Cardinal celebrates North End Mass to kick off Italian Heritage Month

Oct 06, 2018 524

BY: Jacqueline Tetrault

Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley joined the parish of St. Leonard of Port Maurice in the North End for a Mass on Sept. 30 to mark the beginning of Italian Heritage Month in Massachusetts. The event was sponsored by the St. Joseph Society, which was founded by Sicilian immigrants in 1925 to promote devotion to St. Joseph, the patron saint of their hometown of Riesi, Sicily. The dedication of the month of October to celebrating the achievements of Italian-Americans began in 1999.

Then-governor Paul Cellucci signed legislation creating an organization but requiring the governor to issue an annual proclamation. This is the 19th year of observing Italian Heritage Month. Notable guests at the opening Mass included Federica Sereni, new Consul General of Italy, as well as leaders of local Italian-American organizations. Cardinal O'Malley began and concluded his homily in Italian. In between, he spoke of the many contributions that Italians have made to American culture and various areas of life, including the arts, science, and government.

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