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February 4, 2011     Post-Gazette
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February 4, 2011
 

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Page 6 POST-GAZETTE, FEBRUARY 4, 2011 La Befana Greets the Members and Children of Donne 2000 Left to right: Donne 2000 Board members with La Befana, Doreen Giammarco, Co-secretary; Maria .DiCenso, Co-treasurer; Rita Susi, Co-secretary; Maria Ferrusi, Vice President; Franca Susi (La Befana) and Rosa Giammarco, the children of Italy awaken in hopes that la Befana has made a visit to their house. This is a significant day for Italians because it marks the end of the Christmas season and it is the day that the three Wise Men arrive at the manger of the Christ Child bringing Him presents of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. As legend has it, the three Wise Men were in search of the Christ Child when they decided to stop at a small house to ask for directions. Upon knocking, an old woman holding a broom opened the door slightly to see who was there. Standing President. Once again this year, members of Donne 2000 cel- ebrated the arrival of "La Befana" on January 9  with their children commemorat- ing Christmas Italian style. La Befana entered sweeping, dressed in worn garb, greet- ing the little children. They all marveled at her and anx- iously awaited their gifts. She also passed out little treats to the grownups con- sisting of a tangerine, torrone and chocolates with the traditional Befana poem attached. La Befana is one of Italy's oldest and most celebrated legends. Each year on Janu- ary 6 , day of the Epiphany, at her doorstep were three colorfully dressed men in need of directions to find the Christ Child. The old woman was unaware of who these men were looking for and could not point them in the right direction. Prior to leav- ing, the three men asked the old woman to join them on their journey but she de- clined saying that she had too much housework to do. After they left, she felt as though she had made a mistake and decided to catch up with the kind men. After many hours of searching she could not find them. Thinking of the opportunity she had missed, the old woman stopped every child to give them a small treat in hopes that one of them was the Christ Child. Each year on the eve of the Epiphany, she sets out look- ing for the Baby Jesus. She stops at each child's house leaving good treats to those who have been good and a lump of coal to those who have been bad. The purpose of recounting this story is to teach our children our cus- toms and traditions from our old paese and pass them along to future generations. Donne 2000 is a non-profit organization formed prima- rily to educate and benefit women and celebrate and preserve our Italian tradi- tions and customs from gen- eration to generation. Teamwork by Bennett Molinari One of life's more satisfy- ing experiences is working together as a team, particu- larly when the team is harmonious and well expe- rienced. It was such an experience we recently enjoyed when we came together with a team of vol- unteers from Saint Leonard Parish. We met in the hall of Sacred Heart Church where we worked on a par- ish mailing. It is the type of endeavor most of us have experienced, you and your fellow teammates sit at a table with piles of paper and envelopes waiting to be stuffed sealed and stamped all in an effort to help sup- port some cause, in this case, our parish. Within minutes we were talking about the merits of our project and sorting out the work, each of us assum- ing a particular function in the process as we set up an impromptu mass production line that would have made Henry Ford proud. Once we assumed our posts and the work began to flow smoothly we could relax into the job and get on with what for many of us is the "real" fun of these projects, reminiscing about the past. Repetitive work seems to lend itself to reverie and revisiting the many past events that helped shape our lives. We touched on occur- rences that many of us had long forgotten, discovered friends we have in common and the many shared events that helped make up our common history. The popu- lar theory of "six degrees of separation", that is, that anyone on the planet can be connected to any other per- son through a chain of no more than five intermediar- ies, was alive and kicking and Richard Molinari among us as it was obvious that as a group we were far closer in background and shared experience than we could have imagined when we first began our project. It was fun to discover that on a certain day somewhere in the past, some of our paths crossed without our ever realizing it. It was just a year ago, while working on a volunteer project in New York, that a team member who we had never met, prompted by the fact that we lived in Boston, began reminiscing about her early life in Boston. It was purely by chance that she mentioned the fact that she knew our Aunt Mary, who passed away many years ago. She recounted the fact that they would have been at the Coconut Grove the day of the fire, had Aunt Mary not had a migraine head- ache that kept her home resulting in the postpone- ment of their plan. It was a valued piece of information that renewed the memory of a person very close to us, something that we would have never known but for a chance conversation. Volunteer efforts and the team work that makes pos- sible the success of a project can be as rewarding for the participants as the recipient of their efforts in the sense of accomplishment and knowledge that your efforts have served a good purpose coupled with the sheer plea- sure of spending time with friends both well established and newly acquired. It only took little more than a day to accomplish what we thought would take a week; it was a job "well done" and an experi- ence that will be happily remembered. La Befana (Franca Susi) surrounded by children. Center back - Rosa Giammarco (President) and far right Rita Susi (Co-secretary). f_.q 3efana va per i tetti, porta regali, pasti e confetti. ,ldagio ... adagio ... pianino, pianino ... apra lbrecchio presso il carnino. Se fan chiasso, alcun si rnuove, cammino altroe. Ma che cateelli non ann' a letto. Io per dispetto getto carbone! Kiokoff your guper 00owl gumday with l00urimg half-ti00e mjoy ... 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