Saturday, April 14, 2018


Once or twice a year Grandma Frances would gather the troops for a Mass at Our Lady of Loreto Church on Sackman Street in Brooklyn. The reason was there was a new fundraiser for an occasion such as a bus ride upstate or plane ride to Italy for some fund-raiser for an orphanage grandma organized. I can remember her doorbell constantly ringing or her phone chiming in to announce another wishing to join the occasion.

One year it was a big event, my Dad, Tony, was asked by his mother to paint a Madonna for the church that could be carried ion a procession on a pole. Dad not being a churchgoer did as he was told and we all went off to church one Sunday morning to see the Madonna be paraded out during the Mass, a one-time ordeal for dad.

I happened to like going to this church built by Italian immigrants with marble imported from Italy. It also was a day of pride for me, Dad, my Dad, had painted this masterpiece, and it would be paraded down the main aisle!

There were two events that occurred that day and every Sunday, during the year at Our Lady of Loreto. The first event was the consecration, an event I could wait for, not because I was holy or saintly in any way, but because when the bells rang at the Consecration, a split second afterward, fireworks would go off on the roof to the church! The boom and loudness woke me up to get through the rest of the Mass and the noise scared the living heck out of me.

The second event was the best! Usually, in the front rows of the church, pews occupied by little Old Italian ladies would chatter and go on in Italian, and the priest would shout out during his sermon-"SILENZIO!" This admonition did not silence anyone, after the shock, off went the chatter once again!


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