Italians Honor Heritage With Mass in Flushing

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio led the procession throughout St. Mel’s parish and then celebrated Mass at the church as the diocesan Italian Apostolate honored Our Lady of Pompeii.

The diocesan Italian Apostolate brought its annual celebration to Flushing, last Sunday, to honor Our Lady of Pompeii.

Processing with banners of their favorite saints and a statue of Our Lady of Pompeii, the procession made its way through the streets of St. Mel’s parish prior to the celebration of Mass with Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio.

He said the devotion of the hundreds of Catholics who participated and their sacrifice for Mary inspired him as he walked in the Queens neighborhood.

Deacon Vincent M. La Gamba, the coordinator of the Italian Apostolate, said this year’s procession had special meaning because it became part of the Year of Faith.

The Italian people brought their faith into the public sphere, where curious onlookers took photos and videos of the procession.

During his homily, Bishop DiMarzio reminded the congregation of the importance of the Year of Faith and urged them to pass on the faith, which has meant so much to the Italian heritage, to future generations.

After the Mass and procession, the bishop led his congregation in a Suplica to Our Lady of Pompeii. The Italian Apostolate joined the international Italian community in the traditional prayer to ask the patroness of the Rosary for intercession to God.

Father Italo Barozzi, parochial vicar at St. Mel’s, and Father Vincent Chirichella, parochial vicar of St. Luke, Whitestone.