February 28, 2018

Announcing NIAF's 2018 La Tavola di San Giuseppe in Washington, D.C.

Around the Web: Excerpt from Off the Menu Episode 57 — "Italian Unification: Good or Bad?"

Historian Charles A. Coulombe and co-hosts Vincent Frankini of Tumblar House briefly discuss Italian Unification on their highly entertaining weekly question and answer show, Off the Menu.

Dominican Rite Mass for the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas in New York City

Wednesday, March 7th (7PM)

Parish of St. Vincent Ferrer and St. Catherine of Siena
869 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10065

On March 7, the traditional feast of St. Thomas Aquinas will be commemorated by a Dominican Rite Missa Cantata at the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer.

The Schola Cantorum will sing the following music:

Missa L’homme armé á 5 – Cristóbal de Morales
In conspectu angelorum – Sebastián de Vivanco
O sacrum convivum á 6 – Francisco Guerrero

February 27, 2018

Feast of San Gabriele dell’Addolorata

Evviva San Gabriele!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
February 27th is the Feast Day of San Gabriele dell’Addolorata (Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows), Passionist of the Holy Cross. Protector of the Abruzzo Region of southern Italy, he is also the Patron Saint of students, clerics and young people.
To commemorate the occasion I’m posting a Prayer to Saint Gabriel. The accompanying photo was taken at St. Francis of Paola Church (219 Conselyea Street) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Prayer to Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows
O Good Saint Gabriel, God inspired you to see the Passion of Jesus as it was reflected in the heart of Mary His Mother. By her side you stood beneth the cross of Jesus, gazing on Him as she did and learning the meaning of love. O Saint Gabriel, we wish, like you, to grow in love for God and all God’s people. Remember us in our trials, remember especially those who are young. Support us by your prayers all our days. And when this life is done may we join you in heaven in the company of Jesus and Mary. Amen.

February 26, 2018

NYC Auxiliary Malta Walk, February 2018

Francesca Tempesta, DM (right), and the Order of Malta Auxiliary
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
Tuesday evening, I once again 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 and toiletries to the homeless.
God Bless Dama Francesca Tempesta, organizer of the monthly walk, Pastor Msgr. Donald Sakano, and all the members of the Order and Auxiliary for their hard work and generosity. As always, it was a tremendous honor to serve with such an outstanding group of people.
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.

Photo of the Week: Perseus and Andromeda

Fresco of Perseus and Andromedafrom a house in the Insula Occidentalis at Pompeii, Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli (Photo by New York Scugnizzo)

February 25, 2018

Help Support Caliendo's Banda Napoletana's GoFundMe Campaign: Uniform Hats for Italian Feast Band

This year we will be celebrating our 45th consecutive year under the incarnation of "Caliendo's Banda Napoletana" in Chicago, Ill. We are one of the few authentic Italian festival bands left in the entire United States, and an independent organization dedicated to preserving the beautiful tradition of Italian symphonic band music. All of the years playing outdoors in virtually every type of weather in the feasts have definitely taken their toll on the band musicians' uniform hats. Many are wore out so bad they are barely holding together and many musicians simply don’t have one. We have endeavored all of these years to maintain the strict Italian feast band tradition both in our music and attire, in fact the style of uniforms replicate the similar bands in Italy and our original Neapolitan band in Chicago, the Strocchia Band that originated in the Taylor St. Little Italy in 1926. Understandably in this day and age it's very expensive to outfit the band with new hats, but we are going to try with this Gofundme effort. It is important to note we have never required the musicians to have to purchase their own uniforms due to the high cost; owing to the fact the little $ they make playing the feasts here in Chicago barely covers all the time and efforts they devote to help continue this beautiful tradition of the band. Additionally this is a very special year as it's the 125th Anniversary of the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Melrose Park, and the Centennial of the St. Rocco di Simbario feast is rapidly approaching. We pray that we will get the funding necessary to continue on in the proper manner. 

Announcing the 106th Annual Pilgrimage & Feast of Saints Cosmas & Damian in Utica, New York


February 24, 2018

Happy Birthday Prince Carlo di Borbone!

HRH was born in Saint Raphaël, France on February 24, 1963
Photo courtesy of Real Casa di Borbone
Happy Birthday Prince Carlo di Borbone – Two Sicilies, Duke of Castro and Grand Master of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George! We pray that your special day be filled with the glory and wonder of God’s abiding love, and may you feel His presence throughout the coming year. Peace be upon you. Auguri!

Traditional Latin Masses During Lent at Holy Innocents Church in Neptune, New Jersey

February 20, 2018

February 19, 2018

Comitati delle Due Sicilie USA Mark Day of Remembrance for the Fallen of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies

For Immediate Release: New York - 13 February 2018
The members and friends of the CDS USA on this Day of Memory of the Fallen of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies remember all of the victims of the Risorgimento and the many sacrifices and suffering the Duosiciliani endured since 1860 up until our times. By now for twenty years with pride and love for our ancestral land we have been fighting abroad for the dignity of our people. From the United States, where the Two Sicilies under HM Ferdinando I opened the first embassy of an Italian state and a large consular network from New York, Boston, and Washington to Savannah, Mobile and New Orleans, we are proud to launch programs to spread awareness of our history and of our culture.
The members and friends of the CDS USA likewise express their living solidarity with all of our dear countrymen of the Two Sicilies Diaspora spread throughout the world, and in a particular manner we second the sentiments expressed by Fiore Marro during his intervention at the «Eccellenze di Napoli» conference held on 8 February.  More than ever we need a solid and firm unity based on our historic identity, not on political programs and slogans of a false patriotism. The fact that yet again politicians coming from other latitudes, the bearers and continuation of failed and inapplicable ideologies and the supporters of historiographies based on the empty propaganda of yesterday come seeking collaborations, thrusts us further towards our own.
We observe such nervous and frenetic behaviors on the part of the politicians as good news. We are winning. The more they seek to denigrate our movement, the more they court our votes, the more they send fake and corrupt scholars to challenge and attack our publications, the more it becomes evident that they feel threatened.  And rightfully so: we gave ourselves back our identity. Today we are many, in many countries, in many sectors.  And we make ourselves heard. We abroad are the living proof that the Risorgimento experiment not only failed (after the creation of Italy we left by the millions, from North to South), but that the thesis according to which, we had and still need a so-called civilizing mission to show us the way is a false premise.  As soon as we remove the «Italian» superstructure we execute important projects.  It stands out that abroad we are the most economically powerful and culturally relevant «Italians». We generate jobs, create works of art, carry out engagements at banks and multinationals, conduct scientific research, and we import the greater part of Italian products (including those of the North). Nonetheless, we want to live with dignity at home, reunited with our families.
We wish for a new phase of undertakings, development, commerce and cultural production, worthy of our people and of our best traditions. Such a phase shall commence based on our strong identity. We shall overcome every obstacle, together, shoulder to shoulder, in the spirit of true brotherhood, our own, under our true and only Flag. We must bypass Rome, Milan, Turin and similar places, and go directly to the markets of New York, London, Berlin and Tokyo to make ourselves heard and to make ourselves rise to the place that our ancient civilization merits, without any mediation and no intervention on the part of those who do not have our interests at heart. The more we frequent each other, and exchange ideas and experiences, the more business we do among each other, the further we will go.  We assume full responsibility to protect our interests.  We don’t need the presumed help of third parties and we shall exercise our rights and demonstrate our capacities to the world.  All we need is our unity.  Therefore we invite all those who love our people to join with us and bring forward the work already begun by our ancestors right after the fall of the Kingdom.
A fraternal embrace to our dear brothers and sisters spread throughout the world. We are always with you. Honor to the resistants. We shall see each other in Gaeta!

Comitati delle Due Sicilie USA

Missa Cantata in the Extraordinary Form on the Second Sunday of Lent, Bronx, New York

February 18, 2018

Weekly Rosary and Stations of the Cross with the Figli Maria SS. Addolorata in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

Evviva Santa Rita!
Friday evening I joined our friends from the Associazione Culturale Pugliese Figli Maria SS. Addolorata for their hebdomadal prayer service in honor of St. Rita of Cascia. Meeting in the basement of the Nazareth Center, on the corner of 62nd Street and Bay Parkway in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, members convened for week two of their 15 week devotional to the patroness of desperate causes.
Gathered before the statues of the Sacro Cuore di Gesù, the Madonna Addolorata, and, of course, Santa Rita, we began the service by praying the Stations of the Cross in Italian. As part of our Lenten devotion, each Station was read aloud by a different member, with the rest of the group reciting the responsorial and prayers (Padre Nostro, Ave Maria, Gloria al Padre). 
We then took a moment of silence for the victims of the Florida school shooting and their families.
Next, our group prayed the Rosary. As with the Stations, a different member took the lead for each decade and Sorrowful Mystery.

The service concluded with a final prayer, hymn, and the Litany of St. Rita of Cascia.
Afterward, participants retired to the refectory for some coffee, homemade cookies and a game of tombola. Though the sweets looked delicious and the game lots of fun, I had to decline because of my Lenten fast. I did, however, enjoy the fellowship and the hot cup of joe.
Save the Date:
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.

Announcing the 99th Annual "Feast of All Feasts!" San Antonio di Padova in Boston, Massachusetts


February 16, 2018

Celebrating Martedì Grasso & Jurnata d''a Memoria at Norma Gastronomia Siciliana in New York City

Special thanks to Cav. Charles Sant'Elia, President of the Comitati delle Due Sicilie USA, for organizing this year's Jurnata d''a Memoria 
Tuesday evening, I joined my friends at Norma Gastronomia Siciliana (438 3rd Ave.) in Kips Bay, Manhattan for a joint Martedì Grasso (Fat Tuesday) and Jurnata d''a Memoria (Remembrance Day) dinner. Looking to eat our fill before our Lenten fast, as well as honor the men and women who fought and died defending our ancestral homeland during the northern conquest of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, we gathered at the cozy Sicilian eatery for a traditional Duosiciliano feast.
Some wine to get things started
Warmly greeted, our party was quickly seated beneath a giant mural of an antique map of Sicily, where Norma’s crack wait staff took our sizable drink and dinner orders. 
Boasting an impressive selection of Sicilian wines, we decided on an excellent bottle of Nero d’Avola Lagnusa (Feudo Montoni), Sicily’s famed varietal whose bold fruit flavors paired well with our sumptuous repast.
Before digging in, we began our meal by saying grace, then toasting the memory of our heroic ancestors and kings of yore.
For starters, we enjoyed two distinct and tasty takes on eggplant: timballo di melanzane alla parmigiana, a mouthwatering drum of tender eggplant with mozzarella, parmigiano, basil and tomato sauce; and caponata con mandorle e crostini, a sweet and sour medley of eggplant, celery, olives, cappers, onions, tomato and almonds with crusty bread. The aubergine masterpieces were an auspicious and welcome start to the meal.
Chef Fraterrigo shows his true colors
I rarely pass up an opportunity to eat a rice ball, especially when I see a variation I haven’t tried yet. So when I spotted the arancine nero di seppia, a squid ink risotto stuffed with a spicy shrimp ragù; and the more conventional arancine al burro, made with saffron risotto, mozzarella, butter and ham over a light béchamel sauce; I knew we had to try them. Everything a rice ball should be—crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside—both were packed with lots of flavor and more than lived up to my high expectations.
For our entree we ordered three different pasta dishes. Passing the platters around, we each repeatedly sampled the Busiate al pesto Trapanese, imported Busiate pasta with fresh tomato, basil, Sicilian garlic, almonds and extra virgin olive oil; Anelletti al forno, a baked ring-shaped pasta with green peas, eggplant, ham, pecorino and beef ragù; and Pasta con le sarde a timballo, a breaded drum of spaghetti, fresh Portuguese sardines, wild fennel, pine nuts and saffron. They were all perfectly cooked and delicious, but in my humble opinion the Busiate with its fresh and clean flavors was the star of the evening.
After a short breather, and some café to pick us up, we capped off our meal with a little cannoli, cassatina and tiramisu. This was enjoyed with a delightful Malvasia delle Lipari, a sweet dessert wine aptly nicknamed the “nectar of the gods.” 
To our delight, Executive Chef Salvatore Fraterrigo visited our table and spoke a bit about the food and history of his beloved island and the former Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. An all-around terrific dining experience, the maestro and his staff (Emanuela, Enzo, Mirco, et al.) have brought a corner of Sicily to New York City. More than just a place to eat, Norma embodies the warmth and hospitality one expects to find on the celebrated jewel of the Mediterranean. The food was fantastic, the service was friendly and attentive, and the atmosphere was charming. I look forward to going back. 
(Above & below) Due Sicilie pride on display at Norma 
Remembering the defenders of the Kingdom and the sacrifices they made.
May they Rest in Peace and never be forgotten
A giant map of Sicily adorns the restaurant's wall 
Timballo di melanzane alla parmigiana
Caponata con mandorle e crostini
Arancine nero di seppia 
Arancine al burro 
Busiate al pesto Trapanese 
Anelletti al forno 
Pasta con le sarde a timballo
Malvasia delle Lipari, "the nectar of the gods"
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Norma Gastronomia Siciliana ★★★★★
438 3rd Avenue
New York, New York 10016
Tel 212.889.0600

Announcing the 97th Annual Feast of Santa Lucia in Boston, Massachusetts


February 14, 2018

Ash Wednesday (Mercoledì delle Ceneri)

Corajisima at the Casa della Cultura
in Palmi, Calabria (Photo courtesy of
Calabria: The Other Italy)
Remember man that you are dust and unto dust you shall return.
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, the period preceding Easter devoted to fasting, abstinence and penitence in memory of the forty days Our Lord Jesus Christ spent in the wilderness. A day for contemplating our mortality, crosses are ceremonially drawn on the forehead with blessed ashes made from the burned palm fronds from the previous year’s Palm Sunday. The ashes remind us that life is fleeting and that we need to repent and turn our hearts towards God. In commemoration I’m posting A Prayer for Ash Wednesday. 
The accompanying photo of Corajisima, the mourning wife of Carnevale, is a traditional southern Italian rag doll personifying abstinence during the Lenten season. She holds a spindle and distaff, which represents the passing of time during the 40 days of penitence. Beneath her hangs a lemon (sometimes an orange, potato or onion) with seven feathers stuck in it. Each Sunday a feather is removed, counting down the weeks. The final feather is plucked on Easter, signaling the arrival of spring and the Resurrection.
A Prayer for Ash Wednesday
Gracious God, today begins a period of inner reflection and examination. The days stretch before me and invite me inward to that silent, holy space that holds your Spirit. This special time beckons me to see my life through Christ's eyes and the truth and reality of your love incarnate. Give me the grace to enter the space of these days with anticipation of our meeting. And, when I open my soul to your presence, let your loving kindness flow over me and seep into the pockets of my heart. I ask this for the sake of your love.

February 13, 2018

Fat Tuesday and the Death of Carnevale

In addition to the obligatory Lenten dietary restrictions,
I customarily give up macaroni for Lent
The celebration of Carnevale (Latin for “farewell to flesh”) concludes on Martedì Grasso, or Fat Tuesday. In anticipation of the austerity of Lent, revelers partake in final indulgences before fasting and penitence. In southern Italy the day is typically marked with parades, fireworks and plenty of merrymaking. Large meals consisting of local delicacies, meat and other items eschewed during Lent are greedily enjoyed one last time before the fast. In Naples, the festivities traditionally culminate with the ritual “death” of Carnevale ('A morte 'e Carnevale). Laid out to rest on a decorated funeral bier, a straw effigy personifying the dissolute season is drawn in procession through the crowded streets. Between laments, laughter and revelries, the figure of the self-indulgent Carnevale is immolated and reduced to ashes on a funeral pyre, singling the end of the festive period. In commemoration I’m posting a prayer for Shrove Tuesday.
Shrove Tuesday Prayer
Lord, give us grace to inaugurate with holy fasting the defenses of Christian warfare, so that we who are to fight against spiritual wickedness, may be helped and strengthened by self-denial.

Announcing the 108th Annual Fisherman's Feast of the Madonna Del Soccorso, Boston, Massachusetts


February 12, 2018

February 8, 2018

The Search for our Ancestry (XLV)

Collateral Tricks
By Angelo Coniglio
In genealogic terms, your ‘collateral lines’ are branches of your family tree that do not include your direct ancestors. For example: consider your great-great grandfather’s sister, who married and bore children with a different surname than his. This great-great grandaunt, her children and their descendants, all of them, are your relatives. They are a collateral line, as are all the descendants of every sibling of every one of your direct ancestors. As such, they share your ‘blood’, or to express it in modern terms, they share portions of your DNA.
Many researchers spend minimum time investigating their collateral lines. They are interested only in identifying ancestors in a direct line from themselves; or even more narrowly, only the direct ancestors that share their own surname, that is, only their paternal line. However, there are many reasons to do ‘sideways’ or collateral genealogy. Collateral relatives (aunts, uncles or cousins of some degree: first cousins, third cousins twice removed, great-granduncles, etc.) share some of your DNA. If you have your DNA tested by venues such as FamilyTreeDNA, AncestryDNA or 23andMe, the ‘DNA matches’ that they identify for you will most likely be from collateral lines, some as distant as five, six, or more generations. You may then find that when contacted, these relatives might have information about their ancestors who were also yours; that is, common ancestors between you and they..

So doing ‘collateral genealogy’ could help you to contact, correspond with, or even meet living distant relatives. These could be cousins still living in your little ancestral town in the hills of Sicily or Italy, or they could be old neighborhood friends who attended grammar school with you, but neither you nor they ever suspected that they were related to you. I have found relatives in both those categories, and part of the allure of collateral genealogy, to me, is finding relatives who inherited the same physical and behavioral family traits as I.

But there is another valuable application of collateral genealogy. I have previously pointed out that two important questions to resolve are “What were the ancestor’s children’s names, in order of age?” and “What were the ancestor’s siblings’ 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 boy’s paternal grandfather; the first daughter after her paternal grandmother; the second son after his maternal grandfather; and the second daughter after her maternal grandmother. 

Here’s an example of how one can get around a ‘brick wall’ by combining collateral genealogy with the naming convention. I knew the name and approximate birth date (1831) of my great-grandfather, Raimondo Coniglio, but records are missing for the years 1830 – 1832, so I couldn’t find his birth record containing the names of his parents. However, I knew his children (my grandfather and his siblings) born from 1855 through 1865, were named in order of age; Giuseppa, Gaetano (my grandfather), Leonardo, Luciano, and Maria.  From this information, I conjectured that my g-grandfather’s father and mother were named Gaetano and Giuseppa, the names he gave his firstborn of each gender. I then began searching the records for Coniglio births, for the years before and after my great-grandfather’s presumed birth year of 1831.

I found numerous Coniglios born in my ancestral town in that time frame, but Pasquale, born in 1822; Felicia (b. 1824); Antonino (b. 1827; Angelo (b. 1833); and Concetta (b. 1834) were the only ones who were the children of Gaetano Coniglio and Giuseppa Montante. Their parents’ names matched my grandfather and his eldest sister; and the other given names were common in my family. There was a six-year gap between the births of Antonino and Angelo, when the usual difference in age was two or three years. This led me to the conclusion that my great-grandfather Raimondo most likely also was the son of Gaetano Coniglio and Giuseppa Montalto, and that he had named his first son, my grandfather Gaetano, after his own father.  Not iron-clad, but pretty good circumstantial evidence, which was later corroborated when I found Raimondo’s marriage record, which confirmed his birth year and his parents’ names. But while doing the ‘sideways’ search, I had found several great-grand uncles and aunts, whose offspring and descendants are part of my ‘collateral family’.

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 113th Annual Feast of the Madonna di Anzano in Boston, Massachusetts


February 7, 2018

Compra Sud — Ornella Trattoria

Photo by New York Scugnizzo
Let's support those who keep our traditions and folkways alive

Ornella Trattoria
29-17 23rd Avenue
Queens, New York 11105
Tel 718-777-9477


Also see:
Celebrating the Feast of the Immaculate Conception at Ornella Trattoria in Astoria, Queens

Visit our Compra Sud Directory for complete listing

* Our recommendations will be unsolicited, and only from our personal experience. No second hand suggestions will be made.