March 31, 2018

Via Crucis – The Way of the Cross 2018

Bensonhurst’s Good Friday Procession of the Dead Christ
My day began in quiet reflection at the Shrine Church of St. Bernadette in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Despite the cold weather and threat of rain, Italian American Catholics came out in force in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, last night for the annual Good Friday procession and prayer service. 
Led by the Most Reverend Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, parishioners from Saint Athanasius, Saint Dominic, Regina Pacis, Saints Simon and Jude, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Saint Finbar, Saint Mary Mother of Jesus, Saint Bernadette and Saint Frances Cabrini took part in this solemn tradition. They were joined by members of the Italian-American Apostolate, the Knights of Columbus, Gruppo Italiano Sant'Atanasio (G.I.S.A.), the Santa Fortunata Society, the St. Rocco Society of Potenza, and the Associazione Culturale Pugliese Figli Maria SS. Addolorata, among others.
Rotating between the churches, this year Saint Athanasius Church (2154 61st St.) had the honor of hosting the Benediction and prayer service. Bishop DiMarzio concluded the outdoor ceremony in English and Italian with a blessing with the Relic of the True Cross.
Special thanks to John Cordi and the members of the Holy Name Society for organizing the St. Bernadette contingent of the procession
(L) For the first time, the Figli Maria SS. Addolorata statue of Our Lady of Sorrows was used in the procession. (R) The procession began at St. Dominic's
Devotees carry the statue of the Dead Christ through the neighborhood
(L) Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio led us through the cold streets of Brooklyn.
(R) Lucrezia 
Nardulli, president of the Associazione Culturale Pugliese Figli Maria SS. Addolorata, with Msgr. David Cassato, Pastor of St. Athanasius Church  
Devotees take turns carrying the Madonna Addolorata
Members of the Associazione Culturale Pugliese Figli Maria SS. Addolorata
The Knights of Columbus served as Honor Guard
Members of the Holy Name Society of Saint Bernadette
Our friends Rossella (from Cooking with Nonna), Doloros (from the Italian American Podcast) and Andrew
Members of Gruppo Italiano Sant'Atanasio (G.I.S.A.)
Our friends Robert and Enza
from the National Italian American Benevolent Society
Members of the Italian-American Apostolate of St. Mary, Mother of Jesus 
Red Mike Festival Band
Members of St. Dominic's Church 
Members of the St. Frances Cabrini Society of Brooklyn
Members of St. Finbar Church
Thousands gather outside St. Athanasius Church for the prayer service 
Our Lady of Sorrows meets the Dead Christ outside St. Athanasius Church
(L) Blessing with the Relic of the True Cross.
(R) Crucifix outside St. Athanasius school

March 30, 2018

Maundy Thursday — Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Church Visitation and the Altar of Repose

Sepolcri were placed at the foot of the altar at the Shrine Church of St. Bernadette in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Following Thursday’s Mass of the Lord’s Supper at the Shrine Church of St. Bernadette in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, my friends and I visited the Altar of Repose for adoration. After spending time in quiet prayer and meditating on Christ’s loving sacrifice, we moved on to nearby St. Francis Cabrini Church in Bensonhurst and St. Finbar Church in Bath Beach.
At each church we visited the Altar of Repose, said our prayers, and offered traditional southern Italian sepolcri and donations. Sepolcri, or lavureddi, as they are called in Sicilian, are potted wheat or lentil sprouts divested of their color by growing them in the dark. Often decorated with ribbons and flowers, the pallid plants symbolize death and rebirth, and herald the Resurrection on Easter Sunday.
While we were only able to do three churches, it is customary to visit seven on Holy Thursday in remembrance of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane; Jesus bound and taken before Annas; Jesus taken before the High Priest, Caiaphas; Jesus taken before Pilate; Jesus taken before Herod; Jesus taken before Pilate again; and Jesus given the crown of thorns and led to His Crucifixion at Golgotha.
(Above & below) Before Mass, I helped my friend Stephen LaRocca & his family deliver thirteen sepolcri to Msgr. Thomas Caserta, Pastor of St. Bernadette's
The Altar of Repose at the Shrine Church of Saint Bernadette
After "the watching," when the Eucharist is processed to the altar of repose, hundreds of parishioners lined up to light candles and for adoration
The Altar of Repose at Saint Francis Cabrini Church in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn 
The Pietà inside St. Francis Cabrini Church 
The Altar of Repose at Saint Finbar Church in Bath Beach, Brooklyn

March 29, 2018

Observing Holy Tuesday with the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George in New York City

Eighth Station: Jesus meets the women
of Jerusalem.
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
By Cav. John Napoli
On March 27th, the sixth and final Tuesday of Lent, the Knights of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George gathered at the Shrine Church of the Most Precious Blood in New York City’s historic Little Italy to pray the Rosary and meditate on the Stations of the Cross. The six-week Lenten devotion has been a rewarding opportunity for our New York/New Jersey brethren to come together in prayer and fellowship, and prepare our hearts for the Resurrection.
Being the second of the Thirteen Tuesdays of Prayer leading up to the June 13th Feast of Sant’Antonio da Padova, we added prayers and meditations to the “Hammer of Heretics” to our hebdomadal observance. As luck would have it, the church is in possession of several relics, including Saint Anthony’s, and we were given an extraordinary chance to venerate them. 
(L) Reliquaries in the vesting sacristy.
(R) The St. Anthony of Giovinazzo Society statue of Sant'Antonio
As expected, Most Precious Blood will no longer be staying open late on Tuesdays, so unless we can work something out with the church our little coterie will have to find a new location to keep our Tuesday night prayer sessions going. We will keep you posted.
In the meantime, I wish you all a blessed Giovedì Santo, Buon Venerdì and a Buona Pasqua! IHSV

March 26, 2018

Photo of the Week: Bronze Doors from the Chiesa del Sacro Cuore di Gesù, Salerno

Bronze doors from the Chiesa del Sacro Cuore di Gesù, Salerno
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

March 25, 2018

Observing the 2018 Friday of Sorrows at Most Precious Blood Church in Little Italy, New York

Ave Maria!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Friday evening, the Knights of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George joined some 40 pilgrims at Most Precious Blood Church (113 Baxter St.) in Little Italy, New York to celebrate the Friday of Sorrows in honor of Maria Santissima Addolorata (Our Lady of Sorrows). The Mass was offered for Palma Tropiano-Gangone, the Order’s late Grand Master HRH Prince don Ferdinando Maria di Borbone of the Two Sicilies, and persecuted Christians around the world.
HRH Prince don Ferdinando Maria di Borbone and Palma Tropiano-Gangone
Confessions were heard prior to Mass by homilist Fr. Christopher Salvatori SAC, Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in East Harlem, New York.
Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form was celebrated by the Very Rev. Msgr. Cav. Joseph Ambrosio, Chaplain of the Order and Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Newark, New Jersey. Fr. Stephen Saffron, Parochial Vicar at St. Anselm Church in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn was the deacon, and Fr. Edmund Luciano, Parochial Vicar at St. Bernard of Clairvaux Church in Bridgewater, New Jersey was the subdeacon. The sacred ministers were dutifully assisted by MC Lorenzo Tinio, thurifer Teddy Thongratnachat, crucifer Tom Gilmore, acolytes Brian McGuire and Joseph Lucia, and members of the Church of the Holy Innocents Schola Cantorum. 
(L) Most Precious Blood's Pietà. (R) Once again, our friend Michael kindly lent us his beautiful statue of Our Lady of Sorrows for the Mass
A firebrand in the pulpit, Fr. Salvatori spoke at length about the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary's grief and desolation. Striking a chord with many in attendance, I don’t recall the last time I heard so many people discussing a sermon after Mass.
HE Delegate Cav. John M. Viola, Vice-Chancellor Cav. Patrick O’Boyle, Dame Luisa Maria Cristfano and Rosanna Minervini, and Cavalieri Thomas Barra, Rocco Berardi, Thomas Crane, Nicholas Fedeli, Vincent Gangone, John Napoli, Anthony O’Boyle, Joseph Panepinto Jr., and Charles Sant’Elia were in attendance. 
Mass concluded with the solemn veneration of the Relic of True Cross.
Christ the Redeemer
Many thanks to Msgr. Donald Sakano, Pastor of Most Precious Blood Church and the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, Bill Russo, Eddie, Emily and the rest of the Parish family for your continued warmth and hospitality. Thank you to the members of the Congregazione Maria Ss. del Sacro Monte di Novi Velia Salerno di Jersey City, New Jersey, USA and the St. Rocco Society of Potenza in New York for your much appreciated help and support. Special thanks to Michael Verra for sharing your beautiful statue of the Madonna Addolorata with us. It was an honor and a privilege to celebrate our faith and culture with you at Most Precious Blood. Ave Maria!
(L) The Society of Our Lady of Sacro Monte color guard. (R) Cav. Charles Sant'Elia with the flag of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
(L) Cav. Sant'Elia. (R) Cav. Nicholas Fedele with the Order's Labarum 
Knights and dames process down the aisle
Dame Luisa Maria Cristfano and Rosanna Minervini 
Cavalieri Thomas Barra, Vincent Gangone and Rocco Berardi
Cavalieri Joseph Panepinto Jr., Anthony O’Boyle and Thomas Crane 
Knights and parishioners fill the pews 
(Above and below) Celebrating Solemn High Mass
Glorious San Gennaro 
Deacon Fr. Saffron sings the Gospel
Fr. Salvatori gave an inspiring sermon 
(L) The Crucifix and Relic of the True Cross were veiled for Lent.
(R) Monsignor incensing the altar during the 
Receiving Holy Communion
Meditating after Holy Communion 
Worshipers venerate the Relic of the True Cross
After Mass, Monsignor was given a beautiful antique print of HM Blessed Maria Cristina, Queen of the Two Sicilies, for his 70th Birthday