry Street), volunteers help the Knights and Dames of the Order of Malta prepare and distribute ready-to-eat food and toiletries to the homeless. Organized by Dama Francesca Tempesta, our spirited little group make our way through the surrounding neighborhoods and hand out care packages to the needy.

Anyone interested in supporting this noble endeavor can contact the Order of Malta Auxiliary at nycaux@orderofmaltaamerican.org or call 917-566-3937. For additional information, the Order can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/maltaauxiliarynyc.

Celebrate the Feast of St. George at the Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral in New York City

April 18, 2018

Meridiunalata II: A Bilingual Offering of Duosiciliano Poetry

Inspired by Cav. Charles Sant'Elia's Meridiunalata/ Southernade,* an evocative bilingual (Neapolitan / English) collection of poetry written between 1989 and 2010, we offer the reader an accessible introduction to vernacular (Neapolitan, Sicilian, et al.) verse with the aim of awakening enthusiasm for contemporary and historical poesia Duosiciliano.

In this installment we're featuring the Neapolitan poetry of Totò (Antonio De Curtis) and Luciano Somma.

‘A Cchiù Sincera
Di Totò (Antonio De Curtis)

Tengo na 'nnammurata
ca è tutt' 'a vita mia.
Mo tene sittant'anne, povera mamma mia!
Cu chella faccia 'e cera,
sotto 'e capille janche,
me pare na sant'Anna
cu ll'uocchie triste e stanche.
Me legge dint' 'o penziero,
me guarda e m'anduvina
si tengo nu dulore
si tengo quacche spina...

The Most Sincere Lady
By Totò (Antonio De Curtis)

I have a girl friend
that is my whole life.
Now she’s sixty years old, my poor mom!
With that waxen face,
beneath that white hair,
she looks like a Saint Anne to me
with those sad and tired eyes.
She reads me in her thoughts,
she looks at me and divines
whether I’m in pain
whether I have some thorn…

Translated by Cav. Charles Sant’Elia

Core Analfabbeta
Di Totò (Antonio De Curtis)

Stu core analfabbeta
tu ll'he purtato a scola,
e s'è mparato a scrivere,
e s'è mparato a lleggere
sultanto na parola:
"Ammore" e niente cchiù.

Illiterate Heart
By Totò (Antonio De Curtis)

You brought to school
this illiterate heart of mine,
and it learned how to write,
and it learned how to read
just one word:
“Love” and nothing more.

Translated by Cav. Charles Sant’Elia

‘A Speranza D”O Cardillo
Di Luciano Somma

Ddoje segge ‘e paglia rotte,
nu tavulo tarlato,
na branda militare,
na gatta spellacchiata;
na pianta ‘e rose rrosse
cu’ nu cardillo dint’a na cajola:
chisto è ‘o ritratto ‘e stu vascio.
E dint’a chistu vascio
nu vicchiariello,
nu poco rimbambito e assaje malato,
nun ce vo’ cchiù restà
e aspetta sulo ‘o juorno
ca ‘o putarria purtà all’eternità.
Pure ‘o cardillo aspetta, cu’ pacienza,
povera bestia cova sta speranza,
pe’ se gudè nu poco ‘e cielo azzurro
pe’ piglià ‘o cielo, pe’ turnà a vulà,
e intanto canta
pecché sente vicino ‘a libertà.

The Goldfinch’s Hope
By Luciano Somma

Two broken straw chairs,
a worm-eaten table,
an army cot,
a mangy cat;
a red rose plant
with a goldfinch in a cage:
this is the portrait of this flat.
And in this flat
a little old man,
a bit senile and rather sick,
he doesn’t want to remain there
and waits only for the day
that could carry him off to eternity.
Even the goldfinch waits, with patience,
poor creature he harbors this hope,
to enjoy for himself a little bit of blue sky
to take the sky, to continue flying,
and in the meantime he sings
because he feels freedom nearby.

Translated from Cristo Napulitano by Cav. Charles Sant’Elia

* Self-published in 2010, Meridiunalata/Southernade is a treasury of poems gleaned from Cav. Sant'Elia's previous collections (Nchiuso dint''o presente, 'A cuntrora, and 'O pino e l'éllera), which were circulated among friends in New York City and Naples. Special thanks to Cav. Sant'Elia for allowing us to reprint his poetry and translations.

Announcing the 97th Annual Feast of Saint Sebastian in Middletown, Connecticut

Also see: A Look at Middletown, Connecticut's 92nd Annual Saint Sebastian Feast

April 16, 2018

Photo of the Week: Lion Relief at Villa Rufolo

Remnant of lion relief at Villa Rufolo in Ravello, Salerno
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

Sicilian Folk Dance Workshop With Michela Musolino

Saturday, April 28th (1:00PM–2:30pm)

The Rhody Center for World Music and Dance
410 Tiogue Avenue
Coventry, Rhode Island 02816

Michela Musolino of Terra Sangue Mare is offering a workshop on Sicilian folk dances. To open up the class, Musolino will share with students a brief history of the dances and run through a warm-up with them. Students will then be introduced to the distinctive rhythms and will learn the steps particular to two Sicilian folk dances—tarantella and ballettu. Traditional yet current, these dances are an expression and celebration of community. Therefore, the focus of the workshop is for the students to experience the joy and fun of dancing as a collective! The workshop is open to all ages and skill levels. Students should wear comfortable clothes and have clean footwear or bare feet.

Michela Musolino is an internationally recognized Sicilian-American singer. The grand-daughter of Sicilians who immigrated to America, she has re-discovered her own cultural roots through the study and reinterpretation of the folk songs of Sicily and Southern Italy. Musolino and Fabio Turchetti have created Terra Sangue Mare (with percussionist Michael Delia) whose eponymous CD has received excellent public feedback and critical acclaim. It’s been included in Pop Matters’ list of The Twelve Best World Music Albums for 2016 and is played on world music radio stations around the globe.

This workshop requires pre-registration.
$20 one session
Enroll Now


April 15, 2018

Weekly Rosary to Santa Rita da Cascia with the Figli Maria SS. Addolorata in Brooklyn, New York

Flowers were offered
to our beloved patroness
Saint Rita, you who enjoy in heaven the Supreme Good, true lover of the pains that Jesus suffered for us — I Mystery of the Rosary of St. Rita
After missing a week, it was good to get back to the hebdomadal prayer service in honor of St. Rita of Cascia Friday evening with my friends from Associazione Culturale Pugliese Figli Maria SS. Addolorata. Week ten of the fifteen week devotion, members packed into the society’s chapel (located in the basement of the Nazareth Center on the corner of 62nd St. and Bay Ridge Parkway in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn) to meditate on the Mysteries and offer our prayers for the sick, the happy repose of the souls of our ancestors, and for cooler heads to prevail over Syria. We also sang hymns, prayed the Rosary and finished with the Litany of St. Rita.
Devotees lit prayer candles before the service
The society will be organizing a pilgrimage to the National Shrine of Saint Rita of Cascia in Philadelphia, PA on Sunday, May 20th (Details TBA). There will be a Feast Day Mass and small procession on Tuesday, May 22nd, at 7:30pm at St. Athanasius Church (2154 61st St.) in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Anyone interested in participating with the Figli Maria SS. Addolorata should call Lucrezia at 917-509-2803 or find them on Facebook at Figli Maria S.S. Addolorata. Evviva Santa Rita!
Also see:
Way of the Cross and Weekly Rosary to Santa Rita with the Figli Maria SS. Addolorata in Brooklyn, NY
Weekly Rosary and Stations of the Cross with the Figli Maria SS. Addolorata in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

Celebrating Naples: A Journey Through History with Anita Sanseverino at The Italian Cultural Foundation at Casa Belvedere

Caste dell'Ovo, Naples
Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 7:00 PM
The Italian Cultural Foundation at Casa Belvedere
79 Howard Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10301
T. 718-273-7660

Anita Sanseverino will present a lecture and accompanying DVD about the history of Naples and why it should be on the priority list of people traveling to Italy today. Anita says “Naples is the stepchild of Italy!” Why? Because when you say Naples to most people the first thing they say is, “Don’t go there, it’s dangerous.” The second reason is because none of the people who say this have ever been there! Her presentation will focus on the illustrious history of this once royal kingdom, going back to her origins as Partenope, the Greek City, which was the beginning of Naples.
Anita will go through the history of the various rulers who occupied Naples and why the Unification of Italy might not have been the best thing to happen to the city.
She will also present a DVD with photographs of this complex, beautiful treasure-filled, but underestimated city. She hopes it will inspire people who are planning a trip to Italy to include Naples, because if you haven’t seen Naples you haven’t really seen Italy!
Please reserve in advance for this wonderful program so that we can plan accordingly.
Suggested Donation: $20
Refreshments and light fare will be provided. 
Pre-payment is recommended and appreciated. We accept credit cards over the phone. 
For any questions or to register for this program, please call 718-273-7660 or email info@casa-belvedere.org
Parking ocated directly across the street at Notre Dame Academy Elementary School.

Announcing the 115th Annual Festa Italiana in Honor of Maria SS. Dell'Assunta and San Rocco in Jersey City, New Jersey


April 14, 2018

Terra Sangue Mare Upcoming California Tour

Sicilian folk and roots music with Terra Sangue Mare
Monday, April 16th (7pm)
St. James Episcopal Church
381 High Street
Monterey CA 93940

Friday, April 20th (7:30pm) — $18
San Diego Folk Heritage
Templar’s Hall
14134 Midland RD
Poway, CA 92064

Saturday, April 21st (1pm)
Orange County Center for Contemporary Art
117 North Sycamore Street
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Saturday, April 21st (8pm–10pm) — $20
Alvas Showroom
1417 W 8th Street
San Pedro, CA 90732


Announcing the 2018 Saint Paul Parish Procession of the Saints in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


April 13, 2018

Malta Walks NYC (April 2018)

This Tuesday, April 17th at 7:30 PM join the Order of Malta Auxiliary for their monthly “Malta Walk” street ministry. Volunteers meet every third Tuesday of the month at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral parish house at 263 Mulberry Street in lower Manhattan to prepare and distribute food to the homeless.

Anyone interested in supporting this noble endeavor can contact the Order of Malta Auxiliary at nycaux@orderofmaltaamerican.org or call 917-566-3937. For additional information, the Order can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/maltaauxiliarynyc.

Also see:
Tuesday Trifecta: Tuesday Stations, 13 Tuesdays of Saint Anthony, and 3rd Tuesday of the Month Malta Walk

• Order of Malta Lenten Supply Drive a Success
• NYC Auxiliary Malta Walk, February 2018
• A Week in Review
• NYC's Auxiliary Malta Walk, December 2017
• Auxiliary Malta Walk in NYC, October 2017
• Auxiliary Malta Walks in NYC, July 2017
• Supporting the “Malta Walks” Street Ministry

Announcing the 2018 Feast of the Madonna del Sacro Monte in Clifton, New Jersey

April 12, 2018

Help Restore the Statue of the Madonna del Soccorso di Sciacca at Most Precious Blood Church

Madonna del Soccorso di Sciacca, Sicily
Please consider a donation to help restore the newly acquired statue of the Madonna del Soccorso di Sciacca at the Shrine Church of the Most Precious Blood (113 Baxter St.) in Little Italy, New York. Once belonging to the San Calogero Society on Elizabeth Street, the beloved statue was rescued from abandonment by members of the community and kept stored at the Italian American Museum (155 Mulberry St.) for the past ten years. Now, with the museum closing for planned long-term renovations the statue has found a new home at the historic church. Unfortunately, time has not been kind to the statue; it is over one hundred years old and in need of restoration. You can help return the statue of the patroness of Sciacca, Sicily to its original glory. 
For information or to donate for its restoration call the office of the Church at 212-226-6427.

Traditional Latin Low Mass at Brooklyn Visitation Monastery

April 11, 2018

The Search for our Ancestry (XLVII)

Spelling Bee
By Angelo Coniglio
Researchers of Sicilian and Italian genealogy are blessed by the wealth of original records of birth, baptism, marriage and death that may be found for many ancestral towns, on microfilm or on line. Often those original records may have misspellings, or valid variations of given names or surnames. In many cases, misspellings by English-speaking clerks went unrecognized by illiterate immigrants, and the misspelled name became the ‘official’ name of the person and his descendants. In today’s computer-centric records, errors in spelling are often due to mis-reading and mis-transcription; for example, by enumerators on original censuses. And when using search engines on sites like ellisisland.org, familysearch.org or Ancestry.com, spelling mistakes by indexers can make searches maddeningly difficult.     
I can’t possibly cover every spelling error by every clerk or indexer, but I’ll address some common ones here.  The names initially given below are the names as they would have been spelled on original records in ‘the old country’.  When I spell something phonetically, I am using English phonetics.
GIUSEPPE (joo-SEHPP-ee) and GIUSEPPA (joo-SEHPP-uh) are the masculine and feminine forms of the English the given name Joseph. These are very likely the most misspelled names of any. If you knew your ancestor as Joseph or Josephine, their passenger manifests would probably list them as Giuseppe or Giuseppa (Giuseppina, a diminutive form of Giuseppa, led to the English version, Josephine). The ‘I-U’ in these names is notoriously transposed in many on-line search engines as ‘U-I’.  If you have no luck with the proper spellings, try ‘Guiseppe’ and ‘Guiseppa’. Note that these are not valid variations, but misspellings of the names. Another error is the spelling of Giuseppe as ‘Giuseppi’ or ‘Guiseppi’.
The surnames GIUDICE (JOO-dih-chee) or Lo GIUDICE literally mean ‘judge’ or ‘the judge’.  ‘Guidice’ or ‘Lo Guidice’ have no meaning, but try those spellings if the correct ones don’t lead to success.
The surname TAGLIAFERRO means ‘cuts iron’, but often was pronounced and spelled ‘Taliaferro’ and even ‘Tolliver’.  The name may be given on an original U. S. Census as ‘Tolliver’, but if the individual is Sicilian or Italian, the name on the passenger manifest and ancestral town records would be Tagliaferro.
CASTELLO is a surname meaning ‘castle’.  But pronounced in the Italian language it is ‘kah-STELL-oh’, so it may be misspelled ‘Costello’ on American censuses.
IPPOLITO, IANNELLO, IACONO and other surnames beginning with an upper-case ‘I’ may confuse indexers to no end. This is because the script ‘I’ is mistaken for a ‘T’ or a ‘J’, or a ‘G’, etc.  Researchers of Italian descent will immediately recognize that ‘Tppolito’, ‘Jppolito’, ‘Gppolito’ and so on, are unpronounceable and non-existent Sicilian or Italian surnames, but you will find them indexed that way! Also, names like Iannello and Iacono often were spelled phonetically by census enumerators, and became forevermore ‘Yannello’ and ‘Yacono’.
MARCELLO is an interesting surname. It’s properly pronounced ‘mar-TCHEHLL-oh’ (‘cello’ as in the name of the stringed instrument), so many enumerators thought it should be spelled ‘Marcello’. But ‘Marchello’ is pronounced ‘mar-KELL-oh’ in Italian, so many with the surname Marcello became known as Markello.  
BONGIOVANNI, CALANDRA, and LANZA all contain the letter ‘N’. Written in cursive, a lower-case ‘n’, in certain handwriting, looks like a lower-case ‘u’, so these surnames get transcribed as ‘Bougiovanni’, ‘Calaudra’ and ‘Lauza’. Really!! If your surname has the letter ‘n’ in it, try replacing one or more of them with the letter ‘u’ and search again!
These are but a few of the many naming errors that are encountered by genealogists. Try to familiarize yourself with valid Sicilian and Italian surnames. If there’s a doubt, go to http://www.cognomix.it/mappe-dei-cognomi-italiani which is a site that shows modern-day distributions of the selected surname (‘cognome’ in Italian). For spellings and English versions of given names, see my page at http://bit.ly/SicilianNames 
Coniglio is the author of the book The Lady of the Wheel, inspired by his Sicilian research. Order the paperback or the Kindle version at http://bit.ly/SicilianStory Coniglio’s web page at http://bit.ly/AFCGen has helpul hints on genealogic research. If you have genealogy questions, or would like him to lecture to your club or group, e-mail him at genealogytips@aol.com

Announcing the 2018 Feast of Maria Santissima Della Misericordia in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

For more info visit the Società Maria SS. Della Misericordia on Facebook
Also see:
• Evviva Maria! A Look at the 2016 Feast of the Madonna Della Misericordia in Brooklyn, New York
• A Look at the 2015 Feast of Maria SS. Della Misericordia in Brooklyn, New York