For countless Italian Americans, many of the best-loved hallmarks of our distinct culture are intrinsically tied to Catholic tradition. Even for those who have let their personal practice lapse, or for others who come from different religious backgrounds, recollections of a special feast day in the old neighborhood, or holiday traditions rooted in Catholic practice remain treasured touchstones of their Italian American experience. For some families, that sense of identity continues to be informed by participation in Italian language Masses, or membership in one of the remaining Italian National Parishes spread throughout the country.
And while these parishes and liturgies are available to our community at a lesser frequency than they were to older generations, there are some younger Italian Americans setting out to change that.
In this week’s episode, we’re sitting down with Eric Lavin of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Newark, New Jersey, and Alexis Carra-Tracey, founder of the Italian Mass Project of New York City, to learn about the ways they and their fellow millennials are seeking to preserve and expand the presence of Italian Catholic life in America.
We’ll explore their efforts to bring old traditions to a new generation, and get a lesson in the history of Italian Catholicism in America straight from the Wiki-Pat-ia himself. And, speaking of the Notorious P.O.B., he’s inviting everyone out there in Italian American Podcastland to come out and support HIS efforts to evolve forward an Italian American Catholic tradition, the Feast of Our Lady of Sacro Monte in Clifton, New Jersey, a long-dormant tradition he revived more than a decade ago!
If you want to come out and meet the IAP Famiglia, or you’re just looking for a great way to reconnect with long forgotten traditions, this is an episode you’ll surely enjoy!