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North End’s Fisherman’s Club to Carry Madonna Statue “Home” to Sciacca, Sicily

Statue of the Madonna del Soccorso di Sciacca being carried by members of the Fisherman’s Club through Christopher Columbus Park in Boston’s North End (August 2012 – Photo by Matt Conti)

The following post is from the Cultural Councillor of Sciacca, Sicily, Salvatore Monte, announcing the upcoming 2014 visit by members of the Society of Madonna del Soccorso di Sciacca (Fisherman’s Club). The post is shared by Louis Strazzullo, President of the Society known for continuing the tradition of famous Fisherman’s Feast in Boston’s North End for over 100 years. (Please excuse the inexact translation.)

It was last in 1992 when the then municipal administration, supported by the affection of the late Archpriest Fr. Andrea Falanga, welcomed some of our fellow citizens in Sciacca residing in Boston. They arrived in January 1992 in our spa town and brought with them a copy of the statue of the patron saint of Sciacca Maria SS.  They were days of great celebration for our community because the two statues of the Madonna del Soccorso found themselves, for the first time alongside the other. The Madonna del Soccorso in Boston went in procession to the Basilica and, with over fifty faithful Americans, took part in the solemn celebrations on the occasion of the patron feast of 1 and 2 February 1992.

Last January, the municipal administration of Sciacca led by Mayor Fabrizio Di Paola has resumed contacts with the community of Boston. The Cultural Councillor Salvatore Monte, with the important support of our compatriot Angela Friscia, grew up in Boston, has reactivated the relationship that binds the two communities thanks to the faith shown towards the patron saint of Sciacca. Thus was born the idea of proposing a meeting between the two communities, trying in every way to “bring home” the Madonna del Soccorso di Sciacca for days and party related to the occurrence of the anniversary of the miracle, accomplished by the Virgin Mary, in the town of Sciacca.

After a long exchange of emails, countless phone calls and video conferences, the community resident in Boston, Sciacca which met in a long match, he happily decided to return to Sciacca to honor our Patroness their Statue carried in procession in America. And here the dream of Father Falanga repeat twinning becomes, thus, today reality.

There will be about 80 Americans, that on January 29, 2014 will arrive in Sciacca with the statue of the Madonna in Boston. A historic event that will return the two communities under the great sign of brotherhood and communion between peoples.
Behold, the letter sent to the Mayor of Sciacca from society that brings together the Saccensi emigrated to Boston:

To: Maritime Society Of Our Lady Of Help Of Sciacca
PO Box 130076 Hanover St Station, Boston, MA 02113
(617) 248-0343
President Louis Strazzulo
Vice President Kenny Palazzolo
Trustee Ralph Amoroso
Treasurer Domenic Strazzullo
Finance Secretary John D’amico
Trustee Andrew Cardinal Secretary Richard Bramante
SGT at Arms Marc Letizia
Trustee Michael First

Dear Mayor DiPaola,
We are very happy to receive your invitation to return with the Lady from Boston. For all the members of the society it is a great honor to accept your invitation to celebrate the Feast Day of the Virgin Mary on February 2, 2014 and look forward to a wonderful celebration.

VIVA LA MADONNA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
With Kind Regards,
Louis Strazzullo

Mayor Fabrizio Di Paola and the Councillor Mount State have great emotion for this new initiative. Restoring the relations with the brethren Americans cannot make us more happy. Think of these our fellow citizens that, at their own expense and driven by devotion, will return to Sciacca to live a moment of faith with the rest of the city. We worked hard to achieve and ensure, in cities, the statue is carried in procession through the streets of Boston.

We are also pleased to announce that the initiative has received the blessing of the Holy See with “in bocca al lupo” by Monsignor Sciacca, Secretary General of the Governorate of the Holy See. The practice, which promotes initiative, has already been delivered to the U.S. Embassy in Rome. Thank you for the very heart the Presidenza del Consiglio Comunale di Sciacca, the Council Commission for culture and Entertainment headed by Filippo Falautano, the Director of the regional tourist Service of Agrigento Nuccio will Catagnano that the relationship with the Assessorato alla Famiglia della Regione Siciliana and Archpriest of Sciacca Don Carmelo Lo Bue. From now starts the adventure in memory of Father Falanga who, in the course of that partnership, advocates to replicate the event. Once again the city of Sciacca will show off her great affection towards the Patrona Maria del Soccorso.

3 Replies to “North End’s Fisherman’s Club to Carry Madonna Statue “Home” to Sciacca, Sicily

  1. I am interested in going to Sciacca. Sicily with the club in January. Is it open to former north enders? My grandfather, Michael Sclafani, and my uncle Joseph Scalfani were members

    1. Hi Michael:

      The trip is open to anyone. Contact Louis Strazzullo or Sal LoPiccolo at the Fisherman’s Club. They also have a facebook opage if you are on that.


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