April 30, 2019

Photo of the Week: Hermes at Axel Munthe's Villa San Michele in Anacapri

Detail of copy of seated Hermes in the loggia at
Axel Munthe's Villa San Michele in Anacapri, Capri
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

April 25, 2019

Celebrating Pasquetta and the Third Annual Sagra della Pizza Chiena in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Andrew Giordano's totally awesome pizza chiena
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Monday evening, scores of revelers gathered from far and wide at the Our Lady of the Snow Society clubhouse (410 Graham Avenue) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to celebrate Pasquetta (Easter Monday) and the Third Annual Sagra della Pizza Chiena. Partygoers mingled, danced and enjoyed a wide variety of homemade delicacies, including frittata di maccheroni, Casatiello, pastiera Napoletana and, of course, a lot of Pizza chiena (aka pizza rustica and pizza gain). 
The Madonna della Neve 
Vinnie Raymond, President of the Our Lady of the Snow Society,
warmly welcomed everyone to the clubhouse
Sagra organizer, Elena Loguercio gets the party started
(Above & below) Giovanna Lomonte shows off her delicious Paschal lamb cake 
Partygoers help themselves to a wide range of southern Italian delicacies
Pastiera Napoletana 
I enjoyed some pastiera and rafaiul cu sanguinaccio, a fried ravioli-shaped pastry stuffed with a rich chocolate and pig’s blood pudding
Elena's sanguinaccio recipe from Sassano is phenomenal 
Rucolino, a delicious amaro alla rucola from Ischia
Revelers ate, drank and danced the night away
Celebrants show their Due Sicilie pride
For more information visit the I love Pizza Gain a.k.a. Pizza Chiena group on Facebook

April 24, 2019

Evviva San Giorgio! Celebrating the 2019 Feast of Saint George in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

Evviva San Giorgio!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Tuesday morning, I joined my St. Rocco Society and Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George brethren in honoring glorious San Giorgio Martire on his Feast Day at Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary and St. Stephen RC Church in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Warmly welcomed by Pastor, Rev. Msgr. Guy Massie and members of the congregation, Mass was celebrated in the small chapel left of the East Wall. As is the custom, we brought flowers (courtesy of the LaRocca family) to the church’s magnificent bust of the warrior saint originating from Testaccio in Barano d'Ischia, lit a few candles, meditated and said our prayers, including the daily orison of the Order. Tranquil and serene, our short, but gratifying visit was the perfect way to begin our day.
Each year, the LaRocca family offer the saint a beautiful bouquet of flowers
Side-altar with the Madonna del Carmine, San Giorgio & Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
Prayer cards and daily Prayer of the
Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George
Beautifully decorated High Altar with the Risen Christ. Alleluia!
The nave

April 21, 2019

Via Crucis – The Way of the Cross 2019

Bensonhurst’s Good Friday Procession and Prayer Service
Statue of the Dead Christ outside Our Lady of Guadalupe Church
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Despite the threat of rain, some 1,500 mostly Italian American Catholics came out in force in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, Friday evening for the annual Good Friday procession and prayer service. Led by the Most Reverend Bishop Raymond Chappetto, 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 St. Rocco Society of Potenza, and the Associazione Culturale Pugliese Figli Maria SS. Addolorata, among others.
Rotating between the churches, this year Our Lady of Guadalupe (1514 72nd St.) had the honor of hosting the Benediction and prayer service. Bishop Chappetto concluded the outdoor ceremony in English and Italian with a blessing with the Relic of the True Cross.
The Most Reverend Bishop Raymond Chappetto
and clergy led the participants in prayer
The Knights of Columbus served as Honor Guard
The Red Mike Festival Band
Devotees carry the statue of the Dead Christ through the neighborhood 
Members of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church 
Members of the Associazione Culturale Pugliese Figli Maria SS. Addolorata 
Members of the Holy Name Society of Saint Bernadette 
Members of the Holy Name Society and the Saint
Rocco Society of Potenza sang hymns and prayed in Italian
Members of Santa Rosalia Regina Pacis 
Members of St. Dominic's Church  
The faithful from St. Dominic's re-enact the Way of the Cross
Members of St. Finbar Church 
Members of the Italian-American Apostolate of St. Mary, Mother of Jesus 
Members of the St. Frances Cabrini Society of Brooklyn
Members of Gruppo Italiano Sant'Atanasio (G.I.S.A.)
Thousands gather in the rain outside 
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church for the benediction 
(Above & below) The prayer service was held in English and Italian
Bishop Chappetto addresses the crowd in Italian
Fr. Alessandro offers prayer in Italian
The prayer service concluded with
blessing with the Relic of the True Cross

April 20, 2019

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

Sepolcri 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.
Before Mass, Salvatore helps his father and grandfather
bring the sepolcri to Saint Bernadette's
The Altar of Repose at the Shrine Church of Saint Bernadette
Devotees offer candles and flowers at the foot of the Altar of Repose
The sanctuary was beautifully decorated
before the stripping of the chancel
After "the watching," when the Eucharist is processed to the altar of repose, hundreds of parishioners lined up to light candles and for adoration
Sepolcri were placed by the Pietà inside St. Francis Cabrini Church
The Altar of Repose at Saint Francis Cabrini Church
The Altar of Repose at Saint Finbar Church
Sepolcri beneath the Altar of Repose at Saint Finbar Church