Vol. 47 ▪ No. 1 Washington D.C.
An Italian American Gazette of the Greater Washington DC Area
January-February 2008 $1.50
Pino Cicala Celebrates 50 Years of ‘Italian Melodies’
Monongah Tragedy Remembered in D.C., Italy and Monongah, W.V.
by Francesco Isgrò
by Lucio D’Andrea
For half a century Pino Cicala, a Voce Italiana Board Member and Holy Rosary Church parishioner, has invited Italian Americans, and friends of Italian music and culture, to enjoy the sounds of his “Italian Melodies” radio program, now broadcast every Sunday at 2 pm on WFAX-120 AM radio.. .Born in Italy, and immigrating to the United States in 1955, Pino enrolled in Catholic University’s School of Architecture, from which he received his degree in 1960. On Columbus Day 1958, while still a student at Catholic University, he first became the producer and host of the “Italian Melodies Hour.” The program was actually founded four years earlier by Pino’s brother Carmelo Cicala, who felt that the Italian American community in the Washington area needed an Italian voice. Pino recalled recently that in those early years, the song “Volare” had become internationally popular, thereby launching Italian music worldwide. The Italian community in the area was also very new, Pino says, and many needed help in understanding American culture, even basic information such as
On Thursday, December 6, 2007, a cold, sunny day, hundreds of people descended to the small town of Monongah, West Virginia, for a public commemoration on the centennial of the worst coal mining disaster in U.S. history. More than 550 miners died, many of them just young boys. Among those who perished were some West Virginians, as well as numerous immigrants from many European countries, including 171 Italians. Italians were the largest concentration of immigrants who had settled in Monongah in the early 1900s and the town has had a special meaning for the region of Molise, which accounted for 87 of the lost miners. No doubt that is the reason that Molise invited Joseph D’Andrea, ex-Honorary Consul of Italy, to conduct extensive research dating back several years to trace and identify the family history of the Molisani who died in a tragedy long forgotten. Joseph D’Andrea’s research resulted in the publication of the book Monongah: Cent’Anni di Oblio (Monogah:A Hundred Years of Oblivion) written in Italian and released in October, 2007 in Campobasso, Italy, to commemorate the tragedy. Par-
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Centennial of worst mine disaster in United States history is officially commemorated
Local entrepreneur Robert E. Carlucci is named Man of Year Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., received the Lido Civic Club Public Achievement Award in Public Service at the group’s 78th Anniversary Gala held on January 19, 2008. Second-generation Italian American Robert E. Carlucci, a prominent Maryland busi-
nessman was also honored at the Gala as the recipient of the Man of the Year award.. In his remarks, Justice Alito recalled the challenges faced by his Italian-born grandparents, one of whom came from Calabria, when they immigrated to the United States. Justice Alito, who went on to graduate from Princeton University in 1972 and from Yale Law School three years later, concluded his remarks by stating: “We remember where we came from, no matter how prominent Italian Americans have become. We remember the stories. We remember people who founded the Lido Club. We remember the people who came before us, the people on whose shoulders we stand.”
Caroline Cardi, Justice Samuel Alito, and Minister Sebastiano Cardi
President Napolitano Visits Washington Italian President Giorgio Napolitano paid an official visit to Washington in midDecember and met with President George Bush in the White House. Accompanying him was Deputy Prime Minister, Massimo D’Alema. In his Oval Office, President Bush made the following remarks: “Bilateral relations with the United States and Italy are very Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano and President George Bush good. We have a lot of interchange between our countries, with busi- participating in NATO training activities, ness as well as travel. And there are millions and as a matter of fact, there has been an unof Italian Americans who will be pleased, Please turn to page 6 Mr. President, to know we’ve got good relations.” A Trento si vive meglio 2 Following Bush’s remarks, President NaRapporto Italia 2008 2 politano spoke about the contributions that Rapporto annuale COMITES 3 Italy is making to world security by its presRemembering Messina Earthquake 4 ence in several areas of crisis. “In this moEditorials 8 ment, it is an Italian general who is taking Immigrants to the United States 9 command of the Kabul region in AfghaniProfile: Artist Angela Puglisi 10 stan.” He said. “ In Iraq, we give our conMother Frances Xavier Cabrini 11 tribution to the stabilization of the country,
Lido Civic Club Honors Justice Samuel Alito
The Monongah Memorial Committee of Washington, D.C. (pictured above) presented a seminar on December 2, 2007, at Casa Italiana, entitled “From Italy to Monongah: One Century Later.” Speaking at the seminar were three of the leading experts on the Monangah mine disaster: Professor Joseph Tropea, former Chair of the Sociology Department at George Washington University, Professor J. Davitt McAteer, author of “Monongah: The Tragic Story of the 1907 Monongah Mine Distaser,” and Hon. Joseph D’Andrea, former Italian Honorary Consul, Pittsburgh, Pa. (From left to right: Francesco Isgrò, J. Davitt McAteer, William Marmura, Joseph Tropea, Fr. Lydio Tomasi, Lucio D’Andrea, and Joseph D’Andrea.)
Washington D.C., January-February 2008
Rapporto Italia 2008
Eurispes: dà fiducia al governo un italiano su quattro Quasi la metà degli italiani, il 49,6%, ha visto diminuire nel corso dell’ultimo anno la propria fiducia nelle Istituzioni; per il 40,7% e’ rimasta invariata, solo per il 5,1% e’ aumentata. Decisamente negativi i risultati relativi al Governo: nel 2008 solo un cittadino su quattro (25,1%) vi ripone fiducia (30,7% nel 2007). L’Eurispes con il ‘Rapporto Italia 2008’ fotografa in 60 schede il Paese di oggi con una particolare attenzione alla fiducia dei cittadini nelle Istituzioni che e’ sempre più bassa. Il presidente della Repubblica è l’unico soggetto istituzionale che nel 2008 ottiene la fiducia della maggioranza dei cittadini (58,5%) sebbene in calo rispetto alla rilevazione precedente (63,2%). D’altronde, spiega il rapporto Eurispes, questo ulteriore calo di popolarità non sembra attribuibile tanto alla persona, quanto ad un più generale rifiuto della politica. Vanno male le cose per il governo: nel 2008 solo un cittadino su quattro (25,1%) vi ripone fiducia (30,7% nel 2007). Afferma di avere poca fiducia nel Governo il 40,4% degli intervistati, nessuna il 31,1%, abbastanza il 21,8% e molto soltanto il
An Italian American Gazette Of the Greater Washington DC Area Published ten times per year by Holy Rosary Church/Casa ltaliana Subscriptions (202) 638-0165 Or write: Voce ltaliana 595 Third Street NW Washington, DC 20001 Rates: Subscriber: $15 Patron: $20; Sponsor: $25 Advertising Lucia Portanova (202) 638-0165 Editorial Support Ann Marie Leali, Geraldine Oliveto Omero Sabatini Circulation/Mailing Joan Dodaro, Dina D’Avella Maria Cascioli Postmaster/Address Changes: Voce Italiana 595 Third Street NW Washington, DC 20001 Email: editor@VoceItaliana.com Registered as a newspaper at the Post Office. Postage paid at Washington DC.
3,3%. È calata la quota di chi nutre molta fiducia nel Governo ed e’ salita la quota di chi non nutre nessuna fiducia, ad ulteriore conferma dell’inarrestabile distacco dei cittadini da chi governa il Paese. Sono i piu’ giovani (18-24 anni) soprattutto al Sud (85,6%) e nelle Isole (84,5) a manifestare la maggiore sfiducia nel Governo. La situazione risulta leggermente piu’ positiva al Nord (i fiduciosi sono il 26,5%) ed in particolare nel Nord-Est (42,2%). Cresce la fiducia nella magistratura Cresce la fiducia degli italiani nella magistratura. Secondo il Rapporto Eurispes 2008, al secondo posto dopo il presidente della Repubblica (oltre il 58%), la magistratura raccoglie il 42,5% di fiduciosi, ma nello stesso tempo vede più della metàdei cittadini sfiduciati (53,6%). I ragazzi dai 18 ai 24 anni sono quelli che dimostrano meno fiducia nella magistratura (17,3%) e, in generale, verso le altre istituzioni. La fiducia nella magistratura risulta maggiore fra quanti sono orientati politicamente a sinistra (62,6%) e al centro-sinistra (51,3%), più scarsa invece fra quelli di centro-destra (26,6%) e di destra (28,2%). (ansa)
É Trento la città dove si vive meglio
Il Sud è lontano: un Italia a due facce
Trento al primo posto, Agrigento all’ultimo. Il Sole 24 ore ha pubblicato oggi l’annuale graduatoria sulla qualità della vita: emerge un’Italia a due facce, le ricche province del Nord, specie quelle montane, da una parte e quelle del Sud, dove si fa fatica a trovare lavoro, in fondo alla classifica. É Trento la città dove si vive meglio: recupera tre posizioni rispetto al 2006 e sale sul primo graPhoto Giovanni Iachello dino del podio precedendo le provTrento - Il Castello del Buonconsiglio ince di Bolzano e Aosta. Scivola invece al settimo posto Siena: la prima del 2006 viene superata anche da Bel- ancora divisa in due dove all’ultimo posto luno, Sondrio e Milano. Risale la classifica si trova Agrigento, preceduto agli ultimi anche Roma: la capitale, 23esima nel 2006, posti da Benevento, Foggia, Catania, Catè ora all’ottavo posto. Più di una grande anzaro e Taranto. Il primo posto di Trento provincia - nonostante le situazioni critiche è dovuto soprattutto al secondo posto ottesui versanti della congestione demografica, nuto nel capitolo affari e lavoro (una delle dell’ecosistema e della sicurezza - fa qual- sei tappe in cui si articola la ricerca); buone che progresso rispetto alla scorsa edizione: performance anche nell’area tenore di vita Genova (32esimo posto) e Torino (53esimo) (è sesto), ordine pubblico (12esimo) e temscalano quattro e sei gradini; e qualche pas- po libero (14esimo). All’estremità opposta so avanti lo compiono pure Napoli, Palermo Agrigento esce male in particolare sui fronti e Bari, pur restando oltre 1’85esima piazza. demografico, del business, dei servizi e de(9Colonne) gli svaghi, mentre nella sicurezza (misurata Il rapporto realizzato da Ipr Marketing per in base ai reati denunciati) se la cava un po’ Il Sole 24 ore punta i riflettori su un’Italia meglio.
Lingua Italiana: “InsegnoItaliano” Nasce il sito web promosso dalla Farnesina Nel quadro delle iniziative finalizzate a stimolare la domanda di conoscenza della lingua italiana, la Direzione Generale per la Promozione e la Cooperazione Culturale
ha avviato, dal 2007, una collaborazione con l’Agenzia nazionale per il sostegno dell’Autonomia scolastica di Firenze per la realizzazione di un’area virtuale che metta a disposizione online materiale didattico per l’insegnamento dell’italiano all’estero. Da questa collaborazione nasce il sito web “Insegnoitaliano”, un’area virtuale ricca di spunti, proposte e unità didattiche utili al lavoro in classe o da usare come idee da rielaborare a seconda dell’ambiente di riferimento. Tutto il materiale è scaricabile gratuitamente on line ed è rivolto a tutti i docenti impegnati all’interno delle varie strutture
che compongono l’estesa rete culturale scolastica italiana all’estero: le scuole italiane e bilingui, gli Istituti Italiani di Cultura e gli Enti Gestori. Insegnoitaliano vuol essere non solo una risorsa per migliorare e valorizzare l’insegnamento dell’italiano all’estero, ma anche un valido supporto per l’attività didattica e un’occasione di formazione e di confronto destinato ad accrescere la professionalità del corpo docente e a migliorare la qualità dell’offerta. Tel: 301-657-3960 Fax: 301-657-3980 firstname.lastname@example.org
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4709 Montgomery Lane Lower Level Bethesda, MD 20814
Il Papa Agli Immigrati: Rispettate Le Leggi, Non Seguite L’Odio I giovani immigrati devono rispettare le leggi e non seguire l’odio. Ma anche le istituzioni devono fare di più. A cominciare da scuola e chiesa, che devono stare più vicine agli stranieri, per finire con lo Stato che deve vigilare affinché “i campi di accoglienza non siano lager”. Sono gli spunti principali contenuti nella lettera che Benedetto XVI ha scritto in occasione della Giornata mondiale dei Migranti, celebrata il 13 gennaio. “Cari giovani migranti, preparatevi a costruire accanto ai vostri giovani coetanei una società più giusta e fraterna, adempiendo con scrupolo e serietà ai vostri doveri nei confronti delle vostre famiglie e dello Stato”, sono le prime parole del Papa. “Siate rispettosi delle leggi e non lasciatevi mai trasportare dall’odio e dalla violenza - è l’appello del Pontefice -. Cercate piuttosto di essere protagonisti sin da ora di un mondo dove regni la comprensione e la solidarietà, la giustizia e la pace”. (NoveColonne ATG) .
Washington D.C., January-February 2008
COMITES Washington, D.C. Il bilancio di fine anno presentato dal Presidente A conclusione di “un altro anno di lavori al servizio della nostra comunità”, il presidente del Comites di Washington, Carmelo Cicala, ha ritenuto “doveroso porgere a tutti un caloroso grazie per l’eccellente collaborazione” ai colleghi del Comites, così come ai “presidenti degli altri Comites del nostro collegio elettorale” ed “alle autorità consolari, senza la cui assistenza sarebbe stato tutto più difficile”. Ma pure “al collega Vincenzo Arcobelli per i suoi interventi come coordinatore dei Comites degli Stati Uniti per il mandato annuale a lui affidatogli” e “ai nostri rappresentanti al Cgie, per la cui riforma ci siamo battuti per tutto l’anno, riforma”, ricorda Cicala, che, “sebbene senza dettagli, ci è anche stata annunziata dal vice ministro Danieli nella sua visita a Washington D.C., lo scorso ottobre, in occasione della riunione InterComites”. Alla riunione, convocata dall’ambasciatore Castellaneta, ha anche partecipato, oltre ai membri del Cgie, tutta la rete consolare degli Stati Uniti, consoli, vice consoli e consoli onorari”. Ed infine Carmelo Cicala ricolge il suo ringraziamento “ai nostri parlamentari Sen. Renato Turano ed On.le Salvatore Ferrigno”. “Il 2007 ha visto il Comites impegnato in prima linea alla diffusione della cultura italiana e l’insegnamento della lingua italiana”, sottolinea nel suo messaggio il presidente Cicala. Il Comites, prosegue, “è stato in prima linea nella promozione di eventi per la commemorazione dei caduti di tutte le guerre partecipando alla Giornata delle Forze Armate, osservata con una Messa Solenne nella Chiesa del Santo Rosario di Washington DC, alla presenza delle autorità militari e civili in servizio presso l’Ambasciata d’Italia”. Sempre il Comites di Washington “si è fatto promotore, con la Casa Italiana, della Commemorazione del disastro minerario di Monangah, West Virginia, con una Santa Messa celebrata dal Nunzio Apostolico a Washington D.C., Arcivescovo Pietro Sambi, nel centenario di questo nefasto evento. In memoria di questi eroi del lavoro, caduti un secolo fa, è stata deposta una corona”. “In un evento più lieto”, osserva poi Cicala, “il Comites ha contribuito alla maniI/A COMMUNICATIONS GROUP MAX GIAMMETTA Sales and Installations
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festazione della Festa della Repubblica con la celebrazione di Festa Italiana, che si è svolta nelle strade antestanti la Casa Italiana, chiuse al traffico per questa giornata di italianità, marcata da musica, cibi, balli, una “sagra” di uno dei tanti Paesi trasportata per una giornata nelle vie della capitale”. Il Comites presieduto da Carmelo Cicala ha inoltre co-sponsorizzato con l’Intercomites “il convegno annuale della ACTFL (Conferenza Nazionale per l’Insegnamento delle Lingue Straniere) tenutosi a San Antonio, Texas, al quale hanno partecipato oltre 5mila visitatori”. Per il presidente Cicala, dunque, il 2007 è stato “un anno pieno, un anno che meglio non poteva concludersi che con la visita a Washington DC del Presidente della Repubblica, Giorgio Napolitano, che volendo salutare la comunità italiana di Washington ci ha onorati intrattenendosi con noi per oltre dieci minuti”. Allo stesso Napolitano proprio Cicala ha avuto il “piacere” di presentare
“un libro su Washington a ricordo di questa sua visita. Insomma un anno stracolmo, un anno di attività che non potevano essere meglio rilevate che con il messaggio diretto dal primo consigliere Mancini in occasione della fine d’anno, a cui va il nostro sentito ringraziamento”. “Il Comites di Washington”, si legge tra l’altro nel messaggio di Marco Mancini, “ha rafforzato nel 2007 l’immagine che questo organismo deve riflettere nella rispettiva collettività di riferimento. Molti importanti risul- tati sono stati ottenuti nel campo della promozione della lingua e cultura ed in quello della segnalazione delle esigenze degli italiani all’estero che vivono in quest’area grazie all’impegno e la buona
Cicala Celebrates 50 Years with ‘Italian Melodies’ “La Voce di Washington” for the past half century Continued from page 1
the significance of American holidays like Thanksgiving Day and the Fourth of July. “Italian Melodies was there offering help and information and also providing a link to Italy,” said Pino. Today, Italian Melodies hour is being “streamed” on the internet and Pino is considering establishing an archive, from which the program can be accessed at any time. Over the years, Italian Melodies has been at the forefront of broadcasting new talent from Italy. Aside from regularly featuring songs from the Sanremo Festival, said Pino, “I was playing Andrea Bocelli in 1984, long before anyone knew of his existence. He aslo introduced Cinquetti, DiBari, Celentano, Mina, Peppino di Capri, Paoli. Vanoni, Fiorello, Mannoia, and many more. In the operatic field, Pino has played Beniamino Gigli, Di Stefano, Pavarotti, Freni, Callas, Tebaldi, Licitra, and even recordings of Caruso. He selects the records in response to requests and “to balance the content to create a complete picture or to relate to particular events and festivities, such as Carnevale or
Natale,” Pino said. Italian Melodies has not just been about music, however. Over the years, the program has provided news from Italy, as well as national and local news of interest to the Italian community. For the program, Pino has also personally interviewed nearly every Italian VIP who has visited Washington, D.C. (“Tutti quelli che sono passati da qui,” as he recently recalled.) Among his most memorable interviews, he said, were those with former Italian Premier Andreotti, former Attorney General Benjamin Civilletti, FIAT Chairman, Giovanni Agnello, and Watergate’s architect Luigi Moretti. He added that there were numerous other unforgettable interviews, including his very first in 1959 with Anna Maria Alberghetti, and subsequent ones with Italian singers, Enzo Stuarti, Nino Manfredi, Luciano Pavarotti, and Renzo Arbori. Pino Cicala’s personal library contains decades of Italian American records, history, and memorabilia. His media archives are comprised of broadcast, radio, television and music that spans a half century.
volontà di tutti i componenti del Comites di Washington. Un’immagine positiva che si è proiettata anche al di fuori della circoscrizione di competenza e che conferisce al Comites di Washington DC particolare lustro e ne fa un attore di primo piano nell’ambito della tutela dei connazionali che vivono negli Statgi Uniti”. “A tutti voi i miei migliori auguri di Buon Natale e che il 2008 confermi e rafforzi ancora più questo quadro altamente positivo dell’attività che siete riusciti a porre in essere”, conclude il messaggio. E Cicala, a sua volta, aggiunge: “grazie, grazie ancora colleghi. Non molliamo, la Riforma della Legge Istitutiva dei Comites e Cgie ci attende”. (aise)
Italian Melodies’ Favorite Tunes
Which songs are most requested by Italian Melodies listeners? According to the program’s host Pino Cicala, they are: Volare, Mamma, Torn’ a Sorrento, Il Cielo in una stanza, Nessuno al mondo, Al di la, Sapore di sale, Scapricciatello, and Guaglione. Among the most popular singers are: Renzo Arbore, Baglioni, Battiato, Battisti, Paolo Conte, Lucio Dalla, Roberto Murolo, and Ornella Vanoni. Using his personal collections, Pino shares his love for the Italian community through the Italian Melodies radio program. He also maintains the Amico website (www. italianamericancommunications.org). Pino Cicala remains vital and active in the Italian American community. He is a member of, and has had prominent leadership positions in groups including The Lido Civic Club, the Italian Cultural Society, Friendship Heights Rotary Club, and The Roma and Fiumedinisi lodges of the Sons of Italy. He has received numerous awards of recognition, including three commendations from the government of Italy. In 2006, he was selected as the Lido Club’s Man of the Year. After a 30-year career in architecture, Pino has retired as President of Watergate Architectural Interiors. For Pino, Italian Melodies “has always been and continues to be my civic contribution as a service to the community.” Pino can be heard every Sunday at 2 p.m. on WFAX-120 AM radio.
Washington D.C., January-February 2008
Remembering The Earthquake That Destroyed Messina The American effort to rescue victims was immediate and generous by Salvatore LaGumina, Ph.D. The misfortune that began on December 28, 1908, at approximately 5:20 a.m. would later be certified as Europe’s most powerful earthquake of modern times. Centered in the Messina Strait, which separates the island of Sicily from Calabria on the Italian mainland, the quake’s power was estimated at 7.5 on the Richter scale. It shook southern Italy to its very foundations, with tsunami-like consequences, including forty-foot waves that crashed down on dozens of coastal cities spreading thick, viscous, impassable mud in the streets. The casualty figure was enormous: perhaps as many as 200,000 people perished. The earthquake numbered as fatal victims the American Consul and his wife, and the English Consul’s wife, along with numerous tourists, among them many American travelers of the Gilded Age. Survivors faced the bleakest of realities -homes destroyed, family members dead, and nearby cities and villages reduced to rubble. There were reports of survivors wandering about dazed, demented and nude, while widespread looting and vandalism required massive deployment of police and troops to keep order. The Italian government relocated many Messina survivors to new towns within Italy while others became immigrants destined for America. Within weeks more than GINO MARINUCCI, C.P.A., P.C. CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS SINCE 1975 “YOUR SMALL BUSINESS SPECIALIST” ACCOUNTING ● TAX PLANNING TAX PREPARATION ● SOFTWARE SUPPORT COMPLETE PAYROLL SERVICE (301) 942-2266 GINO MARINUCCI, C.P.A. ANTHONY MARINUCCI, C.P.A.
400 were placed on the “Republic,” a lux- tions. The U.S. Congress responded to an ury passenger liner, while the Italian ship Italian government request for home-buildSS “Florida,” carried 850 passengers away ing materials by approving a $500,000 relief from Naples to a new life in New York City. bill, which sent several steamers filled with En route, victims endured a second disaster construction items for approximately 3,000 when, lost in dense fog off Nantucket Island, homes in the destroyed village of Reggio the “Florida” collided with the “Republic,” an accident that cost three lives. Survivors finally arrived in New York’s harbor shaken and unnerved, as they confronted the new challenge of beginning their lives again. Although a number of countries came to the aid of Messina earthquake victims, the greatest assistance came from the U.S. Navy, then in the final leg of its historic world tour. One of the grand palaces along the Port of Messina as it crumbled and It took steps to bring burned. Stunned survivors can be seen roaming amid the ruins. immediate and concrete succor in the form of tens of thousands and smaller nearby villages on the Calabrian of pounds of food, as well as several doctors and Sicilian sides of the straits of Messina. and supplies, such as cots and blankets, to American naval personnel became vigorthe stricken area. ously engaged in erecting the homes that beIt was soon realized that recovery from came known as “the American village.” The the horrific devastation would require much operation, which lasted for weeks, elicited more aid and thus began a little-known but genuine appreciation from Italian officials. important chapter in Italian-American rela- It also required a delicate temporary relinquishment of national sovereignty by the Italian government to an American camp Email: Jplamari@msn.com within Italy. Web: AttorneyLamari.com Another indication of the close association between Americans and Italians wrought by JOSEPH P. LAMARI the tragedy was the personal visit by former ATTORNEY AT LAW President Theodore Roosevelt to the strick414 HUNGERFORD DRIVE en area on April 6, 1909. Although it was SUITE 404 a hastily arranged visit, the King of Italy ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND 20850 was on hand to greet him while throngs of (301) 762-2018 FAX: (301) 762-0999
townspeople filled the streets to show their appreciation for American aid. The destitute population welcomed him with the incongruous but heartfelt shout of “Long live our President,” in deference to a man who was considered “a kind of spiritual President of the unfortunate island.” Large crowds prevented the Roosevelt entourage from visiting the ruins of the former American Consulate, but they saw remains of the destroyed Cathedral and adjacent streets piled high with debris. Representatives from the national government, local municipalities, religious orders and plain Italian citizens were profuse in articulating their gratitude, as expressed in official and private letters and in name designations –albeit using bewildering phonetic Italian variations of American names, such as Via Rosuvett [Roosevelt] and Via Brocchlin [Brooklyn]. The prompt reaction by the United States Navy via its warships laden with ample food, medicine and medical personnel and the extraordinary manual work undertaken by thousands of navy members within the stricken areas, the proficiency and capability exercised by U.S. representatives, the generous approval of substantial sums by Congress to help the afflicted, the voluntary contributions of the American people, the personal visit of President Roosevelt to the scene of the disaster--all these actions and others elicited astonishing commendation. They won praise from Italy, from other nations and from Italian Americans. That the United States assumed this foremost role of extensive aid to people in other parts of the world during the Gilded Age may seem unusual in a survival of the fittest era, yet in answering the human needs in a time of immense disaster this was also an example of America at its best. Dr. Salvatore J. LaGumina is professor emeritus and director of the Center for Italian American Studies at Nassau Community College.
Washington D.C., January-February 2008
Monongah Centennial Commemorated in Italy and Italian American Communities Representatives of Italian government and Italian-American organizations commemorate 1907 mining disaster Continued from page 1
gion of Calabria, which lost 43 of its sons all donated by the government of Italy. Carved ticipating in the West Virginia ceremonies Church offered a prayer as well, giving the told; 30 of them from the town of Giovanni in the granite are the following words: were about 100 Molisani, who accompanied ceremonies an ecumenical presence. “On December 6, del Fiore. In his remarks, West Virginia GoverMichele Iorio, President of the Region of 1907, 361 men, many After children Molise and mayors of the towns and re- nor Joe Manchin noted: “ At this solemn from the local of whom were Italgions whose native sons perished in the di- occasion we want to honor the lives of the middle ian, perished in the school saster, including Bognoli del Trigno, Froso- those miners and their families. In 1907 read the names of mines of Monongah, lone, Duronia (it alone lost 36), Fossalto, they worked under harsh conditions to make the deceased minWest Virginia. These Pietracatella, Torella del Sagno and Vestogi- a better life for themselves and their fami- ers, the bell was men were often acrardi. Joining them were Molisani who had lies.” The Governor read a proclamation rung symbolically companied by their traveled from Toronto, Montréal, Chicago, highlighting the tragedy and inviting all seven times. young sons and other Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington, DC. West Virginians to conduct a minute of family members who At noon a high silence. The Bishop then blessed the 1,300- Mass was celeand Fairfax, Va, assisted them in the The ceremonies actually began on Dec. pound bell, which had been installed a few brated by the Bishmines. There were 5, when President Iorio hosted a dinner days earlier. The bell was shipped from the op in nearby Holy countless others who for Molisani at the Charters Country Club world famous foundry “Marinelli-Pontifica Rosary Catholic lost their lives that in Carnegie Pa.. It was quite a reunion Fonderia di Campane” in Agnone. It is a gift Church. Present day who still remain for many attendees who were able to con- from the province of Molise. unknown. Only God were a number of The bell was placed near another memori- Italian nect with former residents of their Italian knows their faces, dignitarhometowns, many of their names, and the whom had emigrattrue number who deed to Canada in the parted this life. 1950’s. (Among them On that fateful day, was Giuseppina Spiour town of Mononnelli, a former classgah pulled together Monongah: The “Heroine” Statue mate of mine at the and buried its dead. elementary school of These men, mostly Roccamandoldi some ies, including Am- buried within the arms of this Cemetery, left 65 years ago.) bassador Giovanni their wives and children in this country and On Thursday, at 10 Castellanetta, First in lands far away. May all the souls buried a.m. in the MononCounselor Marco in this hallowed place rest in peace and may gah town square, Mancini, and mem- they find comfort in our memories.” State Senator Roman The cemetery, which has been extensively bers of the Italian Prezioso, a native of Parliament, Hon. restored by Italy as well, offered a somber the town and ChairGino Bucchino and scene as visitors from Molise took time to man of the Monongah Hon. F. Ferrigno, search the gravesites of the deceased minCentennial Commemrepresenting Italians ers who had immigrated from that region. orative Committee, The ceremonies concluded with a recepresiding in North opened the program tion on the grounds of Fairmont UniversiAmerica. by introducing digniFollowing the ty, hosted by its President. A message by taries, such as Roger The cemetery at Monongah, West Virginia. (Photo courtesy of Chris Martin) Mass, all were in- phone was transmitted by Minister Franco Huffman, Mayor of vited to join the Danieli. Concluding remarks were offered Monongah, who welcomed everyone. This al, a newly-erected statue titled “Monongah Ambassador and Stefano Mistretta, Consul by Joseph D’Andrea, who worked closely was followed by opening prayers led by Heroine,” a tribute to the unheralded and of- General of Italy in Philadelphia, on the walk with the Centennial Committee in making Bishop Branfield of the Wheeling, W.Va., ten overlooked coal miners’ wives and chil- to the cemetery for the placing of wreaths the day a memorable event and one that diocese. The Minster of the local Baptist dren. The gift was partially funded by the re- and the unveiling of a granite monument brought honor to Italy.
Medaglia d’Oro al Merito Civile al Monongah Remembrance Committee Conferita dal Presidente della Repubblica Giorgio Napolitano Il Presidente della Repubblica Giorgio Napolitano ha conferito la Medaglia d’Oro al Merito Civile al Remembrance Committee in memoria dei 171 minatori italiani deceduti nel disastroso incidente di Monongah in West Virginia, in occasione del centenario del tragico evento, quale “doveroso omaggio e unanime riconoscenza della Nazione tutta ai lavoratori italiani periti nella circostanza, sacrificando la vita ai più nobili ideali di riscatto sociale”. L’onorificenza e stata consegnata il 6 dicembre dal vice Ministro degli Affari Esteri, sen. Franco Danieli, al Presidente del
Comitato per le Celebrazioni del Centenario di Monongah e discendente dei minatori di Monongah, Sen. Roman Prezioso, nel corso della cerimonia commemorativa, Il Ministro Daniele ha fatto il seguente discorso: “Esprimo viva soddisfazione e sincera emozione per l’onorificenza che il Presidente della Repubblica ha attribuito alle vittime del disastro minerario di Monongah (West Virginia) in occasione del centenario dell’evento”. “Il riconoscimento onora prima di tutto la memoria dei 171 giovani emigrati italiani che, secondo le stime uf-
ficiali, certamente approssimate per difetto, perirono nell’incidente minerario. Esso è anche un atto di reintegrazione, sia pure parziale e tardivo, delle vittime e dei loro familiari per il lungo silenzio che ha avvolto il più grave incidente di lavoro nel quale gli italiani all’estero siano stati coinvolti. La medaglia al Merito Civile e il diploma sono stati concessi al Remembrance Committee di Monongah per l’impegno profuso nel tenere vivo il ricordo dell’evento. Sono grato altresì a tutti coloro che si stanno adoperando per fare riemergere la memoria delle vittime di Monongah e di tutti gli altri incidenti di lavoro incorsi agli italiani nella loro vicenda di emigrazione. Assieme ai componenti del Comitato e
agli altri rappresentanti di istituzioni e di associazioni convenuti a Monongah, ricorderemo quella tragedia nella speranza che possa servire a rendere onore a quei lavoratori emigrati e alle loro famiglie e a rinsaldare i rapporti di comprensione e di solidarietà con l’importante comunità italoamericana." G & S AUTO DYNAMICS INC. Complete Automobile Repair Service Foreign & Domestic With over 25 years of experience 4607 Madison St Riverdale, MD
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President Giorgio Napolitano Visits Nation’s Capital Continued from page 1
deniable improvement in the security conditions in Iraq in the past few months.” President Napolitano went on to say that Italy shares the same concerns as the U.S. and expresses a common commitment to dealing with other world crises, such as the independence of Kosovo, for example. He also stated that Italy is prepared to contribute to facing all threats successfully, including the “very serious threat of nuclear weaponization of Iran.” President Napolitano was later received on Capitol Hill by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Italian-American Nancy Pelosi, as well as a large delegation of Congressmen from both parties. The Italian Head of State also inaugurated an exhibition of historical china by Richard-Ginori from the Tuscan Museum of the Manifattura di Doccia titled: “Richard-Ginori 1737-1937: Ceramics from the Manifattura di Doccia Museum.” In addition, he had an opportunity to meet with representatives of the Italian American community of the Washington, D.C. area. Before the conclusion of his visit to Washington, President Napolitano paid a visit to Arlington National Cemetery, where he laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The ceremony, characterized by a solemn atmosphere, was accompanied by a 21-gun salute and an honor cordon of 370 servicemen in full dress uniform.
President Giorgio Napolitano and Fr. Lydio Tomasi, pastor of Holy Rosary Church, at the Italian Embassy reception.
Attending the Ginori Exhibit was Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli, pictured above with Italian Embassy interns.
Ambassador Castellaneta and President Napolitano during the Inauguration of the Exhibition: “Richard-Ginori 1737-1937: Ceramics from the Manifattura di Doccia Museum.”
Mrs. Leila Castellaneta (center) and Mrs. Clio Napolitano (right) admire a 1924 Maiolica vase.
La Befana arrives punctually at Casa Italiana on the Epiphany
After receiving a blessing at Holy Rosary church, a well-behaved group of children of all ages crowded Casa Italiana on January 6, 2008, for the annual arrival of La Befana and the giving of gifts to good children. Pictured above is Maria Marigliano reading stories about La Befana to the children of parishioners.
Washington D.C., January-February 2008
Midnight in Italy: New Year’s Eve Family Dinner Celebration at Casa Italiana Parishioners and their guests, young and old, celebrated New Year’s Eve well past midnight -- midnight in Italy, that is. After enjoying a buffet dinner, the revelers raised glasses of spumante at 6 p.m. to toast 2008. The dinner party continued as parents and children danced to Italian and American music. Chaired by Ann Marie Leali and Eileen Verna, the event was sold-out well in advance.
What is your wish for the New Year?
Holy Rosary Church parishioners share their wishes for 2008
“I want the war in Iraq to end.” James Stann, 10, who is in the fourth grade.
A Renaissance Evening At Casa Italiana Holy Rosary Church and the National Italian American Foundation joined forces on December 1, 2007, to host a Renaissance Christmas Dinner at Casa Italiana. Some 100 guests attended the dinner, among them Jan and Phil Fenty, parents of Mayor Adrian Fenty, Franco Nuschese, owner of Café Milano, Joseph Persichini, Jr., assistant director of the FBI’s Washington field office, Pastor Lydio Tomasi, and the event’s organizer Stephanie Razzano. Noted
local tenor Antonio Giuliano sang selections of claassic Neapolitan songs. The dinner featured an historic menu selected by Chef Domenico Cornacchia. Café Milano staff oversaw the dinner preparation and service. The authentic menu featured animelle ai gamberi, ravioli alle erbe e formaggio, tinghiale arrosto, spigola al corto brodo, and for dessert, tortine di frumento all’anice. All proceeds will benefit Casa Italiana.
“Pace e tranquillità.” Dr. Enrico Davoli, Parish Council member and usher.
“I really hope for the success of this Church because I love this Church.”
“Peace and happiness, that’s all.”
Mary Catucci, who has been attending Holy Rosary Church for 61 years.
Gay Ferrante, Prefect of Sodality at Holy Rosary Church.
Franco Nuschese, Phil Fenty, John Rose, Mrs. Jan Fenty, Fr. Lydio Tomasi, Daniel Stabile and Mrs. Stabile
Washington D.C., January-February 2008
Editor-in-Chief: Lydio F. Tomasi, c.s. Executive Editor: Francesco Isgrò
Founded in 1960 An Italian American Gazette of the Greater Washington DC Area
Board of Trustees: Franco Nuschese, Stephanie Razzano, Beatrice Tierney
Catholics and Economic Inequities
an American Catholics, who are seri- home. The worldwide migration challenge ous about the social implications of cannot be dealt with by individual countheir faith, be a positive force to confront tries, but must be addressed multilaterally. the gross economic inequities of our time? Moreover, “people themselves can’t be illeIn the United States, the compensation of gal,” and world leaders must remember that migration is a human top business leadright issue. ers has reached Can American Catholics Catholics,wrote astronomical levbe a force in confronting Daniel J Morrissey in els, with C.E.O.s economic inequities? America, are the heirs being paid an avof both the Hebrew erage almost 400 prophets who railed times what the typical worker earns.The extreme disparity in against economic oppression and the early wages between countries in the developing followers of Jesus, who held all things in world and in the developed world is a major common. Perhaps no saint better encapsureason for migration. People in the sub-Sa- lated the message of equality and human haran Africa, forexample, earn less than a dignity at the heart of the Gospel than did dollar a day. Those who manage to move to Vincent de Paul, who said we must ask forhigher incomenations send remittances back giveness from the poor for the charity we to their home countries: an estimated #167 give them. If our country is ready to enact social policies to curb the shameful excesses billion a year. Nativists in the United States and some of our new gilded age and better distribute presidential candidates continue to press for the abundant wealth of our society, Cathoa one-size-fits-all approach to immigration lics ought to be front and center in that and have urged that all 12 million undocu- movement. mented migrants in the United States be sent
Voce Italiana welcomes your contributions dealing with Italian-American community activities and events. We invite you to send your comments and letters to the editor and urge you to sponsor our publication by advertising in our pages. Please send editorial contributions via email to: editor@VoceItaliana.com, or call 202-638-0165.
Editorial Board: Pino Cicala, Enrico Davoli, Dona De Sanctis, Anna Isgrò, Gemma Puglisi, Fred Rotondaro
Voce Italiana’s View
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR:
Catholic Teaching and Political Life
he church calls for a political en- position in favor of an intrinsic evil, the congagement “shaped by the moral con- scientious voter faces a dilenma. The voter victions of well formed consciences and may decide to take the extraordinary step of focused on the dignity of every human be- not voting for any candidate or, after careing, the pursuit of the ful deliberation, may common good, and the decide to vote for the protection of the week candidate deemed less Voting is one of the and the vulnerable,” to advance such strongest moral obligations likely the U.S. bishops say in as morally flawed powe have as citizens. a statement approved sition and more likely at their fall meeting in to pursue other auBaltimore. thentic human goods. The bishops’ quadrennial statement on In making these decisions it is essential for politics and elections, released before presi- Catholics to be guided by a well-formed dential elections for more than 30 years, this conscience that recognizes that all issues to year titled “Forming Consciences for Faith- not carry the same moral weight and that the ful Citizenship: A Call to Political Respon- moral obligation to oppose intrinsically evil sibility From the Catholic Bishops of the acts has a special claim on our consciences United States,” has been approved by the and our actions. full body of bishops. These decisions should take into account Voting is one of the strongest moral ob- a candidate’s commitments, character, integligations we have as citizens. In view of rity and ability to influence a given issue. In the fact that Catholics often face difficult the end, this is a decision to be made by each choices about how to vote, the U.S. Catholic Catholic guided by a conscience formed by Bishops stated: “When all candidates hold a Catholic moral teaching.”
Holy Rosary Church
Quo Vadis Italia?
We continue to watch with dismay the recent images of an Italy that is by all accounts in a period of extreme uncertainty. On December 13, 2007, during Italian President Giorgio Napolitano’s official visit to Washington, D.C., the New York Times ran an article titled “In a Funk, Italy Sings an Aria of Disappointment.” Three events unfolding within the past few weeks lend support to critics who view Italy as an “exquisite corpse,” incapable of governing itself. First, the international media has for weeks transmitted images of Naples buried under thousands of tons of garbage. The pictures even appeared on January 8, 2008 in the Washington Post’s Kids Page with an explanation that the Italian army had been called in to move the garbage away from schools so that students could return to class after winter break. Second, Pope Paul Benedict XVI cancelled his January 17 appearance at La Sapienza, Rome’s most prestigious university, due to the opposition of faculty members and students who claimed that he once defended the Church’s verdict condemning Galileo. The Pope’s visit would have been “an attack on the independence of culture and the university,” a faculty member was quoted as saying. As the international media saw it, the protest against the Pope at La Sapienza, founded in 1303 by Pope Boniface VIII, reflects an intolerance of the most pernicious kind. Last and most importantly, the fragile coalition of Prime Minister Romano Prodi’s government shattered in a theatrical ending, “with spumante and melodrama spilling out
among legislators,” wrote Time magazine. This latest political crisis was precipitated by the resignation of Minister of Justice, Clemente Mastella, who became the target of a corruption investigation. As head of the micro-party UDEUR, Mastella abandoned his support for Prodi, thus sealing the fate of his 20-month-old government, Italy’s 61st since World War II. As many critics of Italy have noted, the roots of the latest political crisis lie largely in an electoral system in dire need of reform; the existence of micro-parties have made governing a nearly insurmountable challenge. Indeed, this was Prodi’s second attempt; his first government in the late nineties lasted 17 months. President Giorgio Napolitano, who remains among the most respected politicians in Italy, may seek to reform the electoral system before Italians are asked to return to the polls. Others, however, will insist on immediate elections. To be sure, there have been other crises and Italy has survived. Italians invented l’arte di arrangiarsi and there is no doubt that Italy will also put this crisis behind them. But Italy and the Italians appear to be at a critical crossroads. The mounting political, economic, and social problems are no longer on the horizon – they are very real. Italians will have to confront them and take substantive steps toward reform. In the coming months, Italians will be asked to make choices that will decide the country’s future course. Italians and Americans of Italian descent stand behind those who believe in a better Italy. –Francesco Isgrò
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
A Love Affair with Garibaldi
Dear Editor: Having read and re-read your August 2007 article on Garibaldi by Dr. Frank Alduino, I felt compelled to write. Throughout his life, my father Vito Checchia (1898-1984) had a “love affair” with Garibaldi, the general, hero of two worlds, and lion of 19th century Europe, as superbly written in Voce Italiana. A Sunday dinner did not go by without poppa lecturing us about the glories of Garibaldi. My father identified with Garibaldi in that he was a self-educated sheepherder who joined the Italian army in World War I, and led his troops in such an outstanding manner that he quickly became a decorated
sergeant. I cannot thank you enough for the walk down memory lane, remembering my father’s robust enthusiasm each time he spoke of Garibaldi. It leaves me with a perennial smile thinking of Garibaldi, my father, and those glorious days at Holy Rosary Church. But most of all, thank you for educating me on Garibaldi! The article now resides among the photos and souvenirs of my father’s life. Thank you, Voce Italiana, for bringing such a treasure into my life. Natalie Checchia Giannetta Columbus, Ohio
Washington D.C., January-February 2008
Immigrants to the United States and the Catholic Church The Catholic Church has always welcomed newcomers ronment; they must confront a new language and culture, adapt to working conditions The Statue of Liberty still stands at the en- that often clash with their expectations, face trance of the New York harbor as a symbol of occasional discrimination and a feeling of America welcoming millions of immigrants marginalization, rebuild a sense of identity even at the beginning of the 21st century. and new network of friends, and find an acThe national identity of the United States ceptable way to express their religious conand the country’s policy of nation-building victions. Organized religion often plays a cannot be understood without an explicit critical role, providing spiritual energy, legal reference to the historical experience of un- and social assistance, a community that welinterrupted immigracomes and links with tion flows. the larger society as The U.S. populait helps the immition has now reached grants re-socialize. 300 million. Between The Catholic 1966 and 2006 it Church in the U.S. grew by 100 million, has grown out of as a result of births, every successive and immigration. In wave of immigrants the relatively short who from colonial span of forty years, times to the present the Hispanic populahave arrived from tion increased from all corners of the 8.5 million to 44.7 world. In turn, the million; the populaChurch has been action categorized as Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi tively engaged as a white, from 167 milleader, advocate, suplion to 200 million; the black population, port through a vast institutional network of from 23.3 million to 38.7 million; and the schools, hospitals, orphanages, counseling Asian and Pacific Islander population from and employment centers, and ethnic par1.5 million to about 14.3 million. ishes and associations. Immigrants and their U.S.-born children In recent decades, faced with an intensiaccounted for 55 percent of the total popu- fied diversification of immigration sources lation increase. They have preserved the and a consistently high volume of arrivals, most typical American tradition that this is the Catholic Church has reexamined its role a country of immigrants and that the immi- in relation to the latest global migration grants in turn contribute vitality, creativity phenomenon. Thus the Church continues and hope as they struggle through difficulties its historical service of providing immediate on their way to full integration, an evolving assistance and pastoral care while its teachprocess that changes them and their country ing ministry has sharpened and become not of adoption. just local or regional, but truly a national Newcomers do not enter an idyllic envi- mission, a voice that goes beyond denomiby Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, c.s.
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national boundaries and consciously opens on the wider horizon of the international scene. Since the 1970s, the U.S. Bishops have issued a variety of documents dealing with immigrants and refugees: diocesan pastoral letters; official communiques, resolutions, statements of the entire Bishops’ Conference or of its Committee on Migration,.letters to legislators or to the President of the U.S. on ethical implications of specific immigration bills; articulate testimonies before Congress; guidelines for the formation of priests and pastoral agents directed to enable them to minister with competence and sensitivity to the immigrants, and much more. This rich body of teaching and reflection shows the political and pastoral complexity of today’s human mobility and the multifaceted engagement of the Church. It shows how Christian faith looks at migration and inspires just responses, and how this phenomenon is a structural dimension of modernity, an effect as well as a cause of globalization. The U.S. Bishops proceed from a theological vision of migrations and then focus on pragmatic solutions that would be useful in the day to day life of the immigrants and for the common good of society. But in a pluralistic society like the U.S., the Church’s public discourse in the political arena is of necessity more encompassing and argues, first, from the perspective of our common humanity and the fundamental and inalienable rights that every person possesses. The migration debate is therefore seen primarily as an ethical question that imposes rights and duties on immigrants, States and the Church, an approach that is even more specifically defined in the case of refugees. Second, the Gospel’s commandment of love of neighbor, the stranger included, prompts a more perfect response to the presence of immigrants. A third step in the U.S. Bishops public argumentation is rooted in the American ethos. For the all too evident love-hate relationship toward newcomers throughout American history, the prevailing tradition of welcome and fairness stands out as a beacon of hope for the downtrodden. The torch of the Statue of Liberty keeps burning bright.
In Remembrance Joe Nicolas Malia, 92 Joe Nicolas Malia, a member of the Holy Name Society of Holy Rosary church, the Catholic War Veterans of the United States and The Knights of Columbus, died January 12, 2008, of congestive heart failure at his home in Alexandria, Va. Mr. Malia was born in the District and attended Eastern High School. At the start of World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving in Australia and New Guinea. After the War, he took positions with the Department of the Army, including as a warehouse supervisor at Fort Myer and later at Cameron Station, before retiring in 1979. While in New Guinea during the War, his brother sent him a camera, and Mr. Malia taught himself photography by taking pictures of the island’s people. Back in the United States, he became a part-time photographer for White’s Studio, taking photos at some 2,000 weddings, until knee problems forced him to quit at 70. His wife, Louise Malia, died in 2001. Survivors include daughters, Betty McGowan of Springfield and Mary Jo Wigglesworth of Richmond; and one granddaughter.
Michele Iannucci, 77 The Holy Rosary parish community mourns the recent passing of Michele Iannucci, a former employee of the World Bank, at the age of 77. For many years, Michele was the photographer for Voce Italiana. An appreciation of Michele’s life will appear in the next issue of Voce Italiana.
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Angela Puglisi: The Power of Color and Simplicity of Form Angela Puglisi, an active Holy Rosary parishioner and member of the Parish Council, is a professional artist and professorial lecturer, whose most recent solo exhibit was at the Washington Gallery in Fairfax, Va. Born in Novara di Sicilia, Italy, Ms. Puglisi’s works are in private collections in Washington, D.C., Virginia, Maryland, and abroad in Italy, France, Switzerland and Brazil. She also served as the art consultant for the interior restoration project at Holy Rosary Church. Ms. Puglisi began her art studies at the Corcoran College of Art under the noted Washington Color Field Painter, Leon Berkowitz. From him she learned the evocative power of color and simplification of form, which she now uses in her landscapes, without, however, abandoning the image that inspired the painting. She also studied painting under American
painter, John Winslow, at Catholic University, from which she received a Master’s in Fine Arts and a PhD. “I hope my paintings visually capture the poetry of images that speak to the soul,” said Ms. Puglisi, “That is the secret of creating a lasting work of art.” Aside from being an artist, she is also a professorial lecturer. For the past twenty years, she has lectured “Amalfi View,” acrylic, by Angela Puglisi at Georgetown University’s Art/Culture Program, where she has the past twenty years has conducted special taught fine arts and art history. She has also lectures through her classes at the National lectured at Smithsonian programs, and for Gallery of Art.
Ermenegildo Zegna Comes to the Washington D.C. Area Designer opens store in upscale Tysons Galleria Ermenegildo Zegna, the high-fashion menswear designer, has officially opened its new boutique at Tysons Galleria in northern Virginia. The opening is an important part of Zegna’s worldwide expansion and marks the tenth Ermenegildo Zegna retail boutique in the United States. “We are very excited about the new store at Tysons Galleria and we are proud to bring our almost 100 years of heritage in quality and innovation to the Washington, D.C. area,” said Gildo Zegna, chief executive of the Ermenegildo Zegna Group, and grandson of the company’s founder. The collection is known for sartorial style and elegant sportswear. Also available in the Tysons Galleria store is Zegna Sport, a collection of urban casual sportswear, as well as leather accessories including shoes and bags. For customers wanting a more personalized (and costly) experience, Ermenegildo Zegna’s exclusive Su Misura service provides madeto-order suits, shirts and ties. A world leader in luxury men’s clothing, the company was
founded in 1910 in Trivero, Italy, by tailor and entrepreneur Ermenegildo Zegna, and it remains a family business, now managed by the fourth generation of the Zegna family. The company has more than 550 retail outlets worldwide, 250 of them operated directly by the firm. Zegna suits run between $2,000 and $3,000, comparable in price to those of
competitors such as Gucci, Fendi, Prada, Versace and Armani. The Z Zegna sportswear line features less conservatively styled suits that start at about $900. The Tysons Galleria store was designed by architects Gianmaria and Roberto Beretta of Milan, utilizing a variety of colors, natural textures and furnishings to highlight the clothing collections.
Passport to Italy: The Sons of Italy Travel Bureau by Dona De Sanctis The Order Sons of Italy in America has established the Sons of Italy Travel Bureau, dedicated to exploring southern Italy. In January 2008, the travel bureau announced its first tour: a series of one-week trips to eastern Sicily, first settled by the Greeks 2,700 years ago. “We chose Sicily because one of every three Italian Americans can trace his or her ancestors back to this island,” said OSIA National President Alfred Affinito. “But even if you are not of Sicilian heritage, a visit to Sicily and its many treasures is well worth making.” Starting in September, 2008, the Sons of Italy Travel Bureau will offer weekly all-inclusive tours of Sicily that begin at less than $1,900 per person. Lodges, clubs and even groups of friends or families can reserve a “members-only” tour for a specific date. All tours depart from New York’s JFK airport, but other cities of embarkation are available at an additional charge. For a brochure and application form, go to www.osia.org. Dona De Sanctis, a Voce Italiana editorial board member, is editor-in-chief of Italian America magazine, headquartered in Washington, D.C.
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FACES IN HISTORY
Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini: America’s Patron Saint of Immigrants Thousands of faithful pilgrims visit her shrine in Manhattan each year by Leonardo Solimine As debates rage nationally and locally over immigrants’ rights, we are well served to remember that ultimately and with very few exceptions, all Americans are immigrants in one form or another. Ideology and dialogue alone, however, provide little visible relief to immigrants. Help often comes from individuals, and for many Italian immigrants in late 19th century America, support came from Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini. Widely recognized as the first American citizen canonized by the Catholic Church, she is also acknowledged as the Patron Saint of immigrants. She gave hope to those desperately seeking help, offering assistance in both their material and spiritual needs. Born Maria Francesca Cabrini on July 15, 1850, she was the tenth child of Agostino Cabrini and Stella Oldini. Her difficult birth, premature by two months, affected her health throughout her life. Many of her siblings, however, would not survive adolescence. Her father was a farmer and her mother tended to the children in Sant’Angelo Lodigiano, a small village sited on the plains of Lombardy, south of Milan. Maria’s life found its direction early. Nightly, her father read to the family, often recounting stories of great Catholic missionaries. Especially appealing for Maria were the tales of Chinese missions, and she hoped
to become a Franciscan missionary. By the late 19th century, thousands of At age 13, she enrolled as a boarding stu- Italians had arrived in the United States, dent in the Normal School located in the with many making New York City their commune of Arluno. Graduating in 1868 home. They suffered tremendous hardships and certified as a in their new country. teacher, she reViewed contempmained in Arluno, tuously by most living in the convent Americans, Italians with the religious labored in the most sisters who ran the menial of jobs. Even school. the Catholic Church In 1877, at age 27, in America was unshe took religious prepared for their vows and became arrival and initially the Mother Supetreated many devout rior of the House of Italians as outsiders. Providence orphanThe prayers of the age in another Lomimmigrants, howbardian commune, ever, were soon anCodogno. In a tribswered in the form ute to the evangelizof Mother Frances ing Jesuit, Frances Xavier Cabrini. Xavier, Maria added Urged by Bishop Xavier to her name. Scalabrini, and with Within three years, the blessing and she helped estabsupport of Pope Leo Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini lish a new order, XIII, she and six of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. her Missionary Sisters landed in New York The order helped to create homes, a school in early 1889. Unable to speak English and and a nursery, and their good works became lacking a place to stay, she and her fellow known to the Bishop of Piacenza, Giovanni Sisters endured many of the same problems Scalabrini. suffered by immigrants. Obstacles, however, failed to diminish her spirit and within a short time she established an orphanage and school. Her primary donor was the wife of the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Countess Mary Cesnola. This was only the beginning, however, for during her lifetime Mother Cabrini founded sixty-seven institutions around the world, including schools, orphanages, hospitals, and social service outreach programs. Eventually her work brought Mother Cabrini to Seattle, where in 1909 she fulfilled a deeply held desire to become an American citizen. Her missionary work continued with zeal over the next few years as she traveled extensively reaching to help those with the greatest needs. A tale persists that in 1912, she and a companion had tickets for the Titanic. Circumstances – and perhaps divine intervention - prevented her
from sailing on that ship’s final voyage. The last years of her life were spent in Chicago. Her health, always fragile, eventually failed as she contracted malaria. As she sat in her wicker chair at Columbus Hospital, the disease claimed her life while she prepared Christmas candy treats for the local immigrant children. Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini passed away on December 22, 1917, at the age of 67. Appropriately, she was interred at the Sacred Heart Orphanage in West Park, N.Y. In 1933, however, Mother Cabrini was exhumed and enshrined in the church’s altar at St. Frances Cabrini Shrine in Manhattan. Faithful pilgrims continue to visit this site by the thousands each year. Five years after her death, the Church beatified Mother Cabrini and Pope Pius XII subsequently canonized her on July 7, 1946. Attesting to her immense popularity, even in death, more than 100,000 attended her canonization at Chicago’s Soldier Field. By 1950, Pope Pius XII also declared her the “Heavenly Patroness of all Emigrants.” Mother Xavier Cabrini still represents a ray of hope for many, especially immigrants. She saw not what was, but what could be. Her inspiration and genuine love not only changed lives, but saved them, too. Her accomplishments will never fade nor be diminished with time. Mother Xavier Cabrini left us with a prayer, and it serves as a reminder of who she was, and perhaps as a guide for future generations.
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