November 29, 2019

New Music — Il Soffio Di Partenope: Music For Woodwinds From 18th Century Naples

New music that may be of interest to our readers.

Il Soffio Di Partenope: Music For Woodwinds From 18th Century Naples by Ensemble Barocco Di Napoli / Abchordis Ensemble

Label: Deutsche Gram France
Release Date: November 29, 2019
Audio CD: NA
Number of Discs: 1

Available at Amazon.com

Read description

November 27, 2019

Venerating St. Padre Pio’s Relics at Immaculate Conception Church, in Tuckahoe, New York

On 23 November 2019 members of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George and the Comitati delle Due Sicilie had the honor of venerating St. Padre Pio’s relics at Immaculate Conception Church, in Tuckahoe, New York, originally founded in the parish in 1853 as the area’s second Catholic church.

Graciously overseen by the Saint Pio Foundation, with founder and CEO Maestro Luciano Lamonaca in attendance, a steady crowd of the faithful filed in to the hilltop church to venerate the relics which were comprised of Saint Pio’s crusts of the wounds, cotton-gauze with Saint Pio’s blood stains, a lock of Saint Pio’s hair, Saint Pio’s mantle, Saint Pio’s handkerchief soaked with his sweat hours before he died.

The Saint Foundation made available a variety of prayer and relic cards, as well as novenas, Rosaries, a sculpture of the Saint and a special commemorative necktie by E. Marinella of Naples, as well as a silk foulard with his image.

A special thanks to the Parish and the members of the Saint Pio Foundation for their tireless efforts to promote the faith and the legacy of Padre Pio and for their warm welcome to pilgrims and devotees, many of whom stayed for the evening mass.

Photos and article by Cav. Charles Sant’Elia and Silvia Sant’Elia
Immaculate Conception Church
Saint Pio's relics on display near the sanctuary
Devotees take turns venerating the relics 
A silk foulard with Padre Pio's image 
Cav. Charles Sant'Elia with Saint Pio Foundation
founder and CEO Maestro Luciano Lamonaca

November 26, 2019

Celebrating the Feast of San Giovanni della Croce at the Shrine Church of the Holy Innocents

"The Return Crucifix"
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Continuing our amazing weekend of prayer, members of the Fratelli della Santa Fede (Brothers of the Holy Faith) gathered at the Shrine Church of the Holy Innocents (128 West 37th St.) in Manhattan Sunday morning for the Feast of San Giovanni della Croce (St. John of the Cross). Arriving early, we attended both the 9:00am Tridentine Low Mass and the 10:30am Tridentine High Mass. Our Pastor, Fr. James L.P. Miara was the celebrant at both.

Between the two Masses, we took the opportunity to pray our daily Rosary and meditate on the Glorious Mysteries. Briefly taking leave of my brethren, I quietly wandered around the church and lit a few candles by the saints.


The Infant of Prague
Praying for the remission of the sins of the poor and forgotten Souls in Purgatory, I lingered awhile by the life-size “Return Crucifix” near the northwest entrance. Made famous by the artist Charles Bosseron Chambers (1882-1964), the Crucifix was thus named because of his moving depiction of a young French soldier he found praying before it. The story goes that the Frenchman was seeking a return to faith before heading to France to fight in World War I.
In memory of St. John of the Cross and my paternal grandmother, I offered a few prayers by the statue of the Infant of Prague near the sacristy. Like the great Carmelite friar and mystic my grandmother had a strong devotion to the Child Jesus, and through my father she passed down her love for the Infant of Prague to me.

Afterward, we joined our fellow parishioners for Coffee Hour in the Parish Hall. Catching up with old and new friends, we enjoyed the usual coffee, tea and wide selection of breakfast fare. In celebration of long-time parishioner Jolanta’s 40th year in the United States, guests were treated to some delicious chocolate or strawberry shortcake. A bottle of green Chartreuse made a fortuitous appearance and we all drank to her health. Offered a second shot of the French liqueur, the Sanfedisti toasted St. John of the Cross. Evviva San Giovanni!


~ Giovanni di Napoli, November 25, Feast of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria

Photo of the Week: Statue of Artemis (Diana) at Villa San Michele, Capri

Photo by New York Scugnizzo

November 25, 2019

Bidding Farewell to the Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima at Holy Innocents Church in NYC

Evviva Maria!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Over the years, I’ve attended many memorable Masses at the Shrine Church of the Holy Innocents (128 West 37th St.) in Manhattan. Coming to mind are my first ever Tridentine Mass on the Feast of St. George back in 2015, and my investiture into the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George a year later. Both were edifying and life-changing.

More recently, there were the Votive Mass of Exposition, Missa Pro Pace (Peace Mass), and Mass of Reposition during the Forty Hours Devotion; and the consecration of the church's icon of Blessed Charles de Foucauld with the procession of Our Lady of Fatima in Times Square. Though a long time in coming, the beauty and solemnity of these Masses were a big part in my recent decision to only attend the Traditional Latin Mass.

This weekend’s Votive Masses with the Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima now ranks among them.
(L) Our friends Elena, Anna and Franca from the Madonna della Neve Society.
(R) My fellow lifters vesting in the sacristy 
Friday afternoon, the sixth Pilgrim Virgin Statue carved decades ago in the Fátima Sanctuary in Portugal arrived at Holy Innocents, the final destination of its month-long tour of the Archdiocese of New York. Traveling around the world, the international statues are meant to help “spread Our Lady’s Peace Plan and Message of Fatima,” which according to the November 10, 2019 church bulletin is “one of prayer, especially the prayer of the Holy Rosary, sacrifice and penance in reparation for sin, and Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary through the Brown Scapular.”
After Mass, the Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima
was processed by candlelight around the church
The most crowded I’ve seen the church thus far, devotees from far and wide gathered to venerate the Blessed Mother and celebrate the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Confession, the Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament, the praying of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, as well as the Luminous, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries of the Holy Rosary were scheduled throughout the day.
Our Lady's message was brought to the streets
Culminating with a Solemn High Tridentine Votive Mass of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the rite for investiture in the Brown Scapular of the Carmelites was unexpectedly offered to those who haven’t already been enrolled in the confraternity. Congratulations to my friends Elena and Andrew, along with all the others present who took the vows.
After Midnight Mass, the statue was processed around the nave
The Mass was sung by Celebrant and Homilist Fr. James L.P. Miara, Pastor of Holy Innocents. Fr. Michael C. Barone, Chaplain for the Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey and the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George was the Deacon; and Fr. Christopher Salvatori, SAC, Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in East Harlem, New York was the Subdeacon. The Sacred Ministers were dutifully assisted by MC Eddy Toribio, nearly a dozen servers, and the very talented Schola Cantorum of Holy Innocents.
The statue circles the nave
Following Mass, the faithful sang and prayed during the outdoor candlelight procession with the Most Blessed Sacrament and Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima through the teeming streets of New York City. Joining fellow parishioners, members of the Fratelli della Santa Fede (Brothers of the Holy Faith), including yours truly, had the great honor of carrying the statue.

Far from over, we returned to the church for the Night Vigil, which included praying the twenty mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary, the St. Michael Chaplet, and prayers of reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
A generous woman handed out mementoes for us to wave during the procession
At Midnight, we again celebrated a Solemn High Tridentine Votive Mass of Our Lady. This time, Fr. Miara was joined by Deacon, Fr. Joseph Zwosta, in residence at St. Mark RC Church in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn and Subdeacon, Mr. Jeffrey Collins. 

At the conclusion of Mass, the congregation sang the Te Deum and the traditional Fatima Farewell while waving white handkerchiefs as the Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima was processed around the nave. Placed back in the sanctuary beneath a flower arch, devotees filled the altar rails for a final opportunity to pray or deposit their written intentions into the prayer box next to the statue.
The statue returns to the sanctuary
Having fasted all day on Friday, I joined the die-hards (and there were many) for some refreshments at the late night “coffee hour” in the Parish Hall. Expecting to have just a little caffè and maybe a croissant before hitting the road, I was pleasantly surprised to see a full-on catered meal, with platters and trays of Italian and Polish specialties. Since it was now Saturday and I could eat meat, I decided to stay out way past my bedtime, mingle with the other partygoers, and partake in some delicious affettati e formaggio, kielbasa and bigos.
(L) Fr. Miara says grace before dinner. (R) Trays of affettati e formaggio
God Bless Fr. Miara, his faithful staff, and members of the greater Parish family for keeping Holy Innocents a true bastion of traditional Catholicism during the current crises of the Church. As always, it was a great joy to celebrate our faith together. Evviva Maria!

~ Giovanni di Napoli, November 24, Feast of St. John of the Cross
Assorted salumi, cheeses, fruit, and stuffed grape leaves 
Pork kielbasa 
Chicken with fava beans 
Beef with barley 
Cakes adorned with Our Lady's image

November 20, 2019

The Long Awaited Return of the Tridentine Mass to St. Finbar Church in Bath Beach, Brooklyn

Saint Finbar RC Church
Photos by Cindy Brolsma and New York Scugnizzo
The plan on Sunday was to attend High Mass at Holy Innocents Church (128 West 37th St.) in Manhattan, briefly mingle with friends at coffee hour, then bolt back to Bath Beach, Brooklyn for the first Traditional Latin Mass to be celebrated in 49 years at St. Finbar Church (138 Bay 20th St.). However, due to subway track maintenance and the MTA’s less than stellar bus and shuttle service I could not make it into the city in time. One cannot help but wonder why two hours is not enough time to get from one part of the city to another?

Looking to avoid a similar commuting fiasco (and having to go to a local Novus Ordo Mass), I decided to go to St. Finbar’s straight away. Good thing I did, because I actually walked the distance before spotting a bus.
The Sanctuary and High Altar
Annoyed with the MTA, my real grievance is with the current state of the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, you expect bad service from a bureaucratic government agency; but why must one have to travel hours, passing several other churches on the way, just to be able to attend a Tridentine Mass? If made available at every church, the way it should be, traditionalists (i.e. Catholics) wouldn’t have to go gallivanting around the city every Sunday or holy day.

Unquestionably worth all the effort, we’ll continue to support the Traditional Mass wherever it is held and will not rest until its celebrated everywhere.
Parishioners filled the pews around the scaffolding
Now with the unpleasantries out of the way, let’s discuss the more pertinent part of the day.

Arriving early at St. Finbar, I was finally able to see the newly restored nave and sanctuary with the lights on. Having only visited the bedimmed church on Holy Thursdays, it is one of our favorite places to spend time at the Altar of Repose. Still under renovation (they are currently cleaning the ceiling murals), Pastor Fr. Michael Louis Gelfant has done an amazing job restoring the grandeur of the old church by reinstalling the altar rails and pews, as well as uncovering the original marble floor with inlaid roses.
Our new friends Vincent Maida, and Gianna and John Mazzola 
Warmly welcomed, longtime parishioner Vincent Maida was kind enough to show me some of the terrific restoration work he did for the church. In addition to touching up the Stations of the Cross, the former employee of the Guggenheim Museum restored two heavily damaged oil paintings depicting the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the narthex.
The restored paintings in the narthex
Following the Asperges rite, the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was celebrated by Fr. Rafael Perez, the Parochial Vicar at Divine Mercy Parish, in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Sitting in choir, Fr. Gelfant was the homilist. The sacred ministers were dutifully assisted by Michael and Vinnie, who regularly serve at Our Lady of Peace Church (522 Carroll St.) in Gowanus, Brooklyn. The chants and organ accompaniments were performed by Director of Music Alex Violette and Andrew Violette.
Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii and a Guatemalan style St. Michael
Afterward, I had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of several parishioners, who were very enthused about the prospect of celebrating the Extraordinary Form of the Mass regularly at the church. Sadly, we learned that Fr. Gelfant is scheduled for reassignment and will be leaving in January. Understandably, there are serious concerns that all the improvements he made at St. Finbar are in jeopardy. We pray for the incoming Pastor.
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux and Saint Rose of Lima
Thank you to all the members of the congregation for your warmth and hospitality, it was a tremendous joy to celebrate our faith together. God bless Fr. Gelfant, we wish him great success at his new parish and will keep him in our prayers. Special thanks to my friend Cindy Brolsma from Brooklyn Latin Mass for giving me a lift home and helping me avoid another frustrating misadventure with public transportation.

~ Giovanni di Napoli, November 19th, Feast of Santa Elisabetta d'Ungheria
Saint Gerard Majella and Saint Andrew the Apostle
Santissimo Crocifisso and Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception
As an aside, the 40 Hour Devotion will be celebrated at St. Finbar from Thursday 21st through Saturday 23rd.

November 19, 2019

Photo of the Week: The Certosa di San Giacomo, Capri

Carthusian monastery founded in 1363 by Count Giacomo Arcucci
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

November 18, 2019

The Once and Future Kingdom

Screen grab of Prince Filiberto's televised address
On Thursday, November 14th, the Pretender to the Italian throne, Prince Emanuele Filiberto, announced the return of the Royal Family to Italy in a live televised address. Despite providing no information on how “The Royal Family is coming back,” the teaser created a brief stir in monarchist circles, prompting texts and phone calls from friends. After doing a little fact-checking, it quickly became apparent the whole thing was an unbecoming publicity stunt to promote either the upcoming second season of The Crown on Netflix or a new line of clothing by Global Intuition called Casa Savoia. Uninterested in either, I stopped looking into the matter.

As unlikely as it may seem today, I do believe we will see a restoration of the monarchy in Italy one day. However, it won’t be the disgraced House of Savoy we see restored, it will be the Royal House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies in a newly independent Regno dell Due Sicilie. [Cue ridicule and scorn.]

For those of us who are traditionally minded, the Bourbons of Naples are anything but a footnote in history, they are a symbol of authority, sovereignty and justice. They represent a possible future in the face of the present crises that threatens the remnants of our moribund civilization. A return to traditional religious and aristocratic principles, embodied by There Sicilian Majesties, will be our foundation to confront globalism and the unholy secular worldview currently plaguing our society with wanton materialism and widespread apathy.

Thankfully, Massimo d’Azeglio’s often quoted proposition that “We have made Italy; now we must make Italians” still rings hallow. After more than 150 years of social engineering and cultural leveling, Italian unification, which suppressed and destroyed, with varying degrees of success, the local history, culture and identity of the Duosiciliano people, has yet to be completely realized.

We continue to see a gradual awakening, as people across the peninsula (Metternich’s famous “geographic expression”) abandon today’s ersatz culture and discover and embrace their true identity (Neapolitan, Venetian, et al.). To be sure, too many are effete and supine, but for us the growing number of Duosiciliani who have embraced the counter-revolutionary neo-Bourbon cause is what really matters. For the sake of our future, it is important for us to build on these gains.

The south needs to return to its austere roots. This is not some sentimental longing for an idyllic past, but a stratagem for a future based on the immortal principles of spiritual authority (the Church) and temporal power (the Monarchy). With precious little worth safeguarding after unification, Southern Italy needs to diverge from this nihilistic path of modernity with its sterile sybaritic values (as opposed to invigorating spiritual ones) and look to the restoration of its Catholic Monarchy (as opposed to democratic-liberal or Marxist falsehoods) to bring about a well ordered (hierarchical), organic and sovereign state.

Altar and Throne! is our battle cry.


~ Giovanni di Napoli, November 17th, Feast of San Gregorio Taumaturgo

November 17, 2019

Praying for the Repose of the Souls of the Deceased Friars and Sisters of the Order of Preachers

The catafalque, a symbolic funeral bier with black funeral pall and candles
Photos by New York Scugnizzo and Peter Clemente
Dies iræ, dies illa,
Solvet sæclum in favilla:
Teste David cum Sybilla.
Quantum tremor est futurus,
Quando Judex est venturus,
Cuncta strict discussurus.
 *

Wednesday, November 13th, my Constantinian brethren and I joined some 200 parishioners at St. Vincent Ferrer Church (869 Lexington Ave.) in Manhattan for their Annual Sung Requiem Mass 
in the Dominican Rite. Sponsored by the New York Purgatorial Society, the Catholic Artists Society, and the Society of St. Hugh of Cluny, the Mass was offered for all deceased Friars and Sisters of the Order of Preachers (Dominican Order).

Before Mass, you can hear a pin drop
Arriving early, I was able to explore the imposing Gothic church a little more than last time I was here. Visiting all the shrines and chapels, I was able to light candles, invoke the saints, and peacefully meditate and pray for the remission of all the sins of the poor and forgotten Souls in Purgatory.
Spending a little extra time by the statue of St. Jude Thaddaeus, I also prayed for the intensions of an ailing loved one, whose condition recently took a turn for the worse.

The Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was sung by Celebrant and Homilist Fr. Sebastian White, O.P., who was dutifully assisted by several servers and the Schola Cantorum of St. Vincent Ferrer under the masterly direction of Mr. James D. Wetzel. At the end of Mass, Fr. White donned the black cope and offered absolution at the catafalque.

Afterward, all were invited to break bread at the reception held in the parish hall downstairs. Guests mingled, enjoyed some champagne, and partook in the wide variety of canapés, dips and other tasty hors d’oeuvres.

Thank you Very Rev. Walter Wagner, O.P., Pastor of St. Vincent Ferrer and St. Catherine of Siena Parish, and members of the congregation for your warmth and hospitality. God bless all the organizers for sponsoring the Mass and their righteous mission to promote prayer and succor for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. As always, it was a great joy to celebrate our faith together.

~ Giovanni di Napoli, Saturday, November 16, Feast of Santa Geltrude

* Excerpt from the Dies iræ (Day of Wrath) sequentia, chant for the dead

The day of wrath, that day
will dissolve all in ashes
as foretold by David with the Sibyl.
How much tremor there will be
when the Judge will come,
investigating all strictly.
Statues of St. Jude Thaddaeus and St. Dominic de Guzmán
Bye-altar with painting of The Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple
Statues of the Crucifixion and St. Vincent Ferrer
(Above & below) At the reception, a good time was had by all
* * *
For more information about the New York Purgatorial Society visit www.nypurgatorial.com or write to nypurgatorial@yahoo.com

For more information about the Society of St. Hugh of Cluny visit www.sthughofcluny.org or write to contact@sthughofcluny.org

For more information about the Catholic Artists Society visit www.catholicartistssociety.org or write to catholicartistssociety@gmail.com

November 15, 2019

Brief Musings

Short on time, but itching to post

Chivalry

Having been a while since we last posted a “Ponderable Quote,” I thought we would start again with a few brief excerpts from Émile Théodore Léon Gautier’s (1832-1897) Chivalry: The Everyday Life of the Medieval Knight (Tumblr House, 2015). I just started reading the book, but I’ve already found plenty worth sharing. Here are a few choice bits:
There is more than one kind of Chivalry, and lance thrust are not everything! In default of the sword, we have the pen: failing the pen, speech: and in default of speech, honor, in our lives! (P. 6)
[Chivalry] is less an institution than an ideal.                                      Many volumes have been written upon this noble subject, and a few words will be sufficient to define clearly chivalry and the knight. "Chivalry is the Christian form of the military profession: the knight is the Christian soldier." (p. 7)
In legendary lore the embodiment of chivalry is Roland: in history it is Godfrey de Bouillon. There are no more worthy names than these. (p. 20)
This highly praised code has unfortunately never been formulated with sufficient clearness and it is too true that the pure gold of ancient chivalry was very quickly alloyed. In the twelfth century—one is too apt to forget the date—the romance of the Round Table spread amongst us the taste for a less wild but also a less manly chivalry. The elegancies of love in them occupied the place formerly reserved for the brutality of war and the spirit of adventure in them extinguished the spirit of the crusades. One will never know how much harm this cycle of the "Round Table" inflicted on us. It civilized us no doubt; but effeminated us. It took away from us our old aim, which was the tomb of Christ gained by blood and battle. For the austerities of the Supernatural it substituted the tinsel of the Marvelous. It is to this dangerous but charming literature that we owe the theatrical, the boastful, rash chivalry which proved so fatal during the Thirty Years War. It was against it and not against our old Epopœia that Cervantes pointed his pencil, and we must confess that some complaints of the great satirist were not without foundation. Thanks to this regrettable encroachment we now entertain a false idea of the true chivalry, which we confuse with a certain delicate and sometimes an excessive gallantry. The time has arrived to protest against such an error. (p. 22)
Holy Name Society
An unexpected, but greatly appreciated gift
Recently invited to a Holy Name Society meeting at the Shrine Church of St. Bernadette (8201 13th Ave.) in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, I was unexpectedly presented with a terrific hardback photo album capturing all the highlights from the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii. A very thoughtful keepsake, the book brought back a lot of great memories of a supremely special day.

Even better than the album, I was happy to learn that the restored painting was finally mounted on the wall of the baptistery. Still abuzz about the Mass, the parish is serious about reestablishing this important southern Italian tradition and plans for next year’s celebration are already in the works.
The newly restored painting of Our Lady of the Rosary
of Pompeii now hangs in the baptistery
Personal Patrons

A curious friend asks: Who were the personal patrons "too numerous to name" in our recent post about Sant'Uberto? Not one to publish inquiries online, I made an exception this time because I regret not giving all my holy benefactors their due. In order of acquisition:

Santa Patrizia di Costantinopoli (St. Patricia); Sant’Antonio Abate (St. Anthony the Great); Santa Lucia Martire (St. Lucy); San Rocco (St. Roch); San Vito Martire (St. Vito); Sant’Eustachio Martire (St. Eustace); Santa Margherita Maria Alacoque (St. Margaret Mary Alacoque); San Lorenzo Martire (St. Lawrence); Sant’Andrea Apostolo (St. Andrew the Apostle); San Bonifacio (St. Boniface); and Santa Geltrude la Grande (St. Gertrude the Great).

As for the “others” I alluded to in the list of martial saints, they are: San Giovanni da Capestrano (St. John of Capistrano); San Lorenzo da Brindisi (St. Lawrence); San Sebastiano Martire (St. Sebastian); San Vincenzo Martire (St. Vincent, the Martyr of Craco); and San Maurizio Martire (St. Maurice).

Christus Vincit

His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s highly anticipated Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age (Angelico Press, 2019) is now available at the Shrine Church of the Holy Innocents (128 W 37th St.) in Manhattan. All set to buy a copy online, I picked one up after Sunday Mass instead. Since I’m currently reading Chivalry delivery speed was not really an issue, however if ever given the choice I prefer to shop locally. This is especially true when given the opportunity to support Holy Innocents, “The little Catholic Church around the corner” at the crossroads of the world.

~ Giovanni di Napoli, November 13, Feast of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini