Advent 2012

The word Advent derives from the Latin word meaning coming. The Lord is coming. We may reflect that every year at this time we celebrate his coming , so that in a sense we can lose the feeling of expectancy and joyful anticipation, because at the end of the season, everything seems to return to pretty much the same routine. If that is the case, then our preparation may have been lacking and we have therefore been robbed of much of the true meaning of this season.


During Advent we recall the history of God’s people and reflect on how the prophecies and promises of the Old Testament were fulfilled. This gives us a background for the present. Today we can reflect on the past track record of God and so begin to understand what it means to us now for the sake of what is to come, in our own future and that of our world.


Advent LIst



Feast of Our Lady of Fatima

Our Lady of Fatima: is a famous title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary as she reportedly appeared in apparitions to three shepherd children at Fátima, Portugal. These occurred on the 13th day of six consecutive months in 1917, starting on May 13. The three children were Lúcia dos Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto.

Our Lady of Fátima

The title of Our Lady of the Rosary is also sometimes used to refer to the same apparition (although it was first used in 1208 for the reported apparition in the church of Prouille), because the children related that the apparition called herself “Lady of the Rosary”. It is also common to see a combination of these titles, i.e. Our Lady of the Rosary of Fátima (Portuguese: Nossa Senhora do Rosário de Fátima).

The events at Fátima gained particular fame due to their elements of prophecy and eschatology, particularly with regard to possible world war and the conversion of Soviet Russia. The reported apparitions at Fátima were officially declared “worthy of belief” by the Catholic Church.


You may join a community Rosary on Saturday at 12 Noon on the corner of Court Street and First Place outside of Scotto Funeral Home to mark this feast this weekend.



October 4th, Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis
Saint Francis of Assisi

(born Giovanni Francesco di Bernardone; 1181 – died: October 3, 1226) was an Italian Catholic friar and preacher. He founded the men’s Franciscan Order, the women’s Order of St. Clare, and the lay Third Order of Saint Francis. Though he was never ordained into the Catholic priesthood, Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history.

Francis was the son of a wealthy cloth merchant in Assisi, and he lived the high-spirited life typical of a wealthy young man, even fighting as a soldier for Assisi. While going off to war in 1204, Francis had a vision that directed him back to Assisi, where he lost his taste for his worldly life. On a pilgrimage to Rome, he begged with the beggars at St. Peter’s. The experience moved him to live in poverty. Francis returned home, began preaching on the streets, and soon amassed a following. His order was endorsed by Pope Innocent III in 1210. He then founded the Order of Poor Clares, which was an enclosed order for women, as well as the Third Order of Brothers and Sisters of Penance. In 1219, he went to Egypt in an attempt to convert the Sultan. By this point, the Franciscan Order had grown to such an extent that its primitive organizational structure was no longer sufficient. He returned to Italy to organize the order. Once his organization was endorsed by the Pope, he withdrew increasingly from external affairs. In 1223, Francis arranged for the first Christmas manger scene. In 1224, he received the stigmata, making him the first recorded person to bear the wounds of Christ’s Passion. He died in 1226 while preaching Psalm 141.

On July 16, 1228, he was pronounced a saint by Pope Gregory IX. He is known as the patron saint of animals, the environment, and one of the two patrons of Italy (with Catherine of Siena), and it is customary for Catholic and Anglican churches to hold ceremonies blessing animals on his feast day of 4 October. He is also known for his love of the Eucharist, his sorrow during the Stations of the Cross, and for the creation of the Christmas creche or Nativity Scene.

Join us along with St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Sunday at 2pm at 125 Summit Street for the blessing of the animals.



The Virgin of Monte di Procida

Monte di Procida is a small comune (municipality) in the Province of Naples in the Italian region of Campania, located about 15 km west of Naples, facing the island of Procida. Monte di Procida includes the small island of San Martino, which was occupied by the Germans during World War II. Here they maintained a lookout post on the “Torre” that faced out to sea and provides great views of all nautical activity; ammunition was also stored there. It is located on the small bay of Baia dei Porci and Acquamorta. The patron saint of Monte Di Procida is Our Lady of Assumption. The Assunta celebration is one of the most profound but less known traditions in the phlegreian land. But how is it born the devotion for the Madonna Assunta (the Virgin of Assumption)? What the roots of a tradition which mixes, as so often happens, sacred and profane, popular beliefs and religious precepts?A fascinating story, which mirrors the history itself of the birth and the growth of the city from the first nomad groups of peasants coming from the isle of Procida, who came to establish on the cliffs straight down to the sea of the Monte, in seventeenth century, to the present days. And in more than four centuries of history, the Assunta never stopped being worshipped. When the first colonists coming from Procida started to settle down in the lands owned by cardinal Filomarino, to work in the fields, vineyards and vegetables were verdant through the whole headland and the Virgin’s patronage was yet invoked as to she granted a huge harvest. Then the inhabitants of Monte bounded for the sea routes, and to the Virgin they made vows at every crossing, as she watched over the sea and the destiny of those who sailed challenging the waves for fishing or commerce. The navy of Monte di Procida became, soon, one of the best in the “land of fire” and the devotion even deeper than before. To participate to the celebration, over all for those who were far away, represented a most important event: to miss it was considered more serious than not being home at Christmas or Easter.

And when so many people were obliged to emigrate “a’ Maronn” followed them. And they rewarded Her with a devotion profound and full of nostalgia for the native land so far, of which the Assunta represented an unforgettable “piece”, to the point that they organized a “Festa d’a Madonna” even in the United States at the Church of Sacred Hearts – St. Stephen, with the same statue, a perfect copy of the Assunta by Verzella kept in the parish church in the central square, if it was completely impossible to come home for the 15th of August to follow the procession, to be grateful for the fortunes granted and repay the vows fulfilled.

In 1814 the faithful, under the guide of vicar Michele Lomoriello and priests Francesco Di Abusco and Nicola Romeo Di Santillo and of canonical Andrea Iorio, commissioned a statue of the Virgin of Assumption for their church.

The governor of the church, Domenico Scotto di Santolo, ordered the statue to the neapolitan sculptor Francesco Verzella, paying 352 ducals, a very high price for that period. And all the same the faith of people from Monte di Procida made the “miracle” and the statue of the famous sculptor, who will also be called in Vatican, was placed in the little church of the community. In this occasion, the church was further enlarged and in 1816 a cherry tree wooden niche and a silver crown trimmed with stars were bought.

In 1889, on the 75th anniversary from the building of the church, the statue of the Assunta was solemnly crowned, in an evocative ceremony from bishop Gennaro De Vivo himself. On the head of the Verzella statue, the prelate put a precious gold crown given by the population.