Monthly Archives: July 2012

Pat Archbold explains it all about Chick-Fil-A…as usual, HE GETS IT! (EAT MOR CHIKIN ;)

31 July 2012

The Mark of The Beast and Chick-Fil-A

by Pat Archbold Monday, July 30, 2012

There will be many antichrists before the world bears witness to the lawless one. The Church teaches us that ” Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.”

Many suspect the scenario in my opening quote from the Book of Revelation (the mark on the right hand or the forehead that will be a requirement of commerce) will be a feature of the reign of Antichrist.

How about another bible quote?

“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”

When the day comes in which visible allegiance to that faith, which is against Christ, is a requirement of commerce, most people will go along with it. How do I know this? Because many people are going along with it now.

The mark of the beast (public allegiance to a faith opposed to truth who is Christ) as requirement to do business is not some far off prediction of the bible, it is today’s reality. It is reality in Chicago, Boston, and so on.

Read more HERE

Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company. Patrick, his wife Terri, and their five children reside in Long Island, N.Y. (And he is a great friend to ALWAYS CATHOLIC!)

Like I said, Wisconsin rocks! WI Bishops are true Shepherds!

27 July 2012

July 26, 2012 A.D.


Wisconsin Catholic Conference of Bishops Upholds the Sacredness of Each Human Being’s Life by Condemning the Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST)

Washington, D.C. –
American Life League joins its associate, Pro-Life Wisconsin, and all Wisconsin Catholics, in hailing the Wisconsin Catholic Conference of Bishops on its decision to condemn the Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment. Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League, issued the following statement:

This is a victory for all and a celebration of every human being’s life from creation to natural death. The Wisconsin Catholic Conference of Bishops, in its statement, provides moral clarity to Catholics nationwide on the grave implications of POLST, which appears to be a deceptively simple procedural form.


We know that God created each of us. We recognize that each human being’s life is sacred. We understand that the role of medicine is to protect and preserve that life in a manner consistent with natural law. It is, then, reasonable and logical that no other human being, including doctors or nurses, should have the power over life and death. As such, we applaud the bold act of the bishops to challenge the health industry on POLST. We join them in strongly urging Catholics to use a durable power of attorney for healthcare decisions, along with the Loving Will, to ensure they receive medical treatment that complies with Catholic teachings.

“We are very pleased with the statement from the Wisconsin Catholic Conference of Bishops, explaining the moral dangers of POLST and recommending appropriate alternatives which view every human being’s life as sacred,” said Peggy Hamill, state director, Pro-Life Wisconsin.

The Loving Will is a document created by physicians, lawyers, and theologians that allows individuals to clearly state their desire that they should receive all normal treatment and that their death should not be hastened. It is available from American Life League.

More information on Pro-Life Wisconsin can be found at

Source:American Life League, cofounded by Judie Brown in 1979, is the oldest national Catholic pro-life education and advocacy organization in the United States. For more information, please visit

Who Was the Most Influential Saint of His Time? via Stephen Beale

23 July 2012

Saints & Seekers
July 23rd, 2012
Stephen Beale

Reread that headline carefully. The question is not who is the most influential saint of all time, but rather of his or her time. The answer to the former is probably easy. I imagine many of us would tick of one of the following—St. Francis, St. Catherine, St. Patrick, St. Anthony, St. Joseph, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Dominic, to name just a few—it’s a long list. But the second question—who was most influential in his lifetime?—is a bit of a head-scratcher.

Think of your own answer to this question and e-mail me ( your thoughts before reading further. (Please, in addition to listing your nominee, give a reason. I may post the runners-up in a follow-up, but I’ll keep your names out of it!) I imagine that few of us, including yours truly, would have come up with the answer that noted Catholic historian Warren Carroll does:

Answer: ?

Click here for the rest of the post and of course, THE ANSWER!

Stephen, welcome to the Blogroll!

“Nihil”…@manwithblackhat waxes profoundly on “the reality of evil in the world”

21 July 2012

by David Alexander
20 July 2012 A.D.


It is said that when the late Heath Ledger was tapped to play the role of the Joker in the 2008 Batman film The Dark Knight, he was cautioned by the man who had done so before. Veteran actor Jack Nicholson, who himself starred as the twisted villain in the 1989 film Batman, part of an earlier incarnation of the Batman saga, gave a cryptic response when told of Ledger’s death from a prescription drug overdose.

Please visit David’s Blog, ManwithBlackHat for the rest of the story…

David Alexander is a blogger from Arlington, Virginia with a unique and introspective insight to things Catholic and everything else…

Poll: Americans Back Late Abortion Ban, Women More Pro-Life via @StevenErtelt

17 July 2012

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | | 7/17/12 11:53 AM

A new poll show Americans are strongly in favor of banning late abortions and do not like the fact that abortion is legal up to the point of birth in the nation’s capital or that unborn children can be killed after the point at which they can feel pain.

The Polling Company conducted a nationwide survey of Americans for the National Right to Life Committee to focus on legislation Congress is currently considering.

One bill, the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 3803), is scheduled to be voted on by the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, July 18. The measure is important because the District of Columbia has no abortion law — meaning abortions are legal up to birth for any reason.

However, by a 2-to-1 margin (58-27%), American adults, once informed of the current abortion policy in the nation’s capital – legal abortion, for any reason, until birth – would be more likely to vote for lawmakers who support a pending bill that would not permit abortion in the District of Columbia after 22 weeks of pregnancy (20 weeks after fertilization), except to save a mother’s life.

The poll found women were less likely to support members of Congress who favored abortion to the point of birth compared with men.

The polling firm asked:

Currently, within the District of Columbia, the nation’s capital, there is no abortion law at all. This means that abortion is legal there, for any reason, right up until the moment of birth. This summer, Congress is considering a bill that would not allow abortion in the District of Columbia after 22 weeks of pregnancy – which means after the beginning of the sixth month of pregnancy – unless the mother’s life is in danger. Would you be more or less likely to vote for a Member of Congress who votes in favor of this bill? And would you be (ROTATED) more or less likely to vote for a Member of Congress who votes in favor of this bill? (PROBED: And would that be MUCH or SOMEWHAT MORE/LESS LIKELY?)

58% TOTAL MORE LIKELY (NET) [women: 62%; men: 53%]

27% TOTAL LESS LIKELY (NET) [women: 27%; men, 27%]


for the rest of this sensational article please click HEREto go to

Many thanks to Steven Ertelt for his unceasing efforts for life!

My new Guv Scott Walker ROCKS just like my old Guv Chris Christie…but with a velvet glove…

16 July 2012

Obamacare is an unhealthy prescription

By Scott Walker, Published: July 12 Washington Post OP ED

Scott Walker, a Republican, is the governor of Wisconsin

Since the Supreme Court upheld President Obama’s health-care mandate, there has been exhaustive discussion about the philosophical basis of this federal law. As Election Day approaches, debate will surely grow about the proper role of our federal government.

But while much attention has focused on Congress’s intention to repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act, too few are studying the law’s practical impact. The best place to see the effects of the law is in our nation’s laboratories, the states. Although the Supreme Court has ruled on the constitutionality of the act, Wisconsin shows that it is bad policy.

Governor Scott Walker of the GREAT STATE OF WISCONSIN

The budget I signed into law last year increased state taxpayer spending on Medicaid by $1.2 billion in our biennial budget, which works out to be one of the largest annual increases in the country. While many states slashed Medicaid funding to deal with budget deficits, we made the biggest investment in the program in Wisconsin’s history.

By putting in place the long-term structural changes needed to make our budget sustainable, we ensured that those who truly need assistance would continue to have access to affordable and quality health care well into the future.

The good news is that responsible budgeting has put our state in a fairly unique position: Nearly 91 percent of Wisconsin residents have health insurance. According to the latest nationally available data, only three states have higher rates of coverage.

The bad news is that, from a practical standpoint, Obamacare will devastate Wisconsin. An actuarial study commissioned by my predecessor, a Democrat, and completed last year found that if Obamacare is implemented in Wisconsin:

● 100,000 people will be dropped by their employer-sponsored health insurance;

●59 percent of people who buy their own health insurance will experience an average premium increase of 31 percent;

●150,000 people will stop buying health insurance in the private sector and will instead become dependent on the government and taxpayers;

●Between 2014 and 2019, Obamacare could cost Wisconsin taxpayers $1.12 billion; after all federal aid and tax credits are applied, the state’s portion of the bill will be $433 million; and

●Approximately 122,000 parents, caretakers and pregnant women with an income of more than 133 percent of the federal poverty level will no longer be eligible for Medicaid.

It’s important to go beyond these facts and understand what they really mean for those of us who live in the Badger State. Young people will be hit hard with premium increases. Those between 19 and 29 years old who have individual insurance will experience an average premium increase of $1,631 per year. A family of four that does not qualify for a subsidy can expect a 28 percentincrease — from $8,528 to $10,912. For those who are covered by the small-employer group market, the average premium increase will be 15 percent.

These are just the law’s effects on individuals. There are also statewide implications. In Wisconsin, 46 percent of residents who would receive assistance through Obamacare would have already had insurance coverage. That would result in taxpayers spending millions of dollars without providing new coverage.

The law has also raised serious philosophical questions: Should the federal government force people to buy a product? What is the proper relationship between federal and state governments?

Even setting aside those legitimate issues, one practical concern remains. I look at the effects that full implementation would have on my state, and I can’t help but conclude that Obamacare punishes Wisconsin for budgeting responsibly and providing access to affordable and quality health care. It punishes young people, those who have responsibly purchased individual insurance, employers and employees of small businesses.

In Wisconsin, the data show that Obamacare will increase the cost of health care for most residents. That is not a prescription for positive change. Other states will face similar situations. We can do better.

Overall our federal government should be working to replicate the successes of states like Wisconsin — particularly focusing on those with high rates of coverage. And from a practical standpoint, the federal government should give Medicaid block grants to states. This would allow states to maximize the efficient use of tax dollars and increase private-sector competition while still providing care for those in need.

Increasing access to health care won’t come through mandates, taxes or penalties. Truly improving access for families will require costs to go down. Unfortunately, Obamacare moves in the opposite direction by making insurance more expensive.

Sofia says…thanks Guv Walker for your sanity, and your compassion to the citizens of Wisconsin whom you serve with class.

La festa che è la migliore di tutto il resto! – O’ Giglio É Paradiso in Brooklyn NY concludes on the Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel tomorrow

15 July 2012


O’ Giglio e Paradiso, Williamsburg Brooklyn from CamLin Productions on Vimeo.

In Italian Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the residents of the community look forward to the annual Giglio Feast held every July. Since 1903, when the Nolani immigrants first held their transplanted feast in this Brooklyn neighborhood, this festa has attempted to maintain many of the traditions from the Mezzogiorno, while adjusting to the new culture in America and accommodating the pressure to change.

The Nolani, who settled in this section of Brooklyn in the the flood tide of southern Italian immigration washed upon the American shores.were eager to pay homage to their patron saint, San Paolino (the Catholic Church prefers the Latin pronunciation, Saint Paulinus) However, there were more pressing tasks to accomplish first. Along with their co-religionists, the Italian residents contributed to the building of the original Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church ( at North 8th Street and Union Avenue). The devotion of all southern Italians to the Madonna is legend, but their adoration of la Madonna Della Carmine (Our Lady of Mount Carmel) is of the highest order. As important as the Catholic Church was to these people, they still desired to pay homage to San Paolino. It is important to point out that the saints belonged, in the eyes of the peasant immigrant, more to their town or village, than to the institutional church. Thus, in the case of honoring SanPaolino, the responsibility in the United States fell not upon their parish, but to a mutual aid society which had been formed.Societ&agrave M.S. San Paolino. The preferred method of meeting this obligation was to hold an annual feast in honor of the saint in question. From 1903 to 1954 , the Societ&agrave M.S. San Paolino took responsibility for the operation of this annual feast in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

This feast, which has been taking place in Brooklyn for over 100 years, commemorates an extraordinary bit of southern Italian history which culminated in the canonization of an erstwhile bishop of the small city of Nola. Not even Catholic until his thirty-seventh year, Paulinus was destined to become a renowned religious hero of that region. Though he was to serve as Bishop of Nola from 409 AD to 431 AD, it was an alleged episode, that took place shortly after his elevation to bishop, for which the Nolani hold him in such high regard.

The story, which is passed on through the generations on both sides of the Atlantic, is that around 410 AD, North African pirates overran the town of Nola. In the chaos, Bishop Paolino was able to flee into the countryside with some of the children. Upon his return, Paolino learned, from a sobbing widow that many of the young men, her son included, had been abducted into slavery. Moved to compassion, Paolino offered himself in exchange for the boy and was ferried off, a prisoner of the brigands. While in North Africa, word of the courage and self-sacrifice of Paolino spread and became known to a certain Turkish sultan. Taken with the tale of altruism, the sultan intervened, negotiating for the freedom of this holy man. Through the sultan ‘s efforts, Paolino and his paesani, were freed.

Overjoyed by his safe return, the entire town greeted him carrying lilies, symbolic of love and purity. That joyous homecoming jubilee is considered the very first observance of what would develop into an annual sacred event. Through the years, various trade guilds (farmer(ortolamo), butcher(beccaio), tailor(sarto), breadmaker(panettiere), blacksmith(fabbra), cobblers(calzolaio), deli merchants(salumiere), and wine makers(bettoliere) ) began to compete to produce the most sensational display of lilies. Over time, these displays became more flamboyant.

Today, although still called lilies (gigli), they have evolved into huge flower-laden steeples of wood, 50 feet or more in height. In Nola, these gigli structures and a boat (la barca) are carried through the streets on the shoulders of hundreds of men, in remembrance of the return of Paolino to Nola. The atmosphere is quite competitive and each guild hires the best lifters they can secure, because the carrying of the gigli is judged. Creativity of construction and musical accompaniment is also scrutinized even after the formal competition ends, and the men of Nola carry and dance the gigli throughout the night.

This is the tradition that was transplanted to Brooklyn, New York by the Nolani immigrants. It would be embraced stateside by all of those Italians who had emigrated from towns and villages surrounding Nola. World War II diverted the community’s energies (and men) in another direction and the Giglio Feast was discontinued temporarily. It would not be until June 22,1949 (the feast day of San Paolino) that this feast was reinstituted.

tthe 1950s, despite the controversy it caused in the community, The Shrine Church Of Our Lady of Mount Carmel took over the reins of this important feast. Almost immediately, the church combined the Giglio Feast with the feast honoring Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Since 1954 and the merging of the two saint days into one celebration (known as the Cooperative Feast), the Giglio Feast has been celebrated in July, with all activities leading up to its culmination on July 16th, the feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Since the Cooperative Feast came into existence, there has been a juxtaposing of religious, secular, traditional, and ethnic components within this celebration.

The Ritual of The Feast


Through the years, each generation has been steadfastly loyal to the traditions embodied by the Giglio Feast. Grandparents, parents and relatives have passed down the importance of la festa. In Italy, they are most important aspect of religion for the men. To a slightly lesser degree, this holds true for immigrant and second-generation, Italian-American males.

Today, the feast runs for 12 days and culminates on or around the feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16th. During this period, there will be a continuous celebration of religious activities in the church (daily masses, novenas and processions) and secular activities in the streets (social events, food concessions, and, games and chance). In addition to its socio-religious aspects, the feast generates needed revenue for the Shrine Church of Our Lady Mount Carmel.

The focal point of feast activities is Giglio Sunday and its follow-up, Old Timers’ Day. Usually, Giglio Sunday is scheduled for the first Sunday after Independence Day, with the feast opening a few days prior. The Italian Williamsburg community holds three holidays dear.Christmas, Easter and the Giglio Feast. The celebration, fanfare, homage and devotion is all part and parcel of the love they have for San Paolino . Every year, the Giglio Feast is anticipated by the young and old of this neighborhood. For those involved in feast activities, the feast dates take precedence over all other responsibilities.

The pageantry and religiosity of the Giglio Feast is the result of much planning according to ceremonial dictates. Indeed, this feast has been a mainstay and has flourished for so long because of the planning behind it. By the first of each year, the feast executive committee starts to meet with church officials to map out an agenda and format. General meetings (first on a semi-weekly, then weekly basis) are scheduled, which continue right up to the feast, with attendance increasing as the date draws closer. The central purpose of these meetings is to plan and implement all facets of the feast.

These paranza (lifter) meetings reinforce the statuses of important members of the feast hierarchy. The emphasis is on camaraderie, friendship, and cooperation between various cliques working toward a successful feast. Subcommittees are created and new appointments (capos, apprentice capos, lieutenants, committee chairmen) are made, based upon their work for the church and the feast. Each meeting opens and closes with an invocation: “Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, pray for us; San Paolino, pray for us.” The pastor, gives a homily or offers a feast related story; the men restate family ties and friendship lines under the guise of banter, jokes, arguments, and long-winded speeches. By the last meeting, when feast tee-shirts, caps, and scarves are distributed, all plans are in place and the men eagerly await the opening of the feast especially, the specific giglio activities.

Prior to Giglio Sunday, there is aQuestua procession. Preparation begins at 5:30 A.M. when a crew of men drive to a local bakery to pick-up and count the loaves of bread for distribution. At 9:00 A.M. there is a mass said by the pastor, Fr. Joseph Fonti to celebrate the feast day of San paolino. By 10 A.M., over one hundred Questua committee members, musicians, police, and children “assistants”) have congregated and are enjoying breakfast at the home of a former Capo Number One, Jimmy Smith, across the street from the church. At 10:45 A.M., the bread is blessed and the crowd breaks up into distribution crews. Each crew consists of a chairman, money managers, children who bag the bread, a band, and the police who maneuver this sizable assemblage through the Brooklyn traffic.

There are be prearranged stops en route. Certain feast devotees have refreshments for the crews. The band plays the Giglio Song and a few other requests Often, people make considerable donations to the church, and the crews walk for miles and hours in the hot, sticky July weather until all the bread has been distributed. By 4 P.M. the crews return to the church and disperse. In addition to raising some money for the church, the Questua procession is the traditional signal to the community that Giglio Sunday is quickly approaching.

Giglio Sunday begins with a line of march. The men (chairmen, lifters, priests, lieutenants and band) assemble at the church and begin a march to designated homes to pick up important feast personages. Each stop is, in essence, a ritual within a ritual, with family, friends and well- wishers offering food, setting off fire crackers, and requesting songs of the band. Of course the most heard and requested song of the day is the Giglio Song (O’ Giglio’e Paradiso), the reprise is played and sung hundreds of times to the never-tiring throng. When the enlarged group reaches the Capo’s residence, the fanfare is always more elaborate, as befits his honored position, in fact, the route is designed so that the last to be picked up is the Capo Paranza, who assumes his rightful place as leader.

In full strength now, the line of march, accompanied by a military honor guard, returns to the church in time for the special 11:30 AM Giglio Mass.. Participant-observation and interviewing indicates that 50% of the lifters attend this Sunday mass. With the band still playing, the parade enters Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church and is greeted by clapping parishioners and visitors. The men take their places in front of the church, being seated in reverse order of importance. The music ceases and the clapping subsides for the reverent part of the service, the celebration of the mass. Often religious dignitaries from “Rome, the local bishop’s office and neighborhood clergy of other faiths are represented on the altar. The homily always illuminates the history and tradition of the giglio, as the Pastor electrifies the faithful with his fiery, energetic, and poignant presentations. Once the mass is over, the Giglio Song is reprised. Lifters and attendees clap wildly, in time to the song as they spill excitedly into the streets.

The men head up Havemeyer Street to the parking lot of a local restaurant where they are served “army style” a coffee- and- danish breakfast. On the street nearby, the men purchase white carnations, some of which they spray red and green to approximate the colors of the Italian flag, and place them in the crevice of their caps. Then they drift back to await the start of the “dancing” (lifting and moving) of the giglio and the boat (la barca).

The giglio tower is a heavy structure weighing about 4 tons and standing 65 feet in height towering over small buildings with auto and term insurance offices and other nearby establishments. It was originally built of wood, but since 1966, in Brooklyn, the framework of the giglio has been constructed of metal. The front of the structure is divided into six panels of papier-mache saints, angels, flowers and a map of Italy. On top the giglio is a statue of San Paolino. The tower is anchored on a square platform, large enough to accommodate a band and singer/M.C. The entire weight rests on four sturdy metal legs. Beneath the platform, a line of seven evenly spaced metal poles (I-beams) protrude at a length of four feet on each of four sides. Four men to a pole, on bent knees, position their shoulders and when 112 men simultaneously stand erect, the giglio is off the ground; it is a lift. La barca is constructed in the same fashion and is lifted by the same principle. Riding in the boat is a band and singer, the Turk, and young boys, dressed in Arabian costumes who shower the audience with confetti.

The men stand around the giglio, near their poles, talking among themselves or with loved ones in the crowd, waiting with nervous energy for the first lift. Finally, the moment is at hand as the band and singer climb into position. The pastor blesses the structure and the lifters, he says the invocation to Our Lady of Mount Carmel and San Paolino, with the men responding, “Pray for us.” The national anthems of America and Italy are played. By this time, the more impatient lifters are calling out, “Musica!” and the band again plays the Giglio Song Numbering somewhere between five to ten thousand, the crowd, like the lifters, is now clapping and cheering. The men are situated under their poles. They will hold the structure aloft while the support blocks are taken away ( two of its legs are on the curb and the other two are on the street), then carefully they walk the giglio off of the sidewalk.

Each ensuing lift follows the same format with certain variations. The M.C. announces a lift to the crowd over the P.A. system. The Capo Paranza with his cane of office stands in front of the giglio, making sure everyone is in place, he signals the band to begin. The men listen for the end of the first stanza of the Giglio Song, because most of them do not have a view of the Capo Paranza , who thrusts the cane in the air as a signal for the lifters to straighten their legs and elevate the structure The Capo makes constant gestures with his cane, calling out instructions, which are picked up by lieutenants at the corners of the structure and relayed to the lifters.. A whirling motion of the cane signals the band to stop. At the command, “musica,” a second tune begins. The men dance the giglio to the chosen choreography until the Capo signals a halt.

The Capo then shouts four commands in the dialect of the Nolani: “Uaglio! (Boys!); Aizati i spalli”(Lift your shoulders); Acconge i cosce”(Tighten your legs); “Aggiet!” (Throw it!).” On the last command, the men bend their legs allowing the giglio to crash to the pavement. The greater the impact, the more San Paolino above shakes, the more exuberant the cheers from the crowd. The men come out to hug, clasp, and congratulate one another, friends, and relatives.

After a short respite, the Giglio Song is played anew and the men take their positions again. Each lift covers 20 to 40 yards and lasts from one to four minutes. There are several lift variations, including a complete rotation (called a 360); a backward march, a quick drop and lift, (called a #2 and a favorite of those who appreciate the difficulty of such maneuver), as well as swaying and bouncing of the giglio .

The lifters repeat this scenario again and again for several hours. At the same time, one block away, the boat crew is dancing la barca in separate lifts. Musical choices, other than the much-played Giglio Song, include Italian standbys like “Bella,” “Quanda Mammada Ti Fatta,” Roma March,” “Scapricciatello,””Uei Marie,” and”Un Tazze di Caffe.” American favorites, such as “New York, New York,” and the movie themes from “Rocky” and “Star Wars” can be heard.

The high point of the day occurs at the cross streets of Havemeyer and North 8th. At this juncture, the giglio and la barca meet; the front ranks of each structure clasp hands in the symbolic re-enactment of the historic return of San Paolino to Nola. As difficult and intricate as it is, this maneuver is the one that the men look forward to most because of its symbolic importance. It touches the hearts of lifters, community dwellers, and visitors alike.

Giglio Sunday is special day to each and every man that has held the position of Capo Paranza. Through a full commitment to church and feast activities, over many years, the capo rises in the feast hierarchy. This is a day that he has dreamed about for most of his life. While he has had to make so many decisions concerning the activities of this day, everything culminates in the capo raising his cane to make the giglio dance. Remembering his first lift as Capo Paranza, Jimmy Dellacono stated, “It’s a feeling that you can’t even start to explain.

The Sunday after Giglio Sunday is “Old Timers Day,” the day that honors all former Capos. On this day, each Capo is afforded an elaborate introduction (including nickname, characteristic data, and the playing of his special trademark song). Individually, the former capos through a phalanx of applauding lifters to the front of the giglio. Each Capo leads a predetermined number of lifts throughout the day. There is friendly competition between the former capos. Each puts the men through more difficult, energetic, and enduring lifts. These former capos are the links to other feasts and other times; the men display their continuing respect by obeying their commands, once again. On various levels, the residents and lifters know that Old Timer’s Day is a celebration of the community. It glorifies the neighborhood’s history by honoring those representatives of different times, eras, community challenges and victories. Reminiscing about any Capo stirs memories of family members, living or deceased, in terms of their involvement with the feast, and neighborhor.

Joseph Sciorra makes the interesting argument that, “like the giglio itself, the song “O’ Giglio ‘e Paradiso” has become a key symbol for the community.” Sciorra quotes an unidentified neighborhood man’s explanation of the song’s power to stir emotions: “You get a feeling when you hear the music. When they play the Giglio song, you start bouncing with the music. It goes through you. You can’t fight it. It’s a feeling that automatically comes to you. It gets in your blood.” Sciorra concludes that O’ Giglio’e Paradiso , “releases a flood of memories of past feasts; it evokes shared feelings and ideas. Besides becoming an auditory symbol of the event, ultimately it has come to stand for the community itself.”

During the feast, another important ritual, geared toward the socialization of the children of the neighborhood, is enacted. Scaled- down versions of the larger structures are employed for the dancing of the children’s giglio and boat. The next generation of lifters, with their own leadership of capos and lieutenants, are dressed in caps, kerchiefs and special tee shirts, as they proudly take part in their own pageantry. The children’s giglio serves as a preparation for that day when, at the age of 16, they can become lifters. It is expected that the children of those now involved with the feast will become involved in the future. The dancing of the children’s giglio reinforces this expectation each year.

A Lily Grows in Brooklyn

A Lily Grows in Brooklyn Trailer from Charlie Ciuffo on Vimeo.

Sofia’s Note: I have been to this Feast several times and there isn;’t a feast anywhere which can compare. It is a testament to the Italian people who have stayed loyal to tradition and embraced the BEST of America! Grazie mille to the Feast organizers, to Monsignor Calise and the Shrine Church of OLMC in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY.




Please click HERE to go to the site for the Feast…

Dear Sofia, My birthday gift to you…LIFE! Love, Jesus

12 July 2012

July 12, 2012 Anno Domini

One evening at dusk recently I looked out my balcony door and sawy this, a few feet away!! Maybe, a sign?

This past year has been a tough one, as many of you know. My heart failure condition had worsened and a life threatening infection were just a part of the numerous prayer requests for me..

I had a bright spot a short time ago where I thought I was on my way back. I was wrong. My condition worsened in this last month and I was resigned that perhaps this was it.

The doctors were befuddled as my condition was doing things it had never done before. I refused hospitalization as I have had enough of that. I was abandoning myself to Divine Providence.

This time I would not let my intern or family post prayer requests as all of you constantly pray for me and there are so many others that need it as much or more. this time I prayed for all of you. I offered my illness for all of your special intentions as my thank you for all of your prayers.

However, a strange thing happened in my praying for others and not focusing on my condition…I was able to hear the still, small voice of God in my heart. He said to me, “Remember when your sister Mary said that her tooth could be making her so sick.” Truly I heard it, not in a locution, but in my heart.

I had some soreness around a back molar but nothing that would cause me concern. I kept praying…

I was reading the Wisconsin State Journal one Sunday recently, and noticed an article about a charitable project called, “Mission of Mercy”. It seems that in Wisconsin, the dental community is seriously alarmed at the health of its’ residents as a result of dental issues. the article peaked my interest and I read on…

For the last several years, this charitable organization raises money to offer a two day dental clinic where all those who do not have dental insurance or have substandard Medicaid dental benefits to come and get first class dental treatment.

Well, first-class is the operative word. Please go to the website “Mission of Mercy” and see what private business and organizAtions can do THAT THE GOVERNMENT CAN NEVER EVER DO!

The Lord, Mission of Mercy, Dr Mark Ridenour and YOUR prayers saved my life. I AM TRULY HEALED! I FEEL LIKE the ME before Heart Failure. Deo Gratias!

The first thing Dr. Mark said was that HE was grateful I came, as I was about 48 hours away from an ER visit that was serious.
Dr. Ridenour is a Godly man, with a joyful spirit and an empathy for people I have never seen in a dentist/oral surgeon. My experiences from NJ have been extremely negative with a profit-driven mentality that frankly has turned my stomach.

Dr. Mark, from Oshkosh, WI (yes, there is an Oshkosh) is a husband and father who cares for his patients as he cares for his family. In addition, his has been gifted with an intelligence that we mere humans can only describe as brilliant or genius. He is truly that and has the humility of one of God’s chosen.

Dr. Ridenour reminds me of Saint Therese. I know, funny, isn’t it to compare a male with a female Saint? His manner, his humble response to his calling, his obedience to God’s Will and his generous nature reminds me of Saint Therese.

I realize now, so many birthdays later, that God has put a thousand Dr. Mark’s in my life and it is time that I am grateful.

I must thank all of you for your prayers that lead me to “Mission of Mercy” and Dr. Mark. In particular, thank you to my sister Mary,(@AncientSoul on Twitter and ) who always has the answer for me in advance and it’s time I really listen.

I want to thank all of you who I have “met” through Twitter and FB as the Catholic/Christian/politically conservative people I have met are the BEST of Social Media for sure!

Thank you to(Twitter names @FatherZ, @Sister_Lisa, @Ancientsoul @CatholicLisa (Lisa Graas), @DavidBisono,@Jimi971,@TurnbullD53, @Lexy315, @greghoward,@DavidBisono,@fleckman,@Catholicteen,@lamblock,@TheTwisters, @1SupremeGoddess @runedart @galtsgirl @suzibasterd @asskickymchotti @0402sgrl @conservativeind @hipEchik @flyingpatriot, @ElizabethKilbride,@swiftread,@tamale102280,
@manwithblackhat,@cmreport (the Brothers Archbold) and so many, many more…(Please, if I missed you, do not be hurt, I will get everyone up here eventually in posts to come!)

Thank you to all who have sent me ecards and to my FB friends who have flooded my timeline today with birthday wishes! Wow!

Thank you to my family in NJ for their constant support and to my friend Amanda in NJ who has waited so patiently for me to write. Know this, all of you are remembered everyday as I pray my Office, as I pray the Rosary, as I do acts of sacrifice for humility…. My illness has not been wasted. I have offered every moment for ALL of you!

@CatholicTeen meets "Bucky Badger" first week in Wisconsin!

Thank you especially to my “daughter”, @catholicteen who is now living with me in WI. I have had the honor of helping to raise her and her brothers for the last 13+ years because her father, Michael (this is the family member I asked you to pray for…he is doing remarkable and given a new lease on life, thank you!) is a man of unending Christian love who embraces God in His life unconditionally.He is truly my brother. Thank you to his wonderful wife and stepdaughter who have made me part of their life, I am grateful… Thank you to Michael Jr. and to Christian, the two sons God gave me who have help to care for me throughout my illness and continue to care for me in spirit as two amazing young men… God has given me a family and the love of children as a mother when that was something I never experienced biologically. I must say this…there is NOTHING greater than being a mother, no matter what way it comes to you…

Thank you to Milton and Cynthia, who’s daughter I have become…without them, well, I don’t really know…I just know I am their daughter in God’s eyes.

Thank you to Joseph Hubbs and his wife Ann and his daughter. They are devout traditional Catholics who love unconditionally… they have been my rock, forever!

Thank you to @Commonpatriot, my best and dearest friend. Love with a purpose…

Thank you to my new friends here in Wisconsin. Now I know why Wisconsin always comes up in conversation…somewhere…what a place…. “Jersey is where I am from…Wisconsin is my home!”

In the end all healing is possible in God’s plan. Whether it’s physical or spiritual or both, He is the source.
Thank you Lord for giving me back my passion, my zest, my energy! I give all this to You as I embrace on the second year of Always Catholic and do Your work.

I love you, Jesus… I AM BACK AND READY TO GO! I haven’t felt this well, Lord since before You gave me the gift of my illness. You are truly the source of ALL LIFE! Thank you!

Happy Birthday to me!

God love you,


PS. Thank you to Jane Austen, who kept me company through many long hours… ;)

‘Let freedom ring!’: Catholics to end ‘Fortnight for Freedom’ with nationwide bell-ringing at NOON

4 July 2012

by Jean McCarthy

    Tue Jul 03, 2012 17:54 EST

Washington, D.C., July 3, 2012 ( – Although the U.S. bishops’ Fortnight for Freedom is coming to an end, the battle for religious freedom is only just beginning.

“At the close of the Fortnight for Freedom, our efforts of prayer, penance, education, and advocacy cannot end,” said Paul S. Loverde, Bishop of Arlington, in a July 3 statement to the press. “This is a marathon, not a sprint, and no matter how the Court had ruled last week, these encroachments upon our liberty are a continuing threat.”

The U.S. bishops have invited Catholic and non-Catholic churches alike to toll their bells at noon in support of religious freedom.

The American Catholic Bishops had designated the Fortnight for Freedom as a time for prayer, fasting, catechesis and public action in support of religious freedom. The event will officially come to an end on July 4th, or Independence Day.

The United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB) has encouraged all dioceses across America to toll their church bells at noon, after which many parishes will hold a mass.

The bishops also invited non-Catholics to add to the chime of church bells. “We invite you all in your houses of worship with bells to join us in this special sign of solidarity for religious liberty – to ‘let freedom ring!’ said a statement on the bishops’ website.

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