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April 9, 2010     Post-Gazette
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April 9, 2010

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- POST-GAZETTE, APRIL 9, 2010 Page 13 JV'anna yjo hri ,o oro Babb nonno Well. the holidays are over and spring is possibly here. When I was a young man attending Boston State College, April meant spring vacation. We were a state school and shared the same vacation schedule as did the public schools. I was still a novice musician and would make plans not to work on the weekends before and after the spring break nor during any part of that week. I was pretty good at saving money. After all, I had two or three jobs. I worked at the Seville Theater in East Bos- ton, an(1 as already indi- cated, played music mostly on weekends, and this was with several different bands. My third job was a private enterprise. Uncle Nick had set me up with Fred Seidler, the owner of Daniel Seidler and Sons., an upscale jewelry store at 333 Washington Street. I would fill my brief- case with watches, rings, earrings, bracelets, lighters, pen and pencil sets and other assorted personal ar- ticles. Fred would have given me special prices and-credit me for what I took out of the store. I would sell the stuff on campus for a profit, usu- ally at a lower rate than the students could find at even wholesale jewelry shops. As a result of all of this. I had three part-time incomes which afforded me the abil- ity to pay my own tuition, afford a car, dress in nice clothes and have the funds to take vacations whenever I had time off. The third week in April that surrounded Patriot's Day was. and for some colleges, still is-the spring vacation week, and I would plan a trip somewhere. First. I would find out who had the same week off and wanted to travel. Most of my friends from col- lege weren't working, and seeing we were all inner-city kids. money was an issue most of the time. The one person who could adapt his schedule to fit mine was Sal Meli. Sal and I were friends from East Boston. He, when I was in college, was work- ing for Polaroid and had great flexible time programs that came his way. As a result of this and his love for travel- ing. tJe accompanied me on most of my vacations. One of the first vacations we decided to take would bring us to Miami Beach, Florida. I booked the arrange- ments through Colpitts Travel Agency in Boston. A Nostalgic Remembrance friend of Uncle Nick and Aunt Dorothy's. and once Uncle Nick brought me to meet the man. I was treated like a "high roller" even though I was only a kid. That first vacation had us flying out on a Friday night and returning the follow- ing Sunday, a total of 8 or 9 days. depending on the way you count. Once at Miami International Airport, a Chevy convertible would be waiting for us at Hertz, and a room with two large beds was reserved at the Hotel Joninna, a long-gone resort on Collins Avenue at 79th Street. right on the beach. Once Sal and I .were checked in, it was time for a midnight snack. I always made it a point to check in with my folks whenever I went anywhere. Dad had privately told me that my mother worried about me all the time and would appreci- ate it if I called home to put her mind at ease. Morn pri- vately pulled me aside and told me that Dad worried about me all the time and would appreciate it if I called home to put his mind at ease. I took the hint. When I called home, it was about midnight and Babbononno answered. Nanna had re- cently passed away and he didn't sleep very much. The phone rang a couple of times and I heard a voice respond in fractured English, "Alloh. dissa Mista Contini, ooza dissa?" Knowing he was hard of hearing, I yelled, "Hello. Babbononno, it's John." He replied. "Jenny, you fly inna da avion a Florida?" I told my grandfa- ther that we had arrived safely and I was just check- ing in to let my folks know. He said thatmy mother was sleeping and my father hadn't come home from work yet. I gave him instruc- tions to let them know we arrived, were ok and I was just calling to check in. Babbononno replied, "Wenna you papa cumza home-a, I tella himma datta you calla. I no wake-a uppa you mamma." I said ok and we said good bye. Sal and I were both hun- gry and we walked to an all- night deli which was near the hotel. The man at the front desk said that it had good deli food and was open till the wee hours of the morning. As we ate, I en- joyed the sights, older vaca- tioners coming and going, musicians and entertainers gathering for late-night coffee and a bit of conversa- tion, and young co-eds who, like us, were spending their spring vacation on Miami Beach. The next morning, we had breakfast at the hotel and then headed for the pool and beach. Sal was more into pool lounging so we set up shop on two lounges at the hotel's_ po01. The sun felt in- vigol:ating. After spending the winter bundled up in heavy coats to ward off the cold weather in Boston, the southern Florida tempera- ture was a God-sent. When I felt too hot, the pool was. within feet of us and the beach, just yards 'away. The pool water was in {he 80s and the ocean in the high 70s. I made good use of both. Sal was hesitant to join me each time I plunged izlto the pool or dove into the waves of the ocean, When I asked why, he confessed he couldn't swim, I asked how that was possible, seeing he was born and brought up in a south western coastal city in Sicily. But, it was true, he couldn't swim. After playing in the waves, I walked back to our lounges to dry off and found Sal in conversation with an attrac- tive older woman. She, it turned out, was a night club owner from Detroit and, like us. was on vacation. Sad liked older women, and I guess the woman liked younger men. In this day and age she would be called a cougar. They seemed to hit it off and after we were introduced, I joined in the conversation. Her name was Gabby and she was a frequent visitor to Miami Beach. As a result, she knew her way around and gave us several sugges- tions as to where to eat, shop and find night life that was to our liking. Before she left us, she told us that she was there alone, and if we didn't mind, would join us for our first hight out on the town. I didn't mind and Sal was thrilled. She headed to a hair dresser and we worked on the. beginnings- of a tan, something I still work on in Florida (50 something years later). Back in the day, you dressed at night on Miami Beach. For us, this meant a jacket and tie. Having in- quired as to the Miami Beach dress code before I left Boston, I was prepared. I put on a black suit, white shirt and white silk tie.- Sal The Apostle of the by Bennett Molinari and Richard Molinari Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, known today as, "The Apostle of The Divine Mercy," was born Helena Kowalska on August 25, 1905, she was the third of ten children bo.rn into a poor and pious peasant family in Glogowiec, a vil- lage in Poland. From child- hood she possessed .a love of prayer and piety as well as a great sensitivity to hu- man misery. She had hardly three years of schooling, when at the age Of sixteen she went to work to help her parents by earning her own livelihood serving as a domestic in the nearby cities of Aleksandrow and Lodz. _ When she was almost twenty, she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy whose members devote them- selves to the care and edu- cation of troubled young women. The following year she received her religious habit and was given the name Sister Maria Faus- tina, to which she added, "of the Most Blessed Sacra- ment". As a result of her very simple education, she was given the humblest tasks in the convent, 'usu- ally in the kitchen or garden. In the 1930's, Sister Faustina received from the Lord a message of mercy that she was told to spread throughout the world. She was asked to become .the t wants us to recognize that His mercy is greater than our sins, so that we will call upon Him with trust, receive His mercy, and let it flow through us to others. Thus, all will come to share His joy. Though the Divine Mercy message is not new to the teachings of the Church, Sister Faustina's Diary sparked a great movement and a strong and significant focus on the mercy of Christ. Pope John Paul II canonized Sister Faustina in 2000 making her the "first saint of the new millennium." Speaking of Sister Faustina and the importance of the message contained in her apostle of God's mercy, a Diary, the Pope calls her "the ~4 model of how to be merciful great apostle of the Di~;ine I] to others, and an instru- Mercy in our time." ~1 ment for reemphasizing God's plan of mercy for the world. She received extraor- dinary revelations or mes- sages from Our Lord Jesus, Who asked Sister Faustina to record theSe experiences, which she compiled in note- books. These notebooks are known today as the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska and the words contained within are God's loving message of Divine Mercy. She wrote and suf- fered in secret, with only her spiritual director and some of her superiors aware that anything special was taking place in her life.. Af- ter her death from tubercu- losis in 1938, even her clos- est associates were amazed as they began to discover what great sufferings and deep mystical experiences had been given to Sister Faustina. Saint Faustina tells us in her diary: "In the evening, when I was in my cell, I be- came aware of the Lord The message of mercy that Sister Faustina received is now being spread throughout the world; her diary, Divine Mercy in my Soul, has be- come the handbook for devo- tion to the Divine Mercy. Associated with the Feast is a devotion that takes the form of a chaplet: 1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed. 2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following: Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world. 3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following: For the sake of His sor- rowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world. (Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades). 4. Conclude with (three il The vice president was a who had just finished work dressed'in a similar fashionJesus clothed in a white gar- times): and we were ready to head ment. One hand was raised Holy God, Holy Mighty out and paint the town red in blessing; the other was One, Holy Immortal One, -- FOR YOU WHO APPRECIATE THE FINEST ... to be continued ... GOD touching the garment at have mercy on us and on . THE BLESS AMERICA the breast. From the open- the whole world. ~~~7-, J'}@ i ng of the garment at the This Sunday, April 1 lth at breast there came forth 3:00P.M. at Saint Leonard two large rays, one red andChurch, the beautiful devo- .~I the other pale. This vivid tion to The Divine Mercy !] description became the. im-will be celebrated. The pro- age of Jesus now associatedgram will start with the i with this Feast. Chaplet of The Divine Mercy MUSIC FOR ALL The message of mercy and Eucharistic Benedic- OCCASIONS 781-648-5678 is that God loves us all oftion; all are invited to attend us -- despite our sins. He this beautiful devotion.