July 31, 2014

A Look Inside the Santa Febronia Chapel, Hoboken, New Jersey

Evviva Santa Febronia!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli

During Saturday’s Saint Ann Procession through Hoboken, New Jersey (see upcoming post), we made several stops along the way. Some were simply for food and water, while others were to offer a benediction outside the homes of sick, elderly and deceased relatives who could not be with us. To my delight, near the end of the Procession we paid our respects at the historic Santa Febronia Chapel on 557 Fifth Street, between Monroe and Madison streets, before returning to Saint Ann's Church.

Dedicated to Santa Febronia di Patti and the Madonna di Tindari, the chapel was built by Sicilian immigrants who founded the Societá di Mutuo Soccorso Santa Febronia Patti e Circondario in 1922. Once a flourishing house of devotion and community center, changes in demographics and faith have taken its toll on the aging society and its ability to maintain our traditions. From what I’ve been told, the chapel is only opened two or three times a year.

My friends informed me beforehand we would be making a brief visit to the chapel, and, knowing my interests, I should not miss it. I could tell by their excitement that I was in for something special, but their descriptions did no justice to how amazing it really is. The statues of Santa Febronia and the Madonna Nera blew me away. Although stylistically different, both are wonderful expressions of southern Italian faith and devotion. After a short stop, the Procession continued along its course. 

Afterward, I wanted to get a better look at the chapel and its magnificent collection of artifacts, so I returned posthaste. Luckily for me it was still open. Just beating the rain, I found it empty, so I had a chance to sit alone in quiet reflection, say a prayer for my ancestors, then take a few pictures and get a better look at the treasures on display. One of many highlights, it was a real privilege for me to see this old-world oasis in the heart of Hoboken.
Societá di Mutuo Soccorso Santa Febronia Chapel on Fifth Street 
A view from the nave
The chancel 
Santa Febronia di Patti seen from multiple angles
Evviva Maria! 
La Madonna Nera seen from multiple angles
A close up of the heads 
A close up of the infant Jesus’ hands
The society standard behind the Madonna Nera 
Santa Lucia to the left of the Madonna di Tindari 
Candle stand to the right of Santa Febronia 
Encased in glass, the Dead Christ is enshrined behind the altar 
The East Wall

July 30, 2014

A Look at the 2014 Our Lady of Snow Candlelight Procession, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Evviva Maria! 
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
The 126th Annual Feast of Our Lady of Snow, patroness of Sanza (SA), kicked-off Sunday in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with a procession through the neighborhood and novena in honor of the Madonna della Neve at Saint Francis of Paola Church. After Mass we made our way back by candlelight to the society's hall for some lite fare and plenty of laughs. I would like to thank the members of the Our Lady of Snow Society, particularly Vincenzo and Teresa, for their warm and generous hospitality. As always, they did a terrific job.

The Feast Day of Our Lady of Snow will be celebrated on Tuesday, August 5th. The Procession will begin at 8:00AM from the society hall located at 410 Graham Avenue. Mass will be celebrated at 11:00AM at Saint Francis of Paola Church at 219 Conselyea Street. For more information please visit the Our Lady of Snow Society on Facebook.

The Madonna della Neve is presented to the crowd
The color guard proceeds down Woodpoint Road
The procession leaves Our Lady of Snow Hall 
We stopped for a moment of silence by the Society of St. Mary of the Snow Square on the corner of Herbert Street and Graham Avenue
The Giglio Band were awesome, just like always 
The Ladies carry Our Lady
Proud papa Vincenzo photobombs Amanda's lift 
The Madonna della Neve in San Francesco di Paola Church 
Leaving the Church 
Making our way back to the hall 
It's always good to see Vincenza, Elena and Amanda  
A wonderful tribute to our past

July 16, 2014

A Look at the 2014 Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and San Paolino di Nola, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Co-patrons of the Feast: San Paolino di Nola And Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Evviva Maria! Evviva San Paolino! Here is a glimpse of the pageantry and passion that went into Sunday's (July 13th) Dance of the Giglio, a time honored southern-Italian American tradition that combines the devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel with San Paolino di Nola.

For more on the history of the Feast in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Nola, Italy, please see the links at the bottom of this post.
The Paranza Parade makes its way to the fairgrounds
This year's giglio was a masterpiece
The lifters show tremendous spirit 
The "Grand Turk" Mark Mascioli
Launching the boat 
The Societies were well represented: (R-L) Marco (Maria SS. Dell'Assunta Society), Elena (Club Sassanese d'America), Vincenzo and Amanda (Our Lady of Snow Society) 
It was great to see our friends from the St. Alfio Society of Lawrence, Massachusetts 
Another fantastic turnout for the Feast
Forza Napoli!
Everyone had a good time
Elyse celebrating at Lou's Clam Bar
The "S.S. Gino" sets sail for the giglio for the"double lift" 
Strength and brotherhood
Returning the boat to port

July 15, 2014

A Look at the 2014 Feast of Santa Marina, Inwood, Long Island

Evviva Santa Marina!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli

Saturday, July 12th, I made my way to Inwood, Long Island for the 53rd Annual Feast of Santa Marina Vergine, patroness of Filandari, Calabria. It was standing room only at beautiful Our Lady of Good Council Church (68 Wanser Ave.), as devotees came from far and wide to celebrate Mass and march in the Procession. 

During his homily, Father Tutone gave an inspiring account of the Saint’s life and commended the Santa Marina Society for their cultural and spiritual devotion. Throughout the ceremony, beautiful choral music reverberated all through the church from the organ balcony. 

The service ended with a delightful performance by the children’s choir. Some dressed as Santa Marina, others the orphan “Fortunato” from her hagiography. The little angels sang two beautiful devotional hymns in honor of their beloved patron and were rewarded with resounding applause from the proud audience.

After Mass we gathered outside the church for the procession. The crowd cheered as the Saint made her appearance and rushed to pin their donations onto her ribbons. Following the National Anthem, festivities got rolling as The Our Lady of Good Council Marching Band led the celebrants through the quiet streets of Inwood. Luckily, we were blessed with a beautiful sunny day and a gentle breeze from the nearby bay.

Upon our return to the fairgrounds, we were treated to a deafening fireworks display. The Saint was placed inside an outdoor chapel and family and friends took turns taking pictures with the statue. We enjoyed some refreshments and talked some more before saying our goodbyes.

Even though this was my first time attending the celebration, the Santa Marina Society welcomed me with a warmth that was second to none. Members gladly shared their stories with me and treated me like I was one of their own. I would especially like to thank President Salvatore Cimato, Vice President Marino Curra and Secretary–Treasurer Giovanni Curra for their hard work and dedication. It was a real honor to celebrate with them and I look forward to returning next year. 
After Mass devotees pin money onto the statue
Frankie Tullo (r.) and the Color Guard lead the way
The Procession leaves Our Lady of Good Council Church
The Our Lady of Good Council Band
To carry the Saint is a special honor
Rosa DeLuca and John Zanni show their support
There was a tremendous turnout for the celebration
Baby's first Feast
Wending our way through Inwood
This cutie has the best seat in the house
Another look at the Procession
President Salvatore Cimato and his lovely family
Revelers enjoy the festivities
After a couple of hours, the Procession heads back to the church
Santa Marina is placed in her outdoor chapel
After the Procession we enjoyed a flurry of fireworks
I would like to give a special shout-out to (L-R) Vice President Marino Curra, President Salvatore Cimato and Secretary–Treasurer Giovanni Curra for their hard work and dedication. They do a tremendous job keeping our traditions alive
Photo courtesy of Annette Cimato