April 30, 2015

Celebrating the Feast of Saint George with the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George

Members of the U.S. Delegation of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George are joined by several Orders for their patronal feast day 
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli

Last Thursday, for the Feast of St. George (April 23rd), I had the great pleasure of attending my first Tridentine Mass at historic Holy Innocents Church (128 West 37th St.) in Manhattan. Also known as the Traditional Latin Mass, or Old Mass, the Liturgy is so solemn and moving that it simply must be experienced. Invited by the U.S. Delegation of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George, I can think of no better way to celebrate the Saint’s Feast Day than to be surrounded by the Knights and Dames of his Order.

The Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was sung by celebrant and homilist Cav. Rev. Msgr. Joseph F. Ambrosio. During his homily, Monsignor spoke at length about the Order and Christian chivalry. The service was enriched by a brilliant performance of Saverio Mercadante's (1795-1870) celebrated Mass for Three Voices by the Schola Cantorum of Holy Innocents. My experience was further elevated with the opportunity to venerate a first-class relic of Saint George.

The Mass concluded with the Prayer of the Order, a thunderous rendition of Inno al Re, the national anthem of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies composed by Giovanni Paisiello (1740-1816), and a few kind words from His Excellency Cav. John M. Viola, U.S. Delegate of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George.

Afterward, guests joined the Knights for dinner and drinks at nearby Arno Ristorante. We enjoyed a sumptuous four-course meal filled with interesting conversation. It felt good to mingle with like-minded people and make new friends.

I want to thank HE John M. Viola and all the members of the Order for their gracious hospitality. It was an honor to stand among you during the Feast of Saint George. Evviva San Giorgio!
A look inside historic Holy Innocents Church.
The Crucifixion by Constantino Brumidi on the East Wall
The Holy Innocent's Schola Cantorum
Very Rev. Msgr. Joseph F. Ambrosio, Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Newark, New Jersey spoke at length about the Order and Christian chivalry
The faithful prepare to receive Holy Communion at the altar rail
Members of the Order venerate the first-class relic of St. George
HE Cav. John M. Viola, Delegate of the Sacred Military 
Constantinian Order of St. George, addresses the audience
(Above & below) Departing Holy Innocents Church
(L-R) Hon. Cav. Pasquale Menna, Esq. 
and HE Cav. John M. Viola, Delegate of the United States Delegation
The first-class relic of Saint George
A toast and a prayer before dinner

April 28, 2015

A Look at the 2015 Feast of Maria SS. Della Misericordia in Brooklyn, New York

Evviva Maria!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli

Hundreds of devotees gathered at the Shrine Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn Sunday afternoon (April 26th) to celebrate the annual Feast of Maria SS. della Misericordia (Our Lady of Mercy), patroness of Fontanarosa in Provincia di Avellino. Warmly welcomed, we celebrated Mass in English and Italian with Father Michael Zunno. The crowning moment (pun intended) came with the coronation of the Madonna and Child with the triple diadem, recalling the legend of the discovery of the sacred image of the Blessed Mother in a well. Three times the effigy was brought to the church, and three times it miraculously returned to the well until finally the townspeople decided to build a sanctuary at the location.

After Mass, Our Lady was brought out to the expectant crowd with much fanfare by Anthony’s Italian American Marching Band. The statue was placed on a float and accompanied by a group of adorable children dressed as Papal Guards, Angels and (in the case of one lucky young lady) the Madonna. Blessed with terrific weather, the procession sauntered through the neighborhood, stopping on occasion so parishioners could offer donations.
A couple of hours later, we returned to OLMC for the benediction and the statue was placed back in its place of honor in the church’s impressive “Hall of Saints.” The celebration continued next door in the school gymnasium, where we were treated to a splendid repast replete with all our favorite southern Italian delicacies. In addition to the food, partygoers enjoyed plenty of music, dancing and good company. The evening ended with a raffle drawing full of wonderful prizes.
I want to thank President Joe DiTalia and all the members of the Società di Maria SS. della Misericordia for their hard work and dedication. With the many challenges facing our community, it is no easy task maintaining our beloved cultural and religious traditions. They did a fantastic job and deserve our thanks and praise. I especially want to thank Buffy, Franca and Rosa for their warmth and hospitality. They went above and beyond to make me feel welcome. Needless to say, I always have a good time at these events, but this group is up there with the best of them. I look forward to celebrating with them again next year. Evviva Maria!
Children offer roses to Our Lady 
Young ladies present the crowns for the coronation
President Joe DiTalia crowns the Madonna and Child 
Adorable Ivana and Alexander with proud mama, Franca Zollo-Soric
The society's pride and joy 
Hark! Who goes there?
The Swiss Guard have nothing on these diligent little soldiers 
Leaving Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church 
The statue is carried to the float 
The young ones ride on the float with the statue
Young ladies carry the society banner
Members rally around the standard
The color guard led the way
The procession passes Mount Carmel Triangle, a memorial for the original location of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church
Members take turns carrying the standard
Anthony's Italian American Marching Band
Young ladies collect donations and hand out prayer cards 
The procession makes its way through the neighborhood 
The parade returns to the church 
The festivities continued next door in the gymnasium

April 27, 2015

Congratulations Lorenzo On Your First Holy Communion

April 25, 2015
Congratulations Lorenzo on your first Holy Communion. May God's love and blessings be with you always.

Photo of the Week: Fontana del Carciofo

Fontana del Carciofo (Artichoke Fountain), Napoli. Public fountain in the Piazza Trieste e Trento (formally Piazza San Ferdinando), inaugurated on April 29, 1956. Photo by New York Scugnizzo

April 20, 2015

Photo of the Week: Painted Ceramic Wall in Vietri

Painted ceramic wall depicting a Saracen slave raid in Vietri sul Mare 
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

April 16, 2015

A Look at the 2015 Festa Della Madonna Dell'Arco in Ridgewood, Queens

The fujenti arrive at the church with a picture of the Madonna dell'Arco
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Sunday, April 12th, dozens of pilgrims and fujenti (devotees of the Madonna of the Arch) gathered at St. Matthias Church in Ridgewwod, Queens for the Third Annual Festa Della Madonna Dell'Arco. Mass was celebrated in Italian with Father Vincent Miceli, followed by a short procession around the parish to the nearby Peter Cardella Senior Citizen Center. The celebration continued inside the center's Senator Maltese Hall, where about 200 revelers enjoyed a sumptuous meal, terrific music and lots of dancing with DJ Millennium.

I want to thank Nicola Trombetta, President of the Federazione delle Associazioni della Campania USA, for inviting me. Special thanks to President Giovanni Toscano, his wife Barbara and the rest of the Società Madonna SS. dell'Arco for their hard work and giving us this wonderful opportunity to come together as a community and celebrate our faith and our culture. I had a terrific time and look forward to celebrating with you again next year. Evviva Maria!
Entering Saint Matthias Church
Devotees kneel and pray before the image of the Blessed Mother
After Mass, members of the Società Madonna SS. dell'Arco gather outside Saint Matthias Church for a few pictures
It's alway great to see our friends from the Società Gioventú Quagliettana
The procession saunters through the neighborhood
A good turnout on a beautiful Sunday afternoon
The fujenti sang hymns along the way
(Above and below) celebrants pose for pictures with the image of the Madonna
back at the Peter Cardella Senior Citizen Center
Frances (right) and the gang enjoying the festivities at the center

April 13, 2015

Photo of the Week: The Bay of Naples

A view of the world famous Bay of Naples 
Photo by New York Scugnizzo