On Thursday morning Aug. 15th parishioners gathered in the beautifully-decorated Holy Rosary Church to celebrate Mass in honor of Our Lady of the Assumption (Maria SS. Dell ‘Assunta) with Bishop Thomas A. Donato and Rev. Jurek Zaslona, Pastor of Holy Rosary Church.
At 11 am, high above the empty stands where La Festa Italiana 2013 was taking place in the evenings, bells rang from the bell tower and the priests and altar boys proceeded to the Altar to celebrate Mass.
Bishop Donato, a Son of Holy Rosary greeted parishioners and introduced himself. He told them that he grew up in the neighborhood and attended Holy Rosary Church and that the church is where he had The Calling.
The Mass featured beautiful music played on the organ by Nicholas Grillo and sung beautifully by Naomi Ortiz who led the congregation in several hymns including “Immaculate Mary”, Glory to God”, and the Offertory Song “Dell ‘Aurora”. After Communion, Naomi sang the Meditation Song “Ave Maria” by Franz Shubert accompanied by Nick. That was followed by the Recessional Hymn “La Canzoncina – Inno di Morrone del Sannio”.
Following Mass, Bishop Donato, Fr. Zaslona and Holy Rosary parishioners assembled outside where Bishop Donato blessed huge bouquets of blue and white Memorial Balloons donated by parishioners in memory of deceased family members or to honor a living family member or friend that were then released into the cloudless blue sky. It was then time for the Procession of Our Lady of the Assumption and several parishioners carried the statue along with that of Our Lady of Grace through the surrounding neighborhood followed by Red Mike’s Festival Band and parishioners. After the Procession, parishioners gathered in the backyard for coffee and desserts and the band played lively Italian songs.