January 3, 2018

Memorial Mass for HM Francesco II, King of the Two Sicilies, in Newark, New Jersey

1860 portrait of HM King Francesco II di Borbone (1836-1894)
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
By Cav. John Napoli
On what had to be the coldest night of the year, the Knights and Dames of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George gathered at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in the Ironbound neighborhood of Newark, New Jersey Saturday evening for the annual memorial Mass to our late beloved Grand Master, HM Francesco II di Borbone, the last King of the Two Sicilies. Joined by our friends from the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, Mass ad orientem was celebrated by the Very Rev. Msgr. Cav. Joseph Ambrosio, chaplain in the Order and pastor of the beautiful church. 
Dressed in full regalia—and in fidelity to the Royal House of Bourbon Two Sicilies—the Knights proudly processed with the King’s portrait and the national flag of the Kingdom. His Majesty was mentioned during the Mass Intentions and a stirring rendition of Giovanni Paisiello’s Inno al Re, the National Anthem of the Two Sicilies, was played on the organ during the concluding rite.
Following Mass, our esteemed Delegate HE Cav. John M. Viola invited everyone back to the recently renovated parish center to partake in a festive Christmas dinner offered by the Constantinian Order. Each Knight and Dame brought a homemade dish to the party for all to enjoy. 
Mass ad orientem was celebrated by the Very Rev. Msgr. Cav. Joseph Ambrosio
After Monsignor said grace, guests helped themselves to the terrific spread replete with Duesiciliano delicacies, such as Stufati di Teggiano, Caponata alla Siciliana and a phenominal Timballo del Gattopardo. While sampling the delicious fare, partygoers mingled and enjoyed the traditional Neapolitan Christmas songs from Cav. Patrick O'Boyle's extensive personal collection.

Our dear friends from Tribeca Vini generously donated an impressive selection of wines from southern Italy, including a delightful Aglianico del Vulture by Vigne Mastrodomenico from Basilicata, which paired well with the array of rich dishes we enjoyed.
The Beautifully decorated high altar and portrait of the King and National Flag of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in the sanctuary
For dessert we indulged our sweet tooth with a little Cassata alla SicilianaStruffoli Napoletani, assorted cookies and Pizzelle di Ortona, a thin crispy wafer dusted with powdered sugar. Naturally, this was followed by caffè, AvernaVecchio Amaro del Capo, and eventually some long goodbyes.

All-in-all it was a joyous night filled with good fellowship and much merriment. 
After Mass, HE Cav. John M. Viola, Delegate of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George in North America, addresses the congregation
Three cheers to our Confratello Cav. Vincent Gangone for organizing the fête. Vincent’s hard work and dedication to our community is an inspiration to us all. Special thanks to Msgr. Ambrosio and all the members of the congregation for your tremendous warmth and hospitality. As always, it was a great joy to celebrate our faith and culture together. Buon Natale! Buon Anno! and Viva ‘o Rre!
(Above & below) Cavalieri, Chaplains and Altar Servers celebrate the annual
Mass for the Repose of the Soul of HM King Francis II of the Two Sicilies
(L-R) Their Excellencies John Viola & Chancellor Pasquale Menna with Cavalieri
Thomas Crane, Charles Sant'Elia, Thomas Rossi and John Napoli
Caponata alla Siciliana
Focaccia Molfettese
Panelle Palermitane
Pizza di scarola alla Napoletana
Stufati di Teggiano 
Timballo del Gattopardo
Mos Aglianico del Vulture and Vecchio Amaro del Capo
Pizzelle di Ortona
Struffoli Napoletani
Beautiful baby Jesus centerpiece
Their Excellencies Chancellor Pasquale Menna
and US Delegate John Viola with Cav. Vincent Gangone
Gabriela and Anthony Privetera 
Cavalieri Charles Sant'Elia and Thomas Barra
Cavalieri John Napoli and Thomas Crane
Also see:
Praying for Good King Francis II
Honoring Francesco II di Borbone in New York City