January 29, 2018

Photo of the Week: Standing Column along the Via Sacra at Parco Archeologico di Paestum

Standing column along the Via Sacra at Parco Archeologico di Paestum, Salerno
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

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

January 23, 2018

Photo of the Week : I Santi Nicola, Domenico e Gennaro by Giovanni Antonio D'Amato

Saints Nicola, Domenico & Gennaro by Giovanni Antonio D'Amato (Napoli, 1594-1643); Museo Civico, Maschio Angioino, Napoli. Photo by New York Scugnizzo

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.

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 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

January 14, 2018

Photo of the Week: Painted Ceramic Depicting Sant'Antonio Abate in Vietri Sul Mare, Salerno

Painted ceramic depicting Sant'Antonio Abate in Vietri sul Mare, Salerno
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

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 8, 2018

Photo of the Week: Coat of Arms of the Royal House of Bourbon–Two Sicilies at the Chiesa dello Santo Spirito dei Napoletani in Rome

Coat of Arms of the Royal House of Bourbon Two Sicilies at the Chiesa dello Santo Spirito dei Napoletani in Rome. Photo courtesy of HE Cav. John M Viola

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

January 2, 2018

Photo of the Week: Sanctuary and High Altar at the Church of Santo Spirito dei Napoletani in Rome

Sanctuary and high altar at the Church of Santo Spirito dei Napoletani in Rome
Photo courtesy of HE Cav. John M. Viola