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December 7, 2012     Post-Gazette
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Page 6 POST-GAZETTE, DECEMBER 7, 2012 Pirandello Lyceum Program on Italian Immigration After 1950 Boston Common Tree Lighting Celebration by Cyn Donnelly The panelists (L to R): Rosario Cascio, Dr. Anna Rocca, Franco Vitiello and Maria Luisa Saraceni. While the history of the great Italian immigration to the United States in the early 1900s is well known to many, there has been little attention paid to those Italians who came to this country in the 1950's through the 1990's. On No- vember 20 th, four such Ital- ians, Maria Luisa Saraceni, Franco Vitiello, Dr. Anna Rocca and Rosario Cascio, told their story in the Heri- tage Room of Wakefield's historic American Civic Center to a captivated audi- ence. These panelists all commented on the tough decision they made to come here and the complex expe- riences they had acclimat- ing to the language and culture of America. They stated how important it was for these new immigranats, who came much more edu- cated than the first wave, to find a supportive Italian com- munity with many social and cultural organizations eager to welcome them. Maria Luisa Saraceni, who came from Abruzzo in the 1974 with her husband Giovanni and fifteen month old daughter Estella, focused on the difficult decisions and language issues she over- came to rise to professional prominence at Liberty Mu- tual Insurance Company. Franco Vitiello, who came here in the 1960s from Naples, told of his study and acclaimed architectural achievements in the U.S. and the very fortunate meet- ing with his wife, Mary. Dr. Anna Rocca, who came from Rome in the 1990's, ex- plained how she worked through difficult immigra- tion and work issues to ar- rive at a tenured teaching career in higher education. Rosario Cascio, who came from Sicily in 1963, re- counted the early experi- ences trying to reconcile his vision of America with the reality of East Boston apart- ment living. Through the assistance of his teachers, he successfully navigated college studies and became a respected Boston Public School educator. All of the speakers noted how, when faced with the decision to return to Italy, they all chose America and to remain as American citi- zens although they do return to Italy often to visit friends and relatives. The stories they told were new and compelling to the audience which expressed the need to have such programs again in the future. It is also of interest to underline that all of the speakers in the program, Maria Luisa Saraceni; Franco Vitiello; Dr. Anna Rocca-and Rosario Cascio are currently active leaders in our Italian and Italian- American communities. Lo.LI00 ... Have Spinelli's Cater Your Holiday Parties I00avioli & I00aslruj Shop 8 [ennington Sired, East [oslon Coil fo,00 Telephone 617-561-1992 lax 617-567-5150 www.spinellis.com Ring in the New Year at SPINELLI'S FUNCTION FACILITY Lynnfield Call for reservations 781-592-6400 (Photos by Rosario Scabin, Ross Photography) In 1942, Boston celebrated the first offi- cial Boston Common tree lighting ceremony by lighting a 45-foot Christmas tree. Novem- ber 29 th marked the 41st year that the tree in the Common was donated by Nova Scotia. The tree is donated as a continued act of thanks for Boston being part of a relief ef- fort to Nova Scotia following an explosion in Halifax Harbor that killed 2,000 residents on December 6, 1917. This year's tree is a 45-foot white spruce that was donated by Paul and Jan Hicks of Jordan Bay. This year's ceremony was full of music, lights, dancing (courtesy of the Hip-Hop dance troupe Floorlords), fireworks and not only a visit from Saint Nicholas but one from The Grinch as well! Maestro Keith Lockhart of the Boston Pops led a Christmas song sing-along while Elliott Yamin from Ameri- can Idol, Wakefield native James Massone from The Voice and Nova Scotian band Squ/d entertained the thousands of people gath- ered for the festivities. The only thing miss- ing from the ceremony was Mayor Thomas Menino, who is unfortunately still in the hospital recovering from a compression fracture in his back and an infection, but his wife Angela did an admirable job repre- senting him and the City. The Mayor can be proud of the job the City did as the tree lighting was, as usual, a tremendous Success. A Special Christmas Concert (Continued from Page i) lit with lanterns. The won- derful acoustics of Sacred Heart Church contributed immensely to the beauty of the evening. The Boston Conservatory, located in the Fenway, was founded in 1867 by Julius Eichberg, a gifted violinist and composer, to serve as both a professional training academy and community music school. From the very beginning, the Conservatory broke new ground by open- ing its doors to women and African Americans, people with few professional oppor- tunities in classical music at the time. The Boston Conservatory trains exceptional young per- forming artists for careers that enrich and transform the human experience. Known for its multi-disci- plinary environment, the Conservatory offers fully ac- credited graduate and un- dergraduate programs in music, dance and theater, and presents more than 200 performances each year by students, faculty and guest artists. A house of worship has stood on the corner of Sun and Moon Streets, North Square, America's oldest public square since 1649. The first of two Congrega- tional churches burned to the ground in 1676; the sec- ond in 1770. The present building was constructed in 1833 and for 38 years was the Seamen's Bethel where sailors worshipped. The leg- endary sailor-preacher, Fa- ther Edward Taylor, preached here and served as inspiration for Father Mapple in Herman Melvillejs (Photo by Rosario Scabin, Ross Photography) classic, Moby Dick. Herman Melville made frequent vis- its to the Bethel. In 1884, the building was purchased by a group of Ital- ian immigrants who formed the Saint Mark Society. In 1888, the church was named Sacred Heart by Archbishop Williams. It was entrusted to the Scalabrin- ian missionaries who came to America to minister to Italian immigrants. The majestic classic upper church with its vaulted ceil- ing is used on special occa- sions. The smaller devo- tional chapel downstairs is a splendid testimony to the piety and devotion which the early immigrants brought from Italy. Contributing to the suc- cess of the concert were Sara Delvecchio, Assistant Consul and Walter Valeri, head of Italian language Studies at the Boston Con- servatory. We look forward to next year's concert. On December 16 th the An- nual Saint Leonard Parish Christmas Concert and Party will take place at 4:00 pm at Sacred Heart Church. Tickets are currently on sale at the Parish Office and gift shop. Tickets may be purchased the evening of the event. A donation of $10.00 is requested. @ JUSTINE YANDLE PHOTOGRAPHY 781.589.7347 JUSTINE.YANDLE@GMAILCOM WW.JUSTINEYANDLEPHOTOGRAPHYCOM |