The “annual” Memorial Mass in honor of the deceased members of the Cellini Lodge #2206, OSDIA, of New Hyde Park was recently held at the Church of Notre Dame. I indicate “annual” as we had generally not skipped a year, but owing to some administrative changes in the parish as well as the feasibility of space for a reception, and then added to the woes of the pandemic, the years just literally flew.
Thanks to the persistence of our current President Mary Modica and the appointment of a new chair for the event, Joan Marchiselli, our Cellini Lodge Assistant Chaplain and staunch member of the parish, the event did take place successfully. Celebrant of the mass and homilist was Rev. Joseph Scolaro, current pastor of the parish, who serves as Chaplain for the Lodge. Father Joe has been a remarkable pastor, for spiritual reasons and an active administrator in the recent announcement of a parish campaign that has been absolutely successful. Regretfully, Father Joe has been called to do graduate studies for a doctorate in Rome, Italy and will leave this month. He will be sorely missed. His comments at the mass were encouraging and uplifting, and in these days we all have needed such.
It was great finally seeking members of the Lodge in person for it has been since March 2020 that we had not seen people or met in person. And all looked good—that was encouraging. Attending members recalled by name those who had passed away since 2019 with a symbolic candle lit for each of the three years. President Mary led the memorial event, and assisting for the ceremony for the reading was Joseph Sciame, Alfonso Squillante for the Prayer of the faithful, and the lighting of commemorative candles were Mark A. Ventimiglia and Anthony Calabro, now all past presidents of the lodge. Memorial cards were provided by the New Hyde Park Funeral Home and facilitated by brother member Mike Dolan. Other Cellini Lodge Past Presidents attending were Angelo Ferrara, Grace Ferrara, Anthony Milazzo and Gina Ferrara Franchi. Indeed, much tradition and respect for the deceased members of the Lodge who once served so well.
A collation took place for all with delicious crumb cakes easily wrapped on paper plates and coffee and tea.
The Cellini Lodge was founded in 1968 and is one of the many in New York and the country, initially founded in 1905 as an Italian American fraternal organization that is steeped in its charitable giving and scholarship support. In last month’s newsletter a summary of the activities of some 53 years was listed for all to enjoy the merits and good will of the Cellini Lodge. This now annual memorial mass was a start back to what we all like to think of is the new normal. Blessings to all who attended, for while there was a decent turnout, we surely missed those who could not be with us, and with 368-9 members, we missed you. We cannot forget the deceased members, ever, for they built the Cellini Lodge.
—Written by Joseph Sciame, who is a Cellini Lodge Past President, Sons & Daughters of Italy in America New York State Grand Lodge Past President, OSDIA Past National President and the current President of OSDIA National Foundation