January 31, 2019

Lithograph of Blessed Maria Cristina of Savoy, Queen of the Two Sicilies

B. Nov. 14, 1812, Cagliari—D. Jan. 31, 1836, Napoli
In honor of her Feast Day, we’re posting a picture of a lithographic print of Blessed Maria Cristina of Savoy, the first Queen Consort of Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies, from the private collection of John M. Viola. 

January 28, 2019

Photo of the Week: Beato Carlo Magno, Facade of the Chiesa di San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome

Beato Carlo Magno, Chiesa di San Luigi dei Francesi, Roma
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

January 26, 2019

New Music: Neapolitan Cantatas by Hasse, Mancini, Porpora, Porsile

New music that may be of interest to our readers.

Neapolitan Cantatas by Hasse, Mancini, Porpora, Porsile

Label: Brilliant Classics
Release Date: February 8, 2019
Audio CD: $na
Number of Discs: 1

Available at Amazon.com

Read description

January 24, 2019

Our New Header

Many thanks to John Viola for designing our beautiful new header. Replete with southern Italian imagery and symbolism, the illustration perfectly captures the spirit of the blog. It is an honor and a privilege to have such a well respected and important leader of our community take notice of our work and believe enough in our mission to take the time to create original artwork for us. John has always been supportive of our work and in the past has allowed us the use of some of his photos, but this is above and beyond generous. He's a true friend and we cannot thank him enough for this wonderful gift.
Unfortunately the blog’s template doesn’t allow the header to expand, so we’re posting the image here, highlighting some details, in an attempt to circumvent the limitation and allow viewers to get a better look.
On the right side of the header we see the demigod Heracles, son of Zeus and Alcmene, reclining on a sun-drenched hilltop somewhere in Sicily. Swathe in the skin of the Nemean lion, the burly hero holds a golden fleur-de-lis, the ancient symbol of the Royal House of Bourbon. At his side lies a toppled pillar and a bust of Archimedes, Sicily’s greatest inventor and mathematician. In the background Mt. Etna smolders.
To the left, we see the Siren Partenope emerging from the Sea holding aloft the coat-of-arms of the Royal House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. Hovering above is Tyche, the Greek goddess of fortune and prosperity. Her mural crown with an unbridled horse on the crest is the emblem of the city of Naples. The tutelary deity also carries a golden shield emblazoned with the Trinacria, the ancient symbol of Sicily. Behind them sprawls Napoli, the capital of the ancient kingdom, and her beautiful Bay. Looming in the distance is sleeping Vesuvius. 

January 23, 2019

Birthday Weekend

Enjoying dinner and drinks at Peppino's with my San Rocco confratelli
Many thanks to family and friends for a terrific birthday weekend, may God bless you all!
Boys Night Out
The festivities began Friday night with my San Rocco Society brethren at the always roisterous monthly “boys’ night out” dinner at Peppino’s Restaurant (7708 3rd Ave.) in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Looking to pick up where we left off the night before at the falò di Sant'Antuono, our jovial party ate and drank its fill of chef Mancino’s hearty fare. 

Seppie ripiene al forno

In addition to the usual hot and cold antipasti (insalata di mare, vongole al forno, cozze alla marinara, etc.) we were treated to a couple of the evening specials, crostini con burrata and tender seppie ripiene al forno, stuffed cuttlefish.

Crostini con burrata
For my entrée I enjoyed the perfectly cooked baccalà oreganata with a side of scarola aglio e olio.
Baccalà oreganata
A bit knackered from the two days of revelry (and drawing near to closing time), we eventually called it a night, capping off the celebration with digestivi, coffee and dessert, and to my surprise a rousing, if somewhat off-key, rendition of Happy Birthday.
Books and Booze
Saturday, an old friend surprised me with a few thoughtful gifts. Knowing I’m a bit of a bibliophile and what my interests are, he gave me Emilio Lussu’s A Soldier on the Southern Front (Rizzoli Ex Libris, 2014), E.M. Cioran’s Tears and Saints (University of Chicago Press, 1998), and a bottle of Jägermeister.
I’ve been meaning to read Lussu’s classic WWI memoir for a while, now its next on my never-ending reading list. Cioran is an old favorite, whom I haven’t leafed through in ages. A few years back, I was enthralled with the Franco-Romanian philosopher and binge-read whatever I could find by him, as I'm wont to do when I discover a new writer that I find interesting. They are welcome new editions to my library and I look forward to reading them both.
The Jägermeister harks back to our younger days, when the herbal liqueur was our drink of choice while sitting around the campfire. Though it’s been some time since I’ve gone camping (and it's much easier now to find southern Italian amaro), we still enjoy doing shots after dinner whenever my friends and I eat at a German restaurant. We always have a glass on September 20th for the Feast of Sant’Eustachio (Saint Eustace), who along with Saint Hubertus is the inspiration for the stag and radiant cross logo on the label.
Cavatelli con ragù alla Napoletana
Birthday Tradition
After morning Mass, I spent a relaxing day with family playing chess, watching the playoffs, and enjoying our traditional Sunday repast, replete with southern Italian delicacies, including my favorite, cavatelli con ragù alla Napoletana.
Though far less extravagant, my customary birthday dinner vies with Christmas Eve (la vigilia di Natale), St. Joseph’s Day (la tavola di San Giuseppe) and Thanksgiving for my favorite meal of the year. Failing to blow out the 50 candles on my cake on the first try, my wish didn’t come true, and like all good things must, my amazing birthday weekend came to an end. 

January 21, 2019

Photo of the Week: Commemorative Medal for the 280th Anniversary of the Coronation of Carlo di Borbone

Commemorative medal from the private collection of John M. Viola
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

January 19, 2019

Meridiunalata IX: "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe Translated into Neapolitan

In this installment of Meridiunalata/Southernade, Cav. Charles Sant'Elia translates "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe into Neapolitan. Up to now we have only published the vernacular (Neapolitan, Sicilian, et al.) works of contemporary and historical Duosiciliano poets into English; however, we thought in celebration of Poe's 210th birthday (he was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 19, 1809) it would be fun to translate the work of one of our favorite American poets into Neapolitan.

The Raven
Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
          Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
          Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
          This it is and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—
          Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there 

      wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—
          Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
          ’Tis the wind and nothing more!”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
          Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure 

      no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
          Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
          With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
          Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
          Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, 

      and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
          Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
          She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an 

      unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he 

      hath sent thee
Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
          Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
          Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
          Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, 

“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from 

      off my door!”
          Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
          Shall be lifted—nevermore!

Lo Cuorvo
Edgar Allan Poe
(traduzione napoletana di Cav. Charles Sant’Elia)

Na mezanotte cupa, pe tramente i’ stancato e débbule, penzavo,
Ncopp’a assaje libbre curiuse e bizzarre de storia scurdata—
Pe tramente capozzejavo, quase addormuto, de botta venette 

      no tozzolejà,
Comme fosse quaccheduno tozzolejanno, tozzolejanno a la porta de 

      la cámmera mia.
"Nce stesse no visitatore" me dicette nfra de mme "ca tozzoléja a la porta de la cámmera mia—
          Sulo chesto e niente cchiù. "

Ah, m’arrecordo chiaro e tunno chillo dicembre cupo e niro; 
E d’ogne tezzone ca mureva smiccejavo ‘o fantésema ncopp’a lo suolo.
Co mpaciénzia vulevo lo juorno;—mmáttola cercavo
da li libbre mieje sullazzo de lo dulore—dulore pe la Lenora perduta—
Pe la picciotta rara e brillante ca li ángele chiámmano Lenora—
          Ca nisciuno ccà, ha dda chiammà maje cchiù.

E co lo fruscio appecundruto de seta d’ogne tenna purpúreja
Me sentevo lo friddo ncuollo—me regneva co paure fantastiche 

      maje sentute;
Ca mo, pe fà stà zitto lo vátteto de lo core mio, i’ tornavo a dícere:
“Nce stesse no visitatore ca cerca de trasì a la porta de la 

      cámmera mia—
Quaccheduno attardato ca cerca de trasì a la porta de la 

      cámmera mia;—
          È sulo chesto e niente cchiù.”

Po me facette cchiù core e senza cchiù me ntricà
"Signore," i’ dicette, "o Signora, ve prego, perdonáteme,
Ma stevo no poco addurmuto, e accossì lieggio veníveve a tozzolejà,
Ca sto tozzolejà vuosto m’ha fatto dubbità
De v’avè sentuto overamente".- Po ccà i’ spaparanzaje la porta:—
          Nce steva lo scuro e niente cchiù.

Tenenno mente int’a lo scuro, assaje i’ restaje, pensano, 

      metténnome appaura,
Dubbitanno, sunnanno suonne ca nisciuno cristiano ha osato 

      sunnà maje primma;
Ma lo silenzio nun fuje rutto, e la carma nun dette treva,
E la sola parola lloco pronunziata fuje, “Lenora?”
Chesta i’ zuzzurraje, e n’eco accopp’a la mano ace 

      murmulejaje, “Lenora!”—
          Sulo chesto e niente cchiù.

Int’a la cámmera mia votanno, tutta l’ánema mia c’abbrusciava,
Ampressa n’ata vota sentette a no tozzolejà no tantillo chi 

      forte de primma.
“Cierto” dicette i’, “cierto ha dda éssere quaccosa a la mposta mia;
Famme vedé, po, chello ca nce stesse, e chisto mistério appurà—
Fa’ stà cojeto lo core mio no momento e chisto mistério appurà;—
          È lo viento e niente cchiù!”

Tanno i’ spaparanzaje la mposta, quanno, sbattenno assaje le scelle,
Trasette no Cuorvo majestuso de li tiempe sante antiche;
Manco na leverénzia facette isso; manco no zico se fremmaje 

      o restaje;
Ma, co aria de damma o de cavaliere, se posaje ncopp’a la porta mia—
Se posaje ncopp’a no busto de Minerva ncopp’a la porta mia—
          Se posaje, e s’assettaje, e niente cchiù.

Po chist’auciello d’ébbano co lo decoro austero e tuosto de la 

      faccia soja
Mezzejaje le fantasíe appecundrose mieje a no sorriso,
“Pure si la cresta toja è rasata e carosella,” dicette i’, “tu nun sì 

      no meschino,
Cuorvo tristemente cupo e antico, arrante da la riva Notturna—
Qual’è lo nomme nóbbele tujo a la riva Plutonia de la Notte!”
          Dicette lo Cuorvo “Maje Cchiù.”

Assaje mme maravegliaje a sentì parlà accossì chiaro 

      st’auciello sgrazziato,
Pure si la resposta soja poco vuleva dì—poca rilevanza teneva;
Ca tuttequante fósseno d’accordo ca nisciuno cristiano
Ha maje visto ncopp’a la porta soja—
Nè auciello nè béstia ncopp’a lo busto ncopp’a la porta soja,
          Co tanto de nomme comm’a “Maje Cchiù.”

Ma lo Cuorvo, assettato sulagno ncopp’a lo busto práceto, dicette sulo
Chelle parole, comme si tutta l’ánema jettava int’a chelle llà,
Niente cchiù dicette—manco na penna sbattette—
Nfì ca nun murmulejaje “Ate compagne già volájeno—
Craje isso m’ha dda lassà, comme già volájeno le speranze meje.”
          Tanno l’auciello dicette “Maje Cchiù.”

Appaurato a lo silénzio rutto da tale resposta justo justo parlata,
“Certamente,” dicette i’, “chello ca dice ha dda éssere lo solo 

      repertório sujo
Mparato da quacche patrone poveriello ca da lo Desasto spiatato
Secutato e secutato ampressa nfì ca no sulo ritornello tenetténo 

      li cante suoje—
Nfì ca li cante fúnebbre de la Speranza soja chillo piso 

      malincóneco portájeno
          De ‘Maje—maje cchiù’.”

Ma lo Cuorvo ancora abbaglianno tutte le fantasie meje nzí a la resella,
I’ jettaje nnanz’a l’auciello, lo busto e la porta na potrona vellutata;
Po, pe tramente lo velluto cadeva, me mettevo a penzà
Fantasia appriess’a fantasia, penzanno ca st’auciello malauriuso 

Che cosa maje chist’auciello sivero, sgrazziato, malauriuso e turdo
          Voleva dícere ciaulejanno “Maje Cchiù.”

Accossí rommanevo assettato, addivinanno, ma senza dì na parola
A ll’auciello co ll’uocchie suoje ca m’abbrusciávano ncore;
Chesto e ate cose ancora addivinavo, co la capa mia
Acalata ncopp’a lo velluto de lo cuscino addò luceva la lampa,
Ncopp’a lo culore viola de lo velluto addò luceva,
          Chillo ca Essa nun ha dda prémmere, ah, maje cchiù!

Po, me pareva ca l’aria se faceva cchiù denza, profumata 

      da no ncenziere annascuso,
Pennulejato da Zarrafine, li passe lloro rentinnejanno 

      ncopp’a lo tappeto.
“Meschino,” i’ alluccaje, “Dio t’ha mannato- co chist’ángele 

      t’ha mannato
Abbiento—abbiento e nepente da le memmórie de Lenora;
Vevetillo, oh vevetillo chisto nepente e scordatella cheta 

      Lenora perduta!”
          Dicette lo Cuorvo, “Maje Cchiù”

“Profeta!” dicette i’, “cosa de lo male!—profeta pure, si auciello 

      o diávulo!—
O mannato da ll’Avverzário, o trascinato da lla tempesta a rriva ccà,
Desolato ma nzisto, a sta terra deserta e affatata—
A sta casa da ll’Orrore secutato—dimmello, famme sta grázia—
Nce sta—nce sta no bárzamo a Gallâde?—dimme—dimme, 

      famme sta grázia!”
          Dicette lo Cuorvo “Maje Cchiù.”

“Profeta!” dicette i’, “cosa de lo male!—profeta pure, si auciello 

      o diávulo!
Pe lo Cielo ca da llà ncoppa s’acala a nuje—pe chillo Dio ca 

      addorammo nuje duje—
Di’ a st’ánema addulorata mia, si a ll’Èddene lontano,
Ha dda abbraccià n’ata vota a na picciotta santa ca li ángele 

      chiámmano Lenora—
Ha dda abbraccià a na picciotta rara e brillante ca li ángel 

      chiámmano Lenora.”
          Dicette lo Cuorvo “Maje Cchiù.”

“Ca fósseno le parole d’addio, auciello o criatura de lo male!” 

      i’ alluccaje, auzánnome—
“Tornatenne a lla tempesta e a lla riva Plutonia de la Notte!
Nun lassà na sola penna nera comme signo de la buscía ch’he ditto!
Lassa l’appecundría mia accossí!—lassa lo busto ncopp’a lla porta mia!
Leva lo pizzo da dint’a lo core mio, e la fiura toja d’accopp’a lla porta!”
          Dicette lo Cuorvo “Maje Cchiù.”

E lo Cuorvo, maje sbolacchianno, sta ancora assettato, 

      ancora assettato
Ncopp’a lo busto pálleto de Minerva justo ncopp’a la porta 

      de la cámmera mia;
E páreno ll’uocchie suoje própeto chille de no demmónio ca sonna,
E la luce de la lampa jetta nterra ll’ombra soja ncopp’a lo suolo;
E l’ánema mia da chell’ombra ca jace abbolanno ncopp’a lo suolo
          Nun s’auzarrà —maje cchiù!

January 18, 2019

Celebrating the Feast of Sant’Antonio Abate in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn

A towering inferno in honor of Sant'Antonio Abate
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
A handful of devotees braved the cold Thursday night for the St. Rocco Society’s annual falò di Sant'Antuono, or St. Anthony’s Bonfire. Keeping the tradition of our ancestors, every January 17th a large pyre is set ablaze in honor of the great saint who, according to the Promethean legend, stole fire from the Devil for the sake of humanity. The conflagration and revelry is said to ward off suffering, disease and evil spirits. Viva Sant’Antonio!
After a delicious pork dinner, Stephen and the boys erect the pyre 
Everyone watches in anticipation as our host lights the bonfire
Stephen leads us in prayer 
Driving away the evil spirits 
(Above & below) Family and friends
joyously celebrating our faith and culture
The adults enjoyed a little amaro alla rucola from Ischia
Aiz’ aiz’ aiz’, acal’, acal’, acal’, accost’, accost’, accost’, a salut’ vost’ 
A few diehards didn't want to let the fire die down...
...but after a couple hours we ran out of combustible material
and continued the party indoors

January 16, 2019

Remembering the Kings of the Two Sicilies

Coin with portrait of HM King Francesco II di Borbone
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Last September, I had the good fortune of viewing a few pieces of my friend John’s impressive collection of Duosiciliano and Neapolitan Bourbon memorabilia. I meant to share the photos in intervals, saving those of King Ferdinando I and King Ferdinando II di Borbone for the anniversary of their shared birthdays on January 12th, but I just plumb forgot. Of the opinion that it is better to do something late than never at all, I’m posting them belatedly, together with a coin bearing King Francesco II di Borbone's portrait on His Magesty's birthday.
Lithograph of the statue of HM Ferdinando I sculpted by Antonio Canova 
Bust and portrait of HM Ferdinando II
Medal and coin with the portrait of HM Ferdinando II
Wall reliefs with the profiles of TM Maria Theresa and Ferdinando II 
Portraits of TM Ferdinando II and Maria Theresa 

January 15, 2019

Celebrating the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn

High altar
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Dómine Jesu Christe, qui Maríæ et Joseph súbditus domésticam vitam ineffabílibus virtútibus consecrásti: fac nos, utriúsque auxílio, Famíliæ sanctæ tuæ exémplis ínstrui; et consórtium cónsequi sempitérnum: Qui vivis. ~ The Collect*
Madonna and Child bye-altar
Sunday evening my friends and I joined some sixty parishioners at beautiful Holy Name of Jesus Church (245 Prospect Park West) in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn for Solemn High Traditional Latin Mass for the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. With so few Tridentine Masses offered in the area, we didn't want to miss it.
The Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was sung by Celebrant and Homilist Fr. Joseph Zwosta. Fr. J. Patrick Hough S.J. was the Deacon and Fr. Evans Julce was the Subdeacon. The sacred ministers were dutifully assisted by servers Eddy Toribio, Brian Hilley, Lorenzo Tinio, Robert Jurman and Arthur Gange. The Ordinary of the Mass and motets were composed by director and organist David Adam Smith and gloriously chanted by Elizabeth Merrill, Augusta Caso, Garrett Eucker, Ryland Angel, Sean Salamon and Michael Hofmann.
St. Joseph bye-altar
Thank you Rev. Lawrence D. Ryan, Pastor and all the Parish staff and congregation for your warmth and hospitality. Special thanks to Cindy Brolsma and organizers for your hard work and dedication. Once again, it was a privilege to celebrate our faith together. 
The next Traditional Latin Mass at Holy Name of Jesus Church will be celebrated on March 16th at 11:30am on Ember Saturday in Lent.
* O Lord Jesus Christ, who when Thou wast  subject to Mary and Joseph didst sanctify home life with ineffable virtues: grant that by their assistance, we may be instructed by the example of Thine Holy Family and become partakers of their eternal happiness.
Nativity scene in the sanctuary

January 14, 2019

Photo of the Week: Sant'Antonio Abate, Chiesa S. Nicolo, Savoca, Sicily

Sant'Antonio Abate, Chiesa S. Nicolo, Savoca, Sicily
Photo by Niccolò Graffio

January 10, 2019

The Search for our Ancestry (LV)

I Know Nothing
By Angelo Coniglio
In previous columns, I have discussed general approaches for finding ancestral information. I want to take a different tack, using a case study. I see innumerable remarks in my email and in response to my genealogy columns that go something like this. “I know nothing but my father’s name. He said he was born in Sicily. Can you help me find my ancestry?” 
My usual response is “I’m sure you know more about your father. When was he born? Where did he live? What was his occupation? What were the names of his siblings, in order of age?” The reader responded: “My father’s name was Calogero Montante. He was born in about 1913 in Sicily and lived in Rochester, New York in the 1940’s, marrying my mother Marie. He was the eldest, and his siblings, were Leonard, Raymond, and Carmela. He worked in a glass factory. But I know nothing about his ancestry.”
That’s not a lot of information, but neither is it “nothing.” Start with the most recent information, wary of misspellings. I looked for the Montante surname in the 1940 U.S. Census for Rochester, on Ancestry.com, familysearch.org and other venues. In the census, taken on 1 April 1940, I found a Calogero ‘Montanti’, age at last birthday 50, born in ‘Italy.’ That’s the right name, but he would have been born in about 1890, not 1913. However, in addition to his wife Rose, the census lists children Leonard, Raymond and Carmela. The sons were born in Pennsylvania, and the daughter in New York State. This looked like the right family. A son Calogero wasn’t listed, but being the eldest, he may have lived elsewhere in 1940.
In the U. S., “Charles” is commonly used for “Calogero. I searched the 1940 census for “Charles Montante” and found one, born in ‘Italy’, age 27 (born about 1913), a mechanic in a glass factory, with a wife Marie and two children, at a different address from the other ‘Montanti’ family. I then searched for the family in the 1930 Census, and found “Charlie” Montante, age 40, with wife Rose and children “Charles,” age 17, Leonard, Raymond and Carmela. The 1940 Census gives no immigration information; while 1930’s states that “Charlie” Sr. immigrated in 1913 and had been naturalized. 
Continuing back in time, and since the censuses said some of the children were born in Pennsylvania, I searched the 1920 U.S. Census for that state. I found a Charley ‘Muntanti’, age 30, an alien born in ‘Italy,’ living in Pittston, PA with wife ‘Rosy’ and sons ‘Charles’, Leonardo and Raimondo. So the elder Calogero immigrated in about 1913, and was naturalized as a U.S. citizen sometime between 1920 and 1930. None of the censuses gave any birthplace details except ‘Italy,’ (‘Italy’ included Sicily). Usually no town or city is named, unless the immigrant was from a major city like Rome. Now, one of two approaches might work. Knowing that Calogero Sr. was naturalized between 1920 and 1930, we could search for his naturalization records. These would give his date and place of birth, date of immigration, the ship’s name, his U.S. address, and the names and birth dates of his family members. Such records are not that easy to find, but may be held at a County Clerk’s or local court office.
Another avenue is to search for the ship’s passenger manifest of Calogero Sr. Records are available on-line on familysearch.org, Ancestry.com, and ellisisland.org. I searched, and found a record for Calogero Montante, emigrating on the SS Berlin in May 1913 at age 24, traveling to his brother Antonio in Pittston. The name of the closest relative left behind was Calogero’s wife Rosa Latona, in the town of Occhibanna, Sicily. It also gave Occhibanna as Calogero’s last place of residence and birthplace.
Knowing the critical piece of information, the ancestral town, the next step was to find Calogero Montante Sr.’s birth record. Records for many towns are available on Ancestry.com, familysearch.org & on the official Italian ‘Ancestors’ site at http://bit.ly/ItalianRecordsPortal. 1890 is the approximate year indicated by Calogero Sr.’s age in the census and passenger manifest. His name wasn’t in the 1890 birth index for Occhibanna, so I checked 1889. He was born on 26 April 1889, confirming the report in the 1 April 1940 census: “50 at his last birthday.” The birth record gives his father’s name and age, his mother’s name, and a margin note stating that Calogero married Rosa Latona in 1912. Starting with this information, earlier records were located that extended the reader’s family tree back to the early 1800’s with the names of many of his g-g-g-g grandparents, back to the early 1700’s. All from nothing. 
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 www.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 9, 2019

Il Regno Launches its New Briganti Book and Gaming Club

Inspired by recent Christmas shopping sprees at the Strand Book Store (828 Broadway) and Chess Forum (219 Thompson St.) in New York City, Il Regno has added its new Briganti Book and Gaming Club to our growing list of fun social initiatives. As with our other cultural and recreational activities (hikingbocceforaging, etc.), contributors and friends are invited to participate in our convivial gatherings.

Starting off small, we chose six books that we haven't already read (but probably should have) for our first year. Alternating monthly between book discussions and playing games (chess, backgammon and tombola around Christmas time), members will meet at various locations (TBD) around the New York metropolitan area.

Doing our best to keep a broad range of subjects, styles and authors, we decided to read Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick (1851); Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1764); Louis Mendola’s The Kingdom of Sicily, 1130-1860 (2015); Joris-Karl Huysmans' The Cathedral (1898); Francis Marion Crawford’s The Upper Berth, For the Blood is the Life, and Other Horrors (2018); and Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America (1835).

By limiting ourselves to just half a dozen books, a few really interesting suggestions (e.g. Richard Barber’s The Holy Grail: Imagination and Belief (2004) and William Shakespeare's The Tempest (c.1610)) had to be shelved for another time. A toss-up between F.M. Crawford's horror fiction anthology and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus (1818) for Halloween, we ultimately went with the former because of his comparisons with the master of horror, H.P. Lovecraft.

Depending on the success of the venture and the commitment of the participants, we may consider opening up club membership to the general public at a future date.

January 7, 2019

Photo of the Week: Mount Vesuvius looming over the Cantina del Vesuvio Winery

Mount Vesuvius looming over Cantina del Vesuvio, a picturesque winery situated on the slopes of the Volcano. Photo by New York Scugnizzo

January 5, 2019

Distributing Food to the Homeless on the Feast of St. Genevieve

Cav. Napoli with Antonio and Konstantinos
Thursday, January 3rd, members of the Constantinian Auxiliary prepared and distributed food to the homeless in Chinatown and Two Bridges, New York on the Feast of St. Genevieve. Meeting at the Church of the Transfiguration (29 Mott St.), volunteers prepared 25 care packages replete with winter accessories, toiletries and ready to eat food, including containers of freshly cooked penne marinara generously donated by our dear friends at Caffé Napoli (191 Hestor Street) in Little Italy.

Once again, we want to thank Antonio, Anna and Konstantinos Mavrianos-Cesare for their hard work and dedication. You are an inspiration to us all. Thank you Louis Fontana of Caffé Napoli; Raymond Guarini of Italian Enclaves; Olya Brandon; and Cav. John Napoli for your continued assistance. Your heartfelt generosity and selflessness is greatly appreciated. And as always, special thanks to Pastor Lo for your support and blessings. It is an honor to serve with such an outstanding group of people. God Bless you all. IHSV

The next walk will be on Thursday, February 7th—the Feast of San Lorenzo Maiorano, Vescovo di Siponto—at 7:00 PM. In addition to ready to eat foodstuff and daily necessities, we’re are asking volunteers to donate hats and scarves for the cold weather. Anyone interested in supporting this charitable endeavor can contact Cav. John Napoli at jnapoli@smocsg.org or call Anna Mavrianos-Cesare at 917-592-4181.

Once again, our friends at Caffé Napoli donated a tray of penne marinara
Antonio divvied up the food
Konstantinos lends a helping hand
Konstantinos and Olya
Hats and scarves were added to this month's care packages
Originally posted in The Constantinian Chronicle

January 2, 2019

New Books (January 2019)

New and forthcoming titles that may be of interest to our readers. All are available at Amazon.com
La Brigantessa by Rosanna Micelotta Battigelli
Publisher: Inanna Publications
Publication Date: November 15, 2018
Paperback: $NA
Language: English
Pages: 350

Sicily and the Mediterranean in the Middle Ages by Hiroshi Takayama
Publisher: Routledge
Publication Date: April 23, 2019
Hardcover: $147.25
Language: English
Pages: 352
Click here to see more books
Listing does not imply any endorsement

January 1, 2019

Happy Birthday Princess Maria Chiara!

HRH was born in Rome in 2005
Photo courtesy of Real Casa di Borbone
Happy Birthday Princess Maria Chiara of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Duchess of Noto and Capri! We wish you a day filled with happiness and a year filled with joy! Auguri!