Yesterday, Saint Mel’s parish held the traditional Processione del Cristo Morto e dell’Addolorata (Procession with the Dead Christ and Our Lady of Sorrows). Close to a thousand people walked and prayed from St. Mel’s to St. Luke’s Church, following the statues of the dead Christ and Our Lady of Sorrows thorough the streets of Flushing and Whitestone.
It was the 57th annual Good Friday Procession in the Whitestone-Flushing area. The Borgetto Cultural Association hosted the event. Father Gerard Sauer, pastor of St. Mel’s, and Msgr. John Tosi, pastor of St. Luke, greeted the faithful of their parishes as well as many other from around the diocese who usually come to St. Mel’s every year to participate in this traditional devotion.
Before the procession, the participants prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary in Italian led by Father Italo Barozzi. After the Rosary, Gino Romano, the president of the Borgetto Cultural Association, officially welcomed the new members and handled them the association pins that Father Barozzi had blessed at the beginning of the ceremony.
Following the service, outside the church, the statue of Christ was taken down from the cross and put in the processional coffin to start the procession. A group of teenage girls carried the statue of Christ from the cross to the coffin.
The Processione del Cristo Morto e dell’Addolorata at St. Mel’s closely follows the traditions of the procession usually held in the town of Borgetto in Sicily, the original hometown of many families of the parish.