January 29, 2018

January 28, 2018

Starting Friday, February 2nd, The Comunità di Sant’Egidio Will Meet at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral

Icona del Santo Volto
Following Friday’s weekly prayer gathering at Most Precious Blood Church (113 Baxter St.) in Little Italy, I learned that the Comunità di Sant’Egidio will be moving their hebdomadal prayer services to the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral at 273 Mott Street in Nolita, New York. Starting Friday, February 2nd, anyone interested in participating with the prayer group should meet them at the basilica.

Every Friday (6:30pm-7:30pm)

Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral
273 Mott Street
New York, NY 10012

Comunità di Sant’Egidio

January 26, 2018

Around the Web: Most Precious Blood Church, the Heart and Soul of New York City’s Little Italy

Restored painting of St. Francis with Dante Alighieri and Christopher Columbus 
by Donatus Buongiorno (1865-1935), Most Precious Blood Church
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
I’m honored to have been published on the Italian Enclaves Blog, a photo catalogue of Italian enclaves in the 21st Century. When asked to submit a guest post, I jumped at the opportunity to contribute to such an important and respected site devoted to all things Italian American. We encourage our readers to visit their blog (linked above), their sister site Organic Roots, and especially their Twitter and Facebook pages, which are updated daily with information about Italian American history, folklore, and religious and cultural traditions.
Reprinted from Italian Enclaves

By Giovanni di Napoli

Near the corner of Baxter and Canal Streets, on the border of New York City’s Little Italy and China Town, stands the Church of the Most Precious Blood (113 Baxter St.). Once a bustling National Parish serving the burgeoning Italian American community of Lower Manhattan, this historic house of worship lies sadly neglected with, considering the recent spate of church closings, an uncertain future. The church is currently part of the parish of the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral (263 Mulberry St.) and under the pastoral care of Msgr. Donald Sakano. The Heart and Soul of Little Italy, it is arguably best known, due to the immense popularity of the saint’s feast, as the National Shrine of San Gennaro. Continue reading

Announcing the 2018 San Marziale Parade in Kulpmont, Pennsylvania

January 24, 2018

Celebrating the Feast of Saint Vincent Pallotti at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Pontifical Shrine in East Harlem, New York

Statue of Saint Vincent Pallotti
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Monday evening, I made a pilgrimage (I think a two-hour subway commute counts as a pilgrimage) to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Pontifical Shrine (448 E 116th St.) in East Harlem, New York for the Feast of St. Vincent Pallotti (1795-1850), founder of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate, the Pallottine Fathers, Brothers and Sisters. 
Solemn High Mass (1962 Missale Romanum, Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite) was sung by celebrant and homilist Reverend Father Marian Wierzchowski, SAC (Pastor); deacon Reverend Father Christopher Salvatori, SAC; and subdeacon Mr. James Barret. Several altar servers and the church schola cantorum dutifully assisted the sacred ministers.
Mass concluded with the veneration of St. Vincent Pallotti’s relic.
Afterward, members of the congregation gathered outside the sacristy to affectionately congratulate Fr. Salvatori, who was celebrating his 18th Anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood. Fr. Salvatori was ordained at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church on Saturday, January 22, 2000. 
Thank you Fr. Chris for your loving service to the Church. May God bless you in your priestly ministry.
(Above and below) Solemn High Mass
During his homily, Fr. Marian spoke at length 
about the life and works of St. Vincent Pallotti 
The miraculous statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
The Nativity above the High Altar
The miraculous statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
and the beautifully decorated High Altar
Arriving early, I made my usual intercessory prayers for the happy repose of the souls of my ancestors and Holy Hour of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament
Also see:
Celebrating Candlemas at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Pontifical Shrine in East Harlem
Celebrating the Feast of the Epiphany at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in East Harlem
Knights of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George Welcomed With Open Arms at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in East Harlem
A Look at the 5th Annual Traditional Pilgrimage at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in East Harlem

Announcing the 2018 Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist in Birmingham, Alabama


January 23, 2018

January 22, 2018

Napoli's Francesco II vs. Atalanta's Lombroso

Atalanta fans display a banner with Cesare Lombroso
at the Stadio San Paolo in Naples (images via Facebook)
During the January 2nd Coppa Italia match between Atalanta and Napoli at the San Paolo Stadium in Naples, visiting Atalanta fans displayed a banner marred with the repulsive visage of Cesare Lombroso (1835-1909), a notorious criminologist who experimented on the severed heads of fallen Bourbon soldiers and loyalists in the wake of the Piedmontese conquest of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. It was a crude stunt, meant to provoke and denigrate the hosts. It did not go unnoticed. 
At yesterday’s league match between these two sides in Bergamo (Jan. 21st.), Napoli fans retorted with a sign of their own. However, instead of responding with anger, invective, or an equally vulgar prank, the Neapolitans simply unfurled a banner emblazoned with the noble image of HM Francesco II di Borbone, the last king of of the Two Sicilies. 
Napoli fans respond in kind with a Francis II banner
at the Stadio Atleti Azzurrii d'Italia in Bergamo
The imagery and meaning of the two signs could not be more contrasting: Lombroso was a macabre charlatan who tried to prove the inferiority of southern Italians, while our beloved King was a pious and humble man who loved his people and his land. Lombroso and his ilk imposed themselves on a conquered people, while Francis II evokes a time when our people were autonomous and proud. Lombroso is a relic of a squalid and pernicious past, while Francis II symbolizes a hopeful and, dare I say, independent future for our people.
Forza e onore! Viva ‘o Rre!

A Week in Review

Short on time, I’m combining a few highlights of my eventful week into one post and letting the pictures do most of the talking.
Monday, January 15th — New Editions to My Library
Looking forward to cracking open my new books
Putting my Christmas gift cards to good use, I treated myself to a few new books that I’ve been meaning to read:
The Liberal Illusion by Louis Veuillot; The Diary of a Country Priest by Georges Bernanos; Copse 125: A Chronical From the Trench Warfare of 1918 by Ernst Jünger; Metternich: The First European by Desmond Seward; A Catholic Quest for the Holy Grail by Charles A. Coulombe; and The Popes Legion: The Multinational Fighting Force that Defended the Vatican by Charles A. Coulombe.
Tuesday, January 16th — Praying For HM King Francesco II di Borbone and the Auxiliary Malta Walk
In memory of HM King Francis II of the Two Sicilies on his birthday, I stopped by Most Precious Blood Church (113 Baxter St.) in lower Manhattan’s historic Little Italy to light a candle and pray for the happy repose of his soul.
Francesca Temesta, DM (center), and the Order of Malta Auxiliary
Afterward, I joined the Knights, Dames and auxiliary members of the Knights of Malta for their monthly Auxiliary Malta Walk. Meeting every third Tuesday of the month at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral parish house (263 Mulberry Street), volunteers 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.
Wednesday, January 17th — Fucarazzo di Sant'Antuono
We used Stephan's dead Christmas tree as kindling
Braving the cold, I went to my friend Stephan’s annual falò di Sant'Antuono, or St. Anthony’s Bonfire, in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn.
Thursday, January 18th — Auguri!
Madonna delle Grazie, Most Precious Blood Church
Learning that my goddaughter earned a full scholarship for college, I lit a few candles at Most Precious Blood Church and prayed to the Madonna delle Grazie, Santa Scolastica, and a few other choice saints for her continued growth and success.
Friday, January 19th — San Rocco Boys' Night Out
Viva San Rocco!
For our first monthly dinner meeting of the year, the St. Rocco Society of Potenza enjoyed another amazing feast at Peppino’s Restaurant in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
Sunday, January 21st — Buon Compleanno!
Cavatelli con ragù di maiale
After Sunday Mass, I was treated to a superb birthday dinner and a relaxing day with my loved ones.
Also see: A Week in December

January 19, 2018

New Music: Neapolitan Concertos for Various Instruments

New music that may be of interest to our readers.

Neapolitan Concertos for Various Instruments featuring works by Fiorenza, Pergolesi, Scarlatti, Porpora and Mancini

Label: Naxos of America, Inc.
Release Date: January 19, 2018
Audio CD: $18.99
Number of Discs: 1

Available at Amazon.com

Read description

January 17, 2018

Feast of Sant'Antonio Abate

Viva Sant'Antuono!
January 17th is the Feast Day of Sant'Antonio Abate, also known as Saint Anthony the Great, one of the founders of Christian monasticism. He is regarded as the patron Saint of livestock, fire and contagious diseases, particularly skin maladies (e.g. shingles) and ergotism, a toxic condition caused by eating grains contaminated with ergot fungus. Also known as St. Anthony's Fire, ergotism causes gangrene in the extremities and drives its victims mad, symptoms previously associated with demonic possession.

In Southern Italy huge wooden pyres called falò di Sant'Antuono, or the Bonfires of Saint Anthony (not to be confused with St. Anthony's Fire) are burned on the eve of his festival in public squares throughout the night. The purification ritual, which is meant to ward off evil spirits, also signifies the coming end of winter and the anticipation of spring. Local wines and delicacies are enjoyed, as well as fireworks, processions, music and other festivities.

Sant'Antonio's iconography includes the Tau Cross and the Holy Scriptures with flames shooting from the pages. The fire represents his gift to man (like Prometheus before him, Sant'Antonio stole fire for humanity). It also signifies the hardships he endured during his time as a hermit. Demons continuously harassed and tormented the Saint, who resisted their wicked temptations with prayer. 

The pig and bell are his attributes as well, though I've read conflicting theories as to why. Some say wild pigs are associated with the Devil, while others claim the animal symbolizes his ability to heal the sick. According to some, medieval apothecaries used pig lard to treat St. Anthony's Fire. The Antonites, a monastic order devoted to the Saint and caring for the sick, were founded in the Middle Ages (c.1100) by a French nobleman whose ailing son was miraculously cured by the Saint's Relics. The Hospitallers of St. Anthony supported its charities by raising swine and bells, traditionally used to frighten demons, were put around animals' necks for protection.

Naturally there are many miracles and stories attributed to Sant'Antonio, but one of the more fantastic tales involves a pig. According to legend, the Saint descended to the Gates of Hell and used an unusually troublesome and elusive piglet to distract the infernal denizens. While his squealing companion created a diversion, Sant'Antonio hid smoldering embers inside his T-shaped staff and smuggled them back to earth to provide fire for mankind. Alternate versions say the Saint distracted the demons while the pig ran off with a firebrand.

In celebration I'm posting a Prayer to St. Anthony the Abbot.1 The accompanying photo of Sant'Antuono were taken at the 2011 Feast of Sant'Antonio Abate in Astoria, Queens.

~ Giovanni di Napoli, January 15, Feast of San Mauro Abate

Prayer to St. Anthony the Abbot

O father of monks
and all who would give themselves
completely to the Lord,
you who have been so obedient
to the word of God,
to His call
to sell everything,
to renounce all possessions
and follow Him –
how we need your prayers
this day,
when love for material things
possesses our very bodies
and souls,
when prayer and penance
seem things of the distant past.
Make present to us
the blessed call of the Lord,
the renunciation of the world,
that we too might find
the riches of Heaven
you knew so well.
Pray we give up all for God.

(1) Prayer reprinted from Prayers to the Saints by James Kurt, Author House, 2007, p. 8

Around the Web: 100 years, 7 fish — Cosenza’s Maintains New and Old World Traditions for a Century in Bronx’s Little Italy

Reprinted from italianenclaves.com 
Cosenza’s fish market is on a very short list of family-owned businesses that have lasted for a century. Come tomorrow, January 2018,  this neighborhood cornerstone will be celebrating its 100th year in business. We recently visited and had a wonderful opportunity to hear about the origins of this family business rooted in a time that we can experience only by piecing small parts of our world today into a mosaic that portrays life in 1918 with tastes, smells, businesses and structures.
Being in Cosenza’s fish market was an experience. While at Cosenza’s, John graciously shared his family business’ rich history with us that transported our image of the fish market to a time where there were farms, horse and carriages, and peddler push carts. Continue reading

January 16, 2018

Screening of "Linciati: Lynchings of Italians in America" at the Italian American Museum in NYC

Friday, January 19th (6:30 P.M.)

Italian American Museum
155 Mulberry Street
New York, NY 10013

A discussion and Q&A with Museum Founder and President, Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa will follow the screening. Light refreshments will be served.

Suggested donation of $10

To reserve a place for this event, please call the Italian American Museum at (212) 965-9000 or email: ItalianAmericanMuseum@gmail.com

Candlemas: Feast of the Purification of Our Lady and Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple

Blessing of Candles, Procession and High Mass for the Last Day of Christmas (40th Day)

The Pontifical Shrine and Parish Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

448 East 116th Street
New York, NY 10029

On Friday, February 2, 2018 at 7 PM, we will conclude the Christmas season with the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord and Purification of Our Lady in the Temple. Candles will be blessed and distributed, we will walk in Procession and celebrate High Mass. Please bring candles to be blessed to be used for prayers in your houses, what Pope Saint John Paul II calls the domestic church. Bring the whole family and invite your friends. All are welcome!

Also see:
Celebrating Candlemas at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Pontifical Shrine in East Harlem

January 15, 2018

New Kindle Edition: ‘Looking For Naples’ by Anna Scognamiglio

New title that may be of interest to our readers. Available at Amazon

Looking For Naples by Anna Scognamiglio

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Publication Date: Feb. 7, 2018
Kindle: $9.99
Language: English
File size: 1350 KB

Introduction to the Neapolitan language. Read description

Click here to see more books

Also see:
Compra Sud — Learn Neapolitan with Anna Scognamiglio

Traditonal Latin Mass for the Feast of St. Vincent Pallotti at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, East Harlem, NY

On Monday, January 22, 2018 at 7:30 PM, there will be a Tradiitonal Latin Solemn High Mass, 1962 Missale Romanum, Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite for the Feast of Saint Vincent Pallotti, founder of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate, the Pallottine Fathers, Brothers and Sisters. 

We will also celebrate the 18th Anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood of our own Parochial Vicar, The Reverend Father Christopher Salvatori S.A.C.. On Monday, January 22, 2001, Father Christopher Salvatori was ordained a Priest for the Society of the Catholic Apostolate at the Pontifical Shrine and Parish Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

January 13, 2018

Votive Mass of the Holy Cross in Greenwich, Connecticut

Photo courtesy of Society of St. Hugh of Cluny
There will be an extraordinary form votive Mass of the Holy Cross on Friday, January 19th at 7:30 PM at St.

Saint Mary Church
178 Greenwich Avenue
Greenwich, CT 06830

Source: The Society of St. Hugh of Cluny

January 9, 2018

The Search for our Ancestry (XLIV)

By Angelo Coniglio
I often receive inquiries asking for help in identifying a reader’s ancestors. The requests often go like this: “I am trying to find information about the ancestors of my grandmother. She came to America from Sicily, I think from Mossena, at age 21 with her infant son. Can you help?”  
My response is along these lines: “Before I can help, or you yourself can find such information, you must answer the following, even if approximately. What was your grandmother’s name as it was given in Sicily, including her ‘maiden’ name? About when was she born? You ‘think’ she was from ‘Mossena’; do you mean ‘Messina’? If so are you referring to the province of Messina, or its capital city, which has the same name?  You gave her age at immigration, but in what year did she immigrate, and where did she settle?  What was her husband’s name and occupation? What were the names of her children, in order of age; and the names of her siblings, in order of age?”
Often, I never hear any more from some of these folks. Evidently their desire for information about their ancestors isn’t so urgent, or they believe that a researcher should find their ancestors without asking ‘personal questions’. Some respond with just a partial answer; still not enough to undertake proper research, and some ask why such information is necessary. I’ll try to answer that, point by point.  
What was the ancestor’s name? If searches are to be made in Sicilian or Italian records, the names as they were in the old country must be used. ‘Carrie’ or ‘Lily’ in the US was probably Calogera in Sicily; ‘Samuel’ was probably Salvatore, ‘James’ might have been Giacomo, or Vincenzo! Sicilian and Italian records would not use anglicized names, nor would ‘American’ names appear in passenger manifests.  And women would be identified by the surnames they had at birth (i.e., their ‘maiden’ names; their father’s surnames), even though they were married.
What were the ancestor’s children’s names, in order of age? In Sicily and southern Italy, it was almost universal that the names a couple gave to their children followed a pattern called the Sicilian Naming Convention. This tradition required that the couple’s first son be named after the child’s paternal grandfather; the first daughter after the paternal grandmother; the second son after the maternal grandfather; and the second daughter after the maternal grandmother. So, if you know the names of your grandparents’ children, you can surmise the names of your great-grandparents. When searching, you may find records for several people with similar or identical names to your grandmother. Using the above convention helps to identify the ones that are pertinent.
What were the ancestor’s siblings’ names, in order of age? Using the same logic as above, if you know your grandmother’s siblings’ names, you can deduce her grandparents’ (your great-great grandparents’) names.
Where did she settle, and in what year? What was her husband’s name and occupation? This information will allow you to search US Censuses (viewable on-line) and/or state censuses, which can give information on age, occupation, immigration, and citizenship status. If you don’t know her children’s names or ages, census information can help you fill those in. US Censuses, taken every ten years, are available through the 1940 version, and can give an understanding of the family’s makeup. Knowing her husband’s occupation, the census can be checked against that knowledge, to assure that you’re viewing the records of the right family. If a census indicates ‘Na’ under citizenship status, it means the person was naturalized sometime before the date of the census. Naturalization papers found in family records, or at the local county clerk, can give date and town of birth.
In what year did she immigrate? If no naturalization papers are found, use information from censuses, and search for your grandmother’s ship’s passenger manifest (on several on-line venues). Many manifests give the birthplace of the immigrant. Don’t be confused if on one line you see her ‘maiden’ name, followed by her son on the next, with his father’s surname. It doesn’t mean she wasn’t married; she was just giving her name as she had all her life.
When these questions have been answered, you know your grandmother’s year of birth, have a fair idea of her parents’ names, and you know in what town she was born.  You can now search for records of her birth, baptism, and marriage in her ancestral town’s registers, on microfilm or on line. When found, those records will give clues to the names, dates, etc. of previous ancestors, so that their records may be discovered.
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

January 5, 2018

Announcing the 2nd Annual Solemn High Mass in Honor of Maria SS. Addolorata in Little Italy, NYC

Rosa Tatuata Will Take to the Stage at the 2018 World Music Revel Festival in New York City

Parkside Lounge
317 East Houston Street
New York, NY 10002

On Friday, January 12th at 10PM Sicilian roots and folk ensemble Rosa Tatuata will join 
Mario Forte & the Unleashed Poets (8pm), Timbila (9pm) and Zydeco (11pm) at the 2018 World Music Revel Festival at the Parkside Lounge in NYC. 

No cover • 2 drink minimum • APAP badges honored