Vol. 53 ▪ No. 3 Washington D.C.
March 2014 $1.50
An Italian American Gazette of the Greater Washington D.C. Area
At Casa Italiana, A Call to Matteo Renzi Sworn In As Italy’s Youngest Prime Minister Unite in Faith with Immigrants Former Mayor of Florence promises rapid reforms "Migration is not a problem to be solved, but rather something we must naturally grow into understanding better," explained Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio at a migration conference held on February 24, at the Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center. Bishop DiMarzio, who is the former executive director of Migration and Refugee Services for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and currently the Bishop of Brooklyn, N.Y., has worked for almost 40 years to improve immigrant relations. The conference, organized by Donald Kerwin, the Executive Director of the Center for Migration Studies in N.Y., considered strategies that Catholic institutions can apply to better integrate immigrants. The bishop acknowledged that the integration of diverse cultures "is not just a matter of assimilation into the dominant U.S. culture, or even our Catholic culture, but poses challenges to long-existing communities." He suggested that parishes "draw from the gifts and the strengths and the contributions all cultures bring us." He explained, "Institutions do not integrate immigrants. Continued on page 2
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini, President Giorgio Napolitano by Francesco Isgrò
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio
Continued on page 7
Matteo Renzi, a charismatic 39-year old former mayor of Florence, was sworn in on February 22 as the youngest ever prime minister of Italy, following an internal center-left Democratic Party vote that ousted his colleague and former Prime Minister Enrico Letta. Along with Mario Monti and Letta, Renzi becomes the third Italian prime minister since the resignation of Silvio Berlusconi in 2011, to rule without an electoral mandate. Renzi has never held a national office and faces considerable challenges as he attempts to keep
together a majority coalition in a Parliament, which to date has been deadlocked in effecting major legislative reforms. Renzi, through his calculated ascendancy to national power, mainly by appealing to dissatisfied Italians, particularly the young, and his pugnacious style of politics, which has earned him the nickname “rottomatore” or “demolition man,” laid the groundwork for this historic moment. Indeed in 2012, a headline in the New York Times
Luigi Del Bianco 3
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St. Joseph Tables 7
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‟Lʼavventura della fede” il nuovo libro di Generoso DʼAgnese La storia delle vite avventurose di missionari italiani nel Continente Americano
di Laura Napoletano Da Giovanni A. Andreoni a Francesco Bibolini, da Pasquale Tosi a Domenico Zipoli. E’ un viaggio attraverso 40 storie quello che vede per protagonisti i personaggi de “L’Avventura della Fede” ultima fatica editoriale di Generoso D’Agnese. Edito da Noubs (Chieti). Il libro rappresenta un omaggio ai missionari italiani che nel Continente Americano hanno operato come evangelizzatori senza disdegnare l’esplorazione, l’educazione sociale e la curiosità scientifica. Uomini che, a partire dalle prime navi approdate sulle spiagge americane, hanno vissuto passo passo l’emozione della scoperta, l’ipocrisia del potere e il dramma delle guerre, della civilizzazione forzata e del genocidio culturale delle popolazioni native. Generoso D’Agnese, giornalista impegnato da 30 anni nella scoperta e ri-
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Rev. Ezio Marchetto, C.S.
Executive Editor Francesco Isgrò
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scoperta degli italiani nel Mondo (autore - tra gli altri - di “Itala Gens”, “Dixie’s land” e “AbruzzoAmerica”) ha raccolto nelle pagine del volume alcune delle storie che dal 1998 propone sulle pagine del quotidiano America Oggi di New York e che riguardano uomini nel quale il fervore religioso batteva parallelamente a quello per l’esplorazione e la scienza. Uomini che seppero unire l’amore per Cristo a quello per la scoperta, che seppero portare le parole del Vangelo in luoghi mai calpestati dall’uomo, supe-
rando la paura dell’ignoto con la fede nella Croce. Gli esploratori con il Vangelo e i missionari con le carte topografiche hanno legato il loro nome a imprese esplorative o scientifiche, facendo conoscere nel contempo il cattolicesimo ai Nativi incontrati sul loro cammino. Non sempre amichevoli e non sempre disposti ad accettare le parole del figlio di Dio morto sulla Croce. “Il libro – spiega l’autore – riunisce in un unico corpo gli articoli apparsi negli ultimi 15 anni nelle testate italiane all'estero e vuole essere un omaggio alle straordinarie esistenze e destini di tanti sconosciuti che ebbero vite epiche e leggendarie, che compirono pellegrinaggi di migliaia di chilometri attraverso terre disabitate e deserti, testimonianze di un tempo in cui molti osarono attraversare l’Oceano per entrare in una realtà completamente diversa, fatta di spazi immensi e di sconosciute civiltà. È difficile racchiudere la loro epopea umana e spirituale in poche righe ma ho cercato di tratteggiarne gli elementi essenziali cercando di inserire le storie più significative. Ciononostante molte storie sono rimaste fuori dalle pagine del libro, pur meritando altrettanta considerazione.” Editor's note: Generoso D'Agnese is a regular contributor to Voce Italiana.
Challenges to the Integration of Immigrants Continued from page 1
They can facilitate it, but immigrants integrate, not institutions. And Catholic institutions cannot effectively contribute to immigrant immigration if they lose sight of the agency of the immigrants themselves and do not model themselves on openness and inclusion." During his remarks Bishop DiMarzio recalled his Italian roots and said that his grandparents, natives of Italy, did not attend Mass at their local Irish parish because they did not feel welcome. Touching on the issue of why migrants come to the United States, Bishop DiMarzio said that "immigrants come to this country to work. That's clearly the case. That's why we don't understand the (issue of) the undocumented. That's why they come here. They come to work, not
to go on welfare, not to be a burden, but to work. Once we can understand that as a nation, I think it will be much easier and much quicker to integrate them and give legal status." Kevin Appleby, the Director of Migration Policy and Public Affairs for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, was cautiously optimistic in his remarks about the prospect of immigration reform this year. When challenged as to why the Catholic Church was not pushing the Obama Administration to stop all deportation, Appleby responded that the time was not appropriate but that the Church would revisit the issue next year if Congress does not act this year.
Noted Briefly... ►After threats by the Italian government to shut down the deficitridden city of Rome, new Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has come to its defense, staving off a default while insisting that the city look for ways to curb its loses. ►Pope Francis recently revolutionized the Vatican's financial operation by appointing an auditor general and by establishing a new Secretariat for the Economy. The group will report directly to him.
►Italian fashion house Krizia is being acquired by a Chinese company that will oversee its expansion in Asia. Founder Mariuccia Mandelli is nearly 90 and has no heirs. ►Italy won a total of 8 medals
at the Sochi Olympics: two silver (short track and Alpine skiing) and six bronze medals, among them a bronze in figure skating won by Carolina Kostner. ►Coming to Washington D.C.'s Arena Stage next year is a new play called The Originalist, a dramatic portrait of conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The jurist will be played by actor Edward Gero.
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LA GRANDE BELLEZZA di Paolo Sorrentino
La nostalgia della bellezza di Anna Lawton
Cominciamo dal titolo. Che è importante, perché è spesso la chiave per entrare nel film. La domanda è stata fatta in quasi tutte le interviste: che cos’è la grande bellezza? Sorrentino, in un suo articolo, ha scritto che uno sarebbe tentato di rispondere, Roma, ma questa risposta sarebbe troppo facile. Siamo d’accordo, sarebbe anche errata, perché il film ci fornisce tutti gli elementi per capire che la grande bellezza risiede altrove. E allora, seguiamo il percorso di Jep Gambardella, che a 65 anni, dopo una vita spesa tra gli spettacolari monumenti di una civiltà morta da secoli e i decadenti party di una società morente, sente il richiamo di quell’altrove. Jep è un simpatico personaggio, scrittore e giornalista di fama, raffinato nel vestire con un tocco di eccentricità (da arbiter elegantiarum fine impero), seduttore ormai sazio di sesso, disincantato osservatore della fauna
umana, per cui prova non antipatia ma affetto, perché, come dice lui, “siamo tutti sull’orlo della disperazione.” Il suo sguardo, scettico ma curioso, critico ma con simpatia, si stende in una vasta panoramica dal perfetto belvedere della sua terrazza, includendo non solo le vestigia dell’antica urbe ma la sua essenza stessa. Quella terrazza, ad un passo dal Colosseo che le fa da sfondo con la sua mole vetusta, è il ritrovo abituale dell’elite culturale e dei sui accoliti. Tutti passano di lì. Ma noi che abbiamo l’età di Jep li conosciamo già questi personaggi. Li abbiamo incontrati in gioventù che vivevano la loro “dolce vita” in piena crisi esistenziale. Infatti, questo film si potrebbe definire una Dolce vita con un carico di cinquant’anni di ulteriore degrado. Con questo, non togliamo nulla al film di Sorrentino, anzi gli rendiamo omaggio. E notiamo che il regista stesso si è preso cura di farcire il suo film con numerosi e ovvi riferimenti all’universo felliniano, proprio per un dovuto
riconoscimento all’autorità del Maestro Ma tornando alla domanda iniziale sulla grande bellezza, vediamo che il percorso di Jep è uno di ricerca, non di scoperta―acqua, acqua, fuochino, fuochino, ma fuoco no. Jep la cerca sul mare la bellezza, si è fatto dipingere il mare sul soffitto della camera da letto per evadere nel sogno. Nell’ultima, magistrale sequenza lo vediamo che costeggia in battello quella scogliera della sua gioventù, scrutandola per trovare una risposta. Vede il faro, ma è spento. Su tutta la sequenza si ode il monologo conclusivo di Jep. Parla di sprazzi di bellezza e dello squallore di
FACES IN HISTORY
Luigi Del Bianco: Little-known Sculptor of Mount Rushmore
"With the exception of Del Bianco few of the carvers worked out." Mount Rushmore, the iconic monument of four American presidents carved out of a mountainside in the Black Hills of South Dakota draws 3 million tourists a year. Yet little is known about the sculptors who created the massive work. Carving began on Mount Rushmore in 1927 and was overseen by a DanishAmerican sculptor Gutzon Borglum. He was assisted by many carvers over the 15 years it took to complete the project but one stands out in particular, according to a book by Judith St. George called The Mount Rushmore Story. He is Luigi Del Bianco, a friend of Borglum, who hired him in 1933 as the chief stone carver. Borglum later said that with the exception of Del Bianco, whom he affectionately called "Bianco," few of the carvers worked out. Born in 1892, Del Bianco spent his early childhood in Italy. His parents, Vincenzo and Osvalda, came from Meduno, in the province of Pordenone.
Young Luigi showed a precocious interest in carving and at age 11 his father took him to study under a skilled carver in Austria. After a few years he left for Venice to continue his training. When family members living in Vermont wrote that skilled carvers were in demand in the United States, the 17-year old Luigi boarded a ship for America, eventually marrying and raising three sons. In 1935, he moved the family to Keystone, So. Dakota,
near the monument he was carving. He stayed until 1941, when he returned to his home in Port Chester, N.Y. Del Bianco gets the credit for carving the life-like eyes of Abe Lincoln. "I know every line and ridge, each small bump and all the details of that head so well," he later said. Before his death in 1969, Del Bianco stated, "I would work at Mount Rushmore even without pay, if necessary. It was a great privilege granted to me."--Voce Italiana
stare al mondo, parla dell’altrove che ha deciso di non indagare. E mentre il suo primo piano si espande gradualmente a riempire l’intero schermo, accetta la sua condizione umana con scettica ironia: “Dunque, che questo romanzo abbia inizio. In fondo, è solo un trucco.” La grande bellezza è un grande film d’autore. Bravo, Sorrentino! © Anna Lawton 2014
The Great Beauty Wins Oscar for Best Foreign Film After Italy's long absence as an Academy Award winner, the film The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza) by Paolo Sorrentino brought home an Oscar for best foreign film. It was the 11th win for Italy and its first award since Roberto Benigni's 1998 Life is Beautiful. The award consolidates Italy's status as the winner of the most foreign film awards. Sorrentino, a Naples native, accepted the award, thanking his inspirations, directors Federico Fellini and Martin Scorsese, as well as his own family and the cities of Rome and Naples. Italian culture official Dario Franceschini called the Oscar win a "selfconfidence boost" for the country. Email: Jplamari@msn.com Web: AttorneyLamari.com
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Holy Rosary Community Bids Farewell to Fr. Lydio Tomasi The Holy Rosary Church community held a farewell dinner at Casa Italiana for Fr. Lydio Tomasi, who is returning to the Center for Migration Studies in New York. Fr. Tomasi was pastor at Holy Rosary for nearly eight years. The dinner was organized by the Parish Council. Maria Marigliano opened the evening by introducing Anita McBride, Executive in Residence at the American University's School of Public Afairs, and former Chief of Staff to former First Lady Laura Bush. Ms. McBride spoke about Fr. Lydio's career and achievements. Francesco Isgro, Senior Counsel at the Office of Immigration Litigation, U.S. Department of Justice
then delivered remarks noting Fr. Lydio's signiifcant contributions to immigration scholarship during his tenure as the Executive Director of the Center for Migration Studies in New York. Daniel Stabile, President of COPILAS followed with thanks to Fr. Lydio and a special presentation for his contributions to the Italian language program. Fr. Lydio expressed his gratitude to the parishioners and asked for their special prayers. Fr. Ezio, current pastor, gave the evening's closing prayer. Attendees enjoyed an Italian meal provided by Il Canale Restaurant in Georgetown, along with wine and prosecco.
Members of the Lido Civic Club raise a toast to Fr. Lydio Tomasi.
Francesco Isgro, Fr. Lydio, Fr. Ezio Marchetto, Anita McBride, Daniel Stabile
Fr. Lydio, Eileen Parise, Rocco DelMonaco
Anna Falcone, Fr. Lydio, Carmela Ventresca
Italian Embassy Starts ‟ItalyinUS.org” Website
Fr. Lydio with Mike Cardman and family
Italian culture in the United States has a new online platform: the website www. italyinus.org. The new site is a guide to the hundreds of cultural events organized or supported by the Italian Embassy in Washington, Italy's Consulates and by the Italian Institutes of Culture in this country. Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero noted that the initiative "was inspired by the experience of the Year of Culture: a kaleidoscope of over 300 prestigious events organized from coast to coast in 2013. The logo closely resembles the logo of the Year of Culture, proof that the initiative was not a short-lived celebration,
but a carefully planned and permanent foundation from which to re-launch the promotion of our culture in the U.S. and to raise awareness overseas of the best of Italy's past, present, and future, its extraordinary cultural heritage but also its continuing ability to inspire."
Washington D.C., March 2014
Il Carnevale Celebrated in Grand Style at Casa Italiana
Pre-Lenten revelers fill the hall, many dressed in costumes representing famous Italians More than 100 people, masked, costumed and otherwise, attended the recent Carnevale celebration at Casa Italiana. The festive event was sponsored jointly by the Lucchesi nel Mondo-Tuscany Club, and the Abruzzo-Molise Heritage Society, and organized by Osvaldo Barsi, Peter Bell, Karen Berl, Jeff Clark, Maria D'Andrea, Mariangela DiPiertri, Tricia Maltagliati and Sarah Scott. A costume contest produced a number of winners: Bill Berl, dressed as Leonardo DaVinci took the prize in the most original costume category. Maria D'Andrea won for most authentic and the best overall costume prize went to
Janel Barsi, dressed as an angel. Peter Bell and Barbara Friedman won in the best couple category. The best child's costume prize went to Matteo Brewer, who was dressed as Arlecchino. A buffett dinner, including chicken, shrimp and various pastas was provided by Piero's Restaurant. Desserts included cheesecake and cupcakes, and gelato from Dolci Gelati. DJ Mike DelBorello was on hand to provide the music. A raffle was held to raise funds for the renovation of the Casa Italiana kitchen. Michael Dundon was the raffle winner; $250 was given to Fr. Ezio Marchetto to go toward the kitchen renovation.
New Logo Unveiled For the Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center In recent months, Casa Italiana has hosted numerous events involving the larger community, such as the astronaut Roberto Vettori's visit with local high school students, a memorial for parishioner Joe Grano, a presentation of the book Explorers, Immigrants, Citizens, and several others. On these occasions many photos were taken, but the pictures do not indicate that the events had taken place at Casa Italiana. We realized that there was a need to design a logo for Casa Italiana that would identify the location for future activities held in the hall. The flags of the United States and Italy were immediately included in
the design, also following up on 2013 having been declared the year of Italian culture in United States, and having the two flags united as logo of that initiative.
The name “sociocultural center” derives from a speech that Fr. Cesar Donanzan gave in 1974 at the Lido Civic Club, announcing his new project of a “sociocultural center” in Washington D.C. as part of the Holy Rosary facilities. The design of the words Casa Italiana is taken from the head stone over the entrance door of the building. The blue background of the circle derives from Italy being the country of the “azzurri.” After sketching the first draft, I asked the professional help of Giacomo Soriani, a talented Italian artist and designer who exhibited at an art show at Casa Italiana this past October. He volunteered his expertise and the result
was a beautiful logo that is now part of the Casa Italiana image. The logo made its first appearance in the program of the reception for Fr. Lydio Tomasi on February 8 (see photos on page 4). The logo's first national exposure came on February 24, when Casa Italiana hosted the National Conference: “US Catholic Institutions and Immigrant Integration: Can They Rise to the Challenge?” The new logo appeared on the conference's program. We can look forward to seeing this logo at many future events at Casa Italiana. --Fr. Ezio Marchetto
Washington D.C., March 2014 Editor-in-Chief: Fr. Ezio Marchetto, C.S. Executive Editor: Francesco Isgrò
Founded in 1960 An Italian American Gazette of the Greater Washington D.C. Area
Editorial Board: Pino Cicala, Enrico Davoli, Dona De Sanctis, Anna Isgrò, Gemma Puglisi, Fred Rotondaro Board of Trustees: Franco Nuschese, Stephanie Razzano, Beatrice Tierney
In This Time of Christian Persecution
nd you will be hated control of public security, drug cartels by all for my name’s and illegal armed groups still operate sake. But the one who with impunity. Christians who play endures to the end will be saved.” prominent roles in social or public life Matthew 10:22. We are during the face opposition because of their witness special liturgical period of Lent, 40 in social and political activities. Within days of preparation to indigenous communities, the great Easter triduum. converts to Christianity During this period, we are “Christians are seen as a threat to invited to take the time the indigenous culture to reflect about our faith face persecution and traditions. Many and our priorities. We are in more than 60 Christians are displaced blessed with freedom and from their lands, churches countries around possibilities to worship are monitored and genderand to come together as a based violence targeting the world.” Catholic community. But Christians is on the we should also consider and be aware increase. that in many countries today, Christians During 2013, 22 pastoral care suffer persecution and martyrdom. workers were killed worldwide, Persecution is defined as a policy or Fides reports. Many more have been campaign to exterminate, drive away, kidnapped or are missing this year. For or subjugate a people because of their the fifth consecutive year, the highest religion, race or beliefs. According to death toll was in Latin America where The Pew Research Center, almost 75% 19 priests, one religious sister and two of the world’s population lives in areas lay persons were killed. In Africa, one with severe religious restrictions. Many priest in Tanzania, one religious sister of these people are Christians. So, where in Madagascar, and one lay person in are Christians facing persecution? Nigeria were killed. A priest in India and Persecution occurs whenever one in Syria were killed and a priest was believers are denied the protection murdered in Italy.. In the Philippines a of religious freedom, prevented from lay person was killed. converting to Christianity because In 1 Corinthians 12:26, the apostle of legal or social threats, physically Paul talks about Christians (as the Body attacked or killed because of their faith, of Christ) facing persecution: “If one forced to leave their job or home due member suffers, all suffer together; to the threat of violence, or imprisoned if one member is honored, all rejoice and interrogated, and often tortured for together.” refusing to deny their faith. Though we may not face persecution, Christians face persecution in more we are called to be united with the part than 60 countries around the world. of the Body of Christ that does face According to World Watch List, the persecution daily. The most important worst country for its persecution of way to unite with our brothers and Christians is North Korea, with an sisters who do face persecution is estimated 50,000 to 70,000 Christians through prayer. imprisoned in labor camps. Of the 50 Romans 15:30 says, “I urge you, countries listed, only Colombia is in brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Western Hemisphere, all others are Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to in Asia and Africa. In Colombia, in join me in my struggle by praying to areas where the government has lost God for me.”--Fr. Ezio Marchetto
An Ancient Tradition is Revived in Rome In a recent article, the Wall St. Journal noted a little-known worldwide phenomenon: the resurgence of pilgrimages throughout the globe. Muslims, Jews, Hindus all take part in annual pilgrimages to religious sites in massive numbers. Catholics increasingly make annual visits to Guadalupe, Medjugorje and other religious places. Now Rome is witnessing the revival of an ancient Lenten pilgrimage, according to the article's writer George Weigel, author of Roman Pilgimage: the Station Churches." Station church is an ancient term for a church designated to receive pilgrims. Hundreds of residents of Rome
are retracing an ancient pilgrimage route that starts on Ash Wednesday. The pilgrims begin a six-an-one-half week long trip to different Roman station churches. The tradition began in the earliest days of Christiantiy but was discontinued for many centuries until it was revived by American seminarians from the Pontifical North American College in Rome in the mid-1970s. Pilgrims walk each morning to attend a 7 a.m. Mass at a designated church. Along the station church route, they enjoy magnificent views of the Eternal City and then pray in some of the world's most beautiful churches.
Pope Francis Urges Cardinals: Simplicity and Humility Pope Francis recently urged his newly-appointed cadre of cardinals to stand united and retain a spirit of simplicity. During a sermon at a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, he said, “A cardinal enters the Church of Rome, not a royal court... May all of us avoid, and help others to avoid, habits and ways of acting typical of a court: intrigue, gossip, cliques, favoritism and preferences.” He asked the new cardinals to remain united among themselves and with him as they advise and help him
run the Church in a spirit of simplicity and service. Later, addressing a crowd in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis said Catholic leaders should “not consider themselves holders of special powers or bosses, but place themselves at the service of the community." They should be “good servants, not good bosses,” he said. Since his election nearly a year ago, Francis has repeatedly told his top aides not to live or behave like a "privileged class."
The Lido Civic Club of Washington D.C. 1929-2014 Our 85th Year
Metropolitan Washington’s Premier Italian-American Business and Professional Men’s Organization
Francesco Isgrò, Esq., President
“To the end that American citizens of Italian descent or origin and their families may find a welcome and ready entrance into the social, civil and community life of Washington, D.C., and thus be helped in forming acquaintances and taking part in the activities of community life which leads to contentment and tends to make the new member more valuable to himself, his employer and his community; to perpetuate the bond of friendship and good will which has always existed between the American and Italian peoples....” (From the Preamble to the 1929 Lido Club Constitution)
Washington D.C., March 2014
Celebrating St Joseph's Day: From Sicily to New Orleans A long tradition of creating altars and tables in honor of the Saint
The arrival of St. Joseph's Day on March 19 has long marked a variety of celebrations and traditions to honor Mary's husband and the father of Jesus. Depending on the part of the world, St. Joseph is the patron saint of workers, families, travelers, the poor, the aged, and the dying. St. Joseph is also looked to as the provider of good fortune and it was toward that end that in Sicily ages ago, a tradition began of constructing a table or altar to honor St. Joseph. It is said that the custom started after a drought in Sicily left the fields cracked and barren. The farmers prayed to St. Joseph for relief from the famine that gripped their island and the skies soon opened up and rain replenished the scorched earth. In gratitude, the people of Sicily prepared a table filled with their newly harvested food and dedicated it to St. Joseph. Then they distributed the food to the poor and hungry. In time, the tables and altars became increasingly elaborate and today in Sicily, Molise, and other parts of Italy, they can feature breads and pastries in the shapes of staffs, chalices, wheat stalks, palm trees, and just about any object a talented baker can create. In addition, they can include flowers, fruits, grains, candles, photos of the Saint and various other items.
captured his aspirations: “An ItalianStyle Obama on the Political Trail.” Renzi has appointed the most youthful cabinet of ministers ever to govern Italy. Women, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini, make up half of the cabinet. His selection of young and relatively unknowns sends a message of inclusion and an unprecedented trust in a newer generation. In his first appearance before the Italian Senate, as he sought backing for his coalition, Renzi outlined the priorities for his government, focusing foremost on reigniting an economy that has been stagnating for many years. “Il nostro è un Paese arrugginito, un Paese impantanato, incatenato da una
Pane di San Giuseppe This recipe is one of many variations, here and in Italy, for making St. Joseph's bread. It uses the distinctive flavor of anise. INGREDIENTS
3 cups of all-purpose flour 1/4 cup sugar 1 package active dry yeast 1 teaspoon salt 2/3 cup warm milk (120-130°F) 2 tablespoons butter softened in warm milk 2 eggs 1/2 teaspoon of anise seed or 1 teaspoon of anise flavoring Vegetable oil 1/2-2/3 cup sesame seeds
An altar to St. Joseph at Santa Margherita di Belice in Agrigento, Sicily
During the large migration of Sicilians to the port of New Orleans in the late 1800s, the immigrants carried the custom with them and it still flourishes there today. New Orleans is proud of its tradition of St. Joseph altars, which can be seen in local churches, especially those with strong Italian roots. But they can also be found homes, restaurants and public places. The local paper even lists where a visitor can see the altars. The altars can vary from the simple to the complex, are generally are divided into three sections, representing the Holy
Trinity, with a statue of St. Joseph at the head. True to tradition, the devout place food, candles, figurines, flowers, medals and other items on the altars creating an artistic, bountiful effect. The breads and cakes are typically shaped like shell fish. Fava beans, which are considered to bring good luck, are always present. The celebrations end on the day after St. Joseph's with children in costumes pretending to look for shelter and finding food at the altars and tables. Just as in the ancient Sicilian custom, the food is then given to the poor. --Voce Italiana
New Italian Government: Young Faces, New Hope Continued from page 1
burocrazia asfissiante, da regole, norme e codicilli che paradossalmente non eliminano l'illegalità,” he told the Senate. ("Our country is rusty, bogged down, immobilized by an asphyxiating bureaucracy, by rules, norms, codicils that paradoxically don’t eliminate illegality.") He promised to reform the tax system by "a gigantic operation of simplification," and to drastically cut unemployment with "the courage to revolutionize the economic and legal system of our country." More significantly, Renzi is immediately tackling long-delayed sweeping electoral reforms that would change the complex voting system in Italy so as to favor the larger parties and coalitions. Doing so would presumably bring great-
er stability to future ruling governments. All eyes are on Renzi as he outlines his plans to overhaul the political landscape and revive a moribund economy. But as he enters the national political waters he will have to confront powerful entrenched interests. Not unlike Odysseus, he will have to successfully navigate the tumultuous route between Scylla and Charybdis.
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In a mixing bowl combine 1 cup flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Add milk and butter and beat 2 minutes. Add two eggs and 1/2 cup flour and beat 2 minutes more. Stir in anise seed or flavoring. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured board. Knead until smooth- about 6 minutes. Place in a greased bowl. Turn dough once. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Divide in half. Roll each piece into a 24-inch rope. Loosely twist ropes together. Place on a greased baking sheet and form into desired shapes such a cross or wheat. Pinch ends together. Cover. Let rise until it doubles in size, about 30 minutes. Brush with egg-wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 350°F for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from sheet and cool on a wire rack. --Adapted from a recipe by Rachel Ray
Washington D.C., March 2014
MARK YOUR CALENDAR March 9, 2014. Fr. De Carlo Breakfast in Casa Italiana after 9:00 a.m. Mass. March 16, 2014. Festa della Vendemmia. April 6, 2014. Lasagna Dinner/Bazaar. April 27, 2014. First Communion May 16, 2014. Free AP Italian Lan-
TOURS to ITALY
guage course. Sign up before March 15, 2014. For additional information contact: email@example.com May 18, 2014. 9:00 a.m. St. Pio of Pietrelcina Mass. May 18, 2014. Confirmation at 10:30 a.m. Mass May 18, 2014. St. Philip Neri Mass at 12:00 noon. June 1, 2014. Festa della Repubblica Mass at 10:30 a.m. June 2, 2014. Italian American Golf Tournament.
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