April 8, 2018

Translating the Madonna del Soccorso di Sciacca to Most Precious Blood Church in Little Italy

Devotees gather outside the Italian American Museum to help move the statue
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli
Saturday afternoon (April 7th), the statue of the Madonna del Soccorso di Sciacca was translated from the Italian American Museum (155 Mulberry St.) to the Shrine Church of the Most Precious Blood (113 Baxter St.) in Little Italy, New York. After ten years, the museum is closing for renovations and the statue, which once belonged to the defunct San Calogero Society on Elizabeth Street, has found a new home at the historic church. What’s more, it was reunited with the statue of San Calogero, which also belonged to the old society.
A final look at the Madonna del
Soccorso inside the museum
Arriving early, I had the opportunity to speak with several members of the newly formed Madonna del Soccorso and San Calogero di Sciacca Society. Full of fond memories about the old feast, they are very enthusiastic about starting up the celebration for their beloved patrons again and plan on organizing an annual Mass and block party on Elizabeth Street.
Thankfully, the weather was fine and the move went off without a hitch. For now, the statue was placed on a small pedestal outside the Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel near the rear of the church. Matching plinths are in the works for the Madonna and San Calogero, so they won’t have to stand so low to the ground.
Thank you to Angel Marinaccio, Ernest Magliato and all the other members of the new Madonna del Soccorso and San Calogero di Sciacca Society for your hard work and devotion. We wish you much success and look forward to celebrating our faith and culture together in the coming years. 
The soon-to-be renovated Italian American Museum
Thank you to Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa, President of the Italian American Museum, for watching over the statue all these years. We appreciate your dedication to our community and eagerly await the grand reopening of the revamped Italian American Museum. 
Special thanks to Stephen LaRocca, president of the St. Rocco Society of Potenza, for serving as legal advisor and liaison between the nascent society and Msgr. Donald Sakano, Pastor of Most Precious Blood. An unsung hero in our community, Stephen was instrumental in securing a place for the statue at the church.  
Many thanks to Msgr. Sakano, Project Manager Bill Russo, Emily DePalo, Eddie, Tom, and the rest of the parish family for your continued warmth and hospitality. Thanks to you, Most Precious Blood continues to be a staunch bastion of southern Italian faith and culture.
God bless you all; Evviva Maria!
(L) Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa and Angel Marinaccio.
(R) Angel and Connie look after Our Lady's crown and veil
The statue leaves the museum...
...and is carefully placed in the car 
Satan got cold-cocked
Our Lady armed with a cudgel
The statue is carried into Most Precious Blood
and temporarily placed on a small 
The veil and crown are placed back on to the statue
Society members take a commemorative photo 
Evviva Maria! 
A close-up of the statue's base