"The Mother Church" of Norwalk
St. Mary's Church on West Avenue, in Norwalk, Connecticut is one of the two churches built by Italian immigrants at the turn of the century where Mass is still celebrated in Latin. (St. Joseph, is the other one.) This is an image of the procession held during the celebration of the Last Supper last night that brought my memories back to the walls of the church in my little town in Campania where I worshipped growing up and I was baptized. There was something solemn about this ancient traditional celebration of the Mass recited in Latin, so the "inni" (hymns) that memories came over me, so the nostalgia of my Italian upbringing, Yes, nostalgia brings you back to your roots especially when you are reminded of the impressive heritage that Italian immigrants have brought and continue to share in their adopted country. You feel proud and humble by their heartfelt, never-ending love for their native "patria" (homeland) they left behind no matter how far or how long they have been away. Through their hard work, artistic skills and talent combined with their passion, faith and the values they were taught, Italian immigrants have built and go on creating works of art and not just in Norwalk. Their masterpieces, which tell the story of their native town, their home and family upbringing, the community they were part of, are built from an image, a memory they carried with them miles away in a foreign land of their Italian roots. It is this sacred devotion to the ideals of their native “patria” and heritage that Italian immigrants go on living their story, traditions, faith and passion for all works of art no matter what country they live in.
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