and Events - November 2014
San Vincenzo Feast in NY
The tradition continued with the 113th celebration
of the Feast of San Vincenzo, Martire di Craco in
New York City.
On October 26th Society members and local
parishioners of St. Joseph's Church were treated to
the spectacle of the special feast day Mass.
Among the legends surrounding San Vincenzo in Craco
is one about a neighboring village trying to steal
him by taking his relic. As they carried him the
weight of the relic became heavier and heavier until
they had to put it down on the roadside and could
not pick it up. When the townspeople of Craco found
it they heard a voice say, “Pick me up, bring me
home and give me some music.”
The annual celebration in Craco always includes
music and those at St. Joseph’s were treated to the
spectacular voice of soprano Susan Mello.
Accompanied by Jeff Blocker with music from the
historic organ that supplied the same melodies to
our ancestors at St. Joachim’s Church since 1901
Susan included the unique “Hymn to San Vincenzo
Martire” in the selections.
Our own Cracotan, Msgr. Nicholas Grieco was the
primary celebrant and provided a homily that was
rich in the history of San Vincenzo from 17000 years
ago yet he was able to connect those ancient events
with today’s world and current news headlines.
Fr. Lino Gonsavles, pastor of St. Joseph’s Church
added to the celebration and informed the gathered
crowd of his participation in administrative
meetings to determine the fate of the church under
the New York Diocese process called “Making All
Things New.” The current plan is to announce
decisions about changes in church structure on
November 3. Following the Mass the Society held a
luncheon at the church hall.
A highlight of that event was the recognition of
three individuals who had been instrumental in their
efforts to maintain the continuous tradition of the
San Vincenzo Feast at St. Joseph’s Church.
Society president Joe Rinaldi cited the work done by
Fr. Lino Gonsalves, Msgr. Nicholas Grieco and
Stephen LaRocca and presented each with the newly
created San Vincenzo figurine.
After a wonderful meal, that concluded with homemade
Cracotan limoncello and deserts the day concluded
with hopes for next year’s event.
Mark October 25, 1015 on your calendar for the 114th
Feast of San Vincenzo in New York.
Viva San Vincenzo, Martire di Craco!
While researching material for the San Vincenzo
Feast this startling stained glass image of him
surfaced on the website of Fineartamerica.com.
Checking with the artist, Edward Weidman, we learned
that he photographed the image at a mausoleum in
Calvary Cemetery, Queens, NY. Unfortunately he did
not record the name or location of the mausoleum.
This massive facility in New York City holds
millions of graves and thousands of mausoleums. The
cemetery managers are unable to identify the
location of the mausoleum with this uniquely
Cracotan artwork without the family surname.
A check with several families who have mausoleums
there failed to locate the stained glass image. The
search will continue to identify who literally took
their devotion to San Vincenzo to their grave.
In the meantime, this beautiful artwork is available
at Fineartamerica.com in eight different mediums.
This image can be ordered as an art print, acrylic
print, canvas print, framed print, greeting card,
metal print, standard print and even a cell phone
St. Joseph’s Petition
In response to the petition the Society’s members
submitted to keep St. Joseph’s Church open, His
Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan referred us to
Bishop John O’Hara who directs Making All Things
New the archdiocese process that was designed to
reconfigure the parishes.
Bishop O’Hara, appointed by Pope Francis in June,
was formerly the pastor at the parish Church of St.
Teresa of the Infant Jesus on Staten Island and had
served in the borough for 24 years.
Bishop O’Hara informed Fr. Lino Gonsalves, the
pastor of St. Joseph’s Church that decisions about
actions will not occur until November 3 saying
additional information and details became available
recently that should be considered.
Subsequently, several Society members individually
contacted Bishop O’Hara to express the importance of
St. Joseph’s Church not only to us but to the
current community of immigrants.
The Cracotan connection to the Church of St. Joseph
has roots in 1901 when our ancestors associated with
St. Joachim’s Church on Roosevelt St., placing the
statue and a relic of San Vincenzo, Martire there.
In 1957 after the City of New York ordered the
closing of St. Joachim’s Church for a redevelopment
project the statue was relocated to St. Joseph's
after being protected by the Gallo family at their
home in Brooklyn.
Since then Crachesi descendants have supported St.
Joseph's celebration of the feast day with a special
Mass including the latest one last month. In recent
years Society members invested in preservation of
the statue and church organ to ensure they would be
available to future generations.
It would be fitting if St. Joseph’s Church, remains
open for the Society to expand its relationship in
2015 when the church will celebrate its 90th
Viva la Chiesa di San Giuseppe!
Long live the Church of St. Joseph!
Amaro Lucano Label
Amaro Lucano, the Cracotan’s preference among all
the Amari made in Italy underwent a labeling change.
The classic label (shown left) has been replaced
with a new version (right). Although the bottle may
look different the unique flavor of Amaro Lucano
To learn more about the history of this well loved
drink visit the Amaro Lucano website or better yet
plan a trip to Pisticci and visit in person.
here to view
A Year in Craco. Events in Craco for
every month are listed. Thank you to Joe Rinaldi
in Canada for his contribution to this page.
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