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History of the Society of Saint Rocco Di Potenza, T

Annual Feast

he Italian tradition of a religious feast in honor of San Rocco is what our society was founded for over 106 years ago. The society has the responsibility of keeping the tradition alive of hosting a novena, anointing Mass and Feast day Mass followed by a solemn procession through the streets of the neighborhood. People make this annual pilgrimage as an act of devotion to our beloved patron San Rocco. The feast day is celebrated on the third Sunday of every August (actual feast day, August 16) starting at 11:30am mass followed by the procession at 1:00pm. The procession is over 2 miles long and departs from St. William Church, where it travels through the Northwest Side of Chicago and Elmwood Park ending at the church with a special benediction to St. Rocco. After a concert performed by the Sicilian Band of Chicago, members and devotees alike enjoy many hours of food and entertainment. Many other organizations take part in our procession helping to keep alive our wonderful tradition. Contact us for any information regarding the annual feast, procession, mass schedules, entertainment, or feast preparations. The dates and times of all events can be found on our events calendar. Viva San Rocco! The late Paul V. Carelli, Sr., and Italian-born barber who came to Chicago and made a personal promise to celebrate St. Roccos feast day for the rest of his life founded the Society in 1902. Carelli gathered his family and friends (paesani) and into the society to perpetuate the Old-World tradition of celebration. On September 23, 1903, the first feast was celebrated at St. Mary of Mount Carmel Church at 67th and Hermitage. Since Carelli’s death in 1960, the society has carried on the traditional feast. Annually, hundreds of devotees from across the city and suburbia join together to celebrate Mass and walk in the Procession. In 1976, after hosting the Feast for its first 74 years, the archdiocese closed the beautiful parish of St. Mary of Mount Carmel. That same year, Fr. A. Corbo, the pastor of Holy Rosary Church was the host for the annual Feast. The devotees and parishioners of the Holy Rosary Parish are truly a people of deep faith; they are a tribute to what our celebration is all about. In 1995, after looking for a central location, we were welcomed into St. William Parish by their pastor, Fr. Robert Rizzo, and the parish council. In 2005, because of the growth in membership and the strong following of St. Rocco devotees, the Society was able to go back to the original tradition of carrying the venerated stature throughout the procession. One hundred years after Carelli and fellow devotees began their tradition, it continues to grow in strength. The Shrine and Feast of St. Rocco are continuing to be hosted by St. William Parish, and it has been handed down through the generations. Devotees travel from many miles, or just down the street, to participate in the annual pilgrimage and to express their faith. 44 /Fall 2011


Become A Member

If you are interested in becoming a member of the St. Rocco Di Potenza society and are a practicing Roman Catholic male of italian decent over the age of 18, contact us for application information via email or to contact the St Rocco Society by phone please call the Saint William Rectory (773)637-6565. Fall 2011/ 45


History of the Society of Saint Rocco Di Potenza  

History of the Society of Saint Rocco Di Potenza,

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