San Rocco Oratory

of the Archdiocese of Chicago

Sunday assembly at San Rocco Oratory
Sunday Assembly at San Rocco Oratory. Above, first row, from the left, Jean, Rosanne, & Greg Ciambrone, Maria & Ray Planera. Second row, from the left, Nick Markionni, Donna & Rick Thiernau, Pat & Bob Barker, Gene LaBelle, & Annette Nordstrom (obscured).

Jon Niemi receiving Communion
After instruction and a catechumenate, Jon Niemi was baptized and confirmed. Here, in the same Mass, on Epiphany, he is receiving first Holy Communion. The minister is Sandra Ziccardi; the server is Nikko Rodriguez.

Santaniello Baptism VI
From the left, above, are the parents, Dr. John Santaniello and Dr. Sun Min. Then come the godparents, Arla Ostberg, Kwang Min, Adriana Anderson, Fiorangelo Santaniello, and Teresa Bravo. Compari tutti!

Baptism of John Max Santaniello
This is the baptism of John Max. Dr. Santaniello is on the right. In the background is the Easter candle.

Blessing of John Santaniello IV
At the end of the liturgy, there is a special blessing for the mother, the father, and for all of us. Above, Dr. Santaniello, father, receives a blessing.

Prayer for Doreen DiGiovanni
Prayer for Doreen DiGiovanni

Profession of Faith for Merissa Sebastian
As part of their profession of faith, the parents and godparents answer "I do" to each of six questions. Above, they sing together the hymn, "Lord Jesus." From the left, these are Susan, Merissa, and David Sebastian, as well as the godparents, Mark Sebastian and Michelle Juliani.

Gathering around the altar
At the end of the baptism, the family gathers around the altar, for the Our Father and a final blessing. Above, Susan, the mother, holds her daughter, Merissa. The paschal candle in front of the altar, is lit.

Most Rev. Joseph Perry
After celebrating Vespers in the church, Bishop Perry went over in procession to the new hall, to bless it. Here, he greets the people.

John Bucci with family
Similarly, after Vespers, John Bucci and family took part in the blessing of the new hall. John (left) designed and installed the ceiling panels, with images of Italy.

San Rocco Hall, named in honor of St. Anthony
St. Anthony Hall, part of the San Rocco complex, on the east side of the main parking lot.

Coliseum on ceiling of new St Anthony Hall at San Rocco Oratory
Here are some images from the ceiling of the new St Anthony Hall, at San Rocco Oratory. On the left, you recognize the Coliseum in Rome.

Trevi Fountain
Here is the Trevi Fountain in Rome, made famous by the movie "Three Coins in the Fountain."

Gondolas of Venice, Italy
Here are gondolas in the city of Venice, Italy.

DeButch baptism
From the left are Michael DeButch, godfather, Gina Candeloro DeButch, mother, Michael DeButch, father, and Anne Klos, godmother. The newly baptized baby is Trevor Anthony.

Amanda and Dennis Nardoni
Amanda and Dennis Nardoni

Susan Baggio, Caesarina Planera, and David Peterson
Susan Baggio, Cesarina Planera, and David Peterson, all cousins.

Frank Rossi's band
Frank Rossi's band

Virginio Piucci, Mary Lou Tomasewski, and Mrs. Piucci
Virginio Piucci, Mary Lou Tomasewski, and Mrs. Betty Piucci. Dr. Piucci was vice-president of Governor's State University. Mary Lou's husband was the superintendent of the Ford Plant in Chicago Heights.

Festa 2004 tent
For the festa, a large tent is set up, right next to the new hall.

It is a hungry multitude.

Bishop Makarios celebrating Vespers at San Rocco
Here, Bishop Makarios blesses the people with a candle, during Vespers (evening prayer). This liturgy is being celebrated at San Rocco, in the hall just to the east of the parking lot adjacent to the church.

Bishop Makarios proclaiming the Gospel during the Divine Liturgy
Here is Bishop Makarios proclaiming the Gospel, during the Divine Liturgy, celebrated in the hall at San Rocco, on Sunday morning. Note that there is a lot of incense in the air, from the beginning of the celebration. The smoke alarm was quiet the entire time.

For the Mass, the bishop wears a gold overlay, over the white alb. Note that, instead of a deacon, the bishop himself proclaims the Gospel, as is traditional in Eastern Churches, as opposed to the Western practice of having a deacon proclaim the Gospel.

Charles Nardoni following the Coptic liturgy in English
On the left is Charles Nardoni of San Rocco, following the English language text, in a missal. The Divine Liturgy itself is celebrated largely in Coptic and in Arabic. It is Sunday, August 1, 2004.

San Lorenzo Procession 7
From left to right are Lauren Faso and Natalie Cipolla. The San Lorenzo procession is moving east on 22nd Street, towards the San Rocco Oratory.

2004 San Lorenzo Procession
The 2004 procession continues. That's Gene and Sharon Billo, in blue, in the middle.

Pope Shenouda visiting St. George's Church
In the center, above, holding a cross, is Pope Shenouda, visiting St. George church in Monee. On the left are his priests and bishops. On the right are the deacons. In the foreground is the assembly of the people.

ACP 2004 Benefit: Susan Vorwerk and Mayor Angelo Ciambrone
ACP 2004 Benefit: Susan Vorwerk and Mayor Angelo Ciambrone

Mundelein Seminary, in Mundelein, Illnois

Gonzaga University
Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington

Patricia Vazquez, holding candle
At the end of the liturgy of baptism, the family gathers around the altar, to say the Our Father together. Above, the mother, Patricia Vasquez, holding a candle, is standing between Joy Garcia, godmother, on the left, and Emilio Betancourt, godfather, on the right. This baptism took place at San Rocco on September 22, 2004.

Michael O'Shaunessey, Nikko and Paul Rodriguez
As of September 26, 2004, the parents begin instruction classes with their children, in the new hall. Above are Michael O'Shaunessey, Nikko and Paul Rodriguez.

spaghetti dinner Oct. 10, 2004
Spaghetti Dinner in the new hall, on October 10, 2004


What is Catechesis?

"Catechesis is nothing other than the process of transmitting the Gospel, as the Christian community has received it, understands it, celebrates it, lives it and communicates it in many ways."  (General Directory for Catechesis #105)

Jesus empowered the Church to continue His mission when He said,

Full authority has been given to me both in heaven and on earth; go, therefore and make disciples of all the nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to carry out everything I have commanded you. And know that I am with you always, until the end of time. (Mt. 28:18-20)

This great commission has been handed to women and men, whom God has called, to proclaim the Good News. This ministry of teaching and forming has traditionally been referred to as catechesis.

The name of catechesis was given to the whole of the efforts within the Church to make disciples, to help people to believe that Jesus is the Son of God...and to educate and instruct them in this life and thus build up the Body of Christ.
(Catechesi Tradendae #1)

The word catechesis comes from the Greek meaning "to echo the teaching" meaning that catechesis or the teaching of the faith is an interactive process in which the Word of God re-sounds between and among the proclaimer, the one receiving the message, and the Holy Spirit! Catechesis is a life-long process of initial conversion, formation, education, and on-going conversion. Through word, worship, service and community, it seeks to lead all God's people to an ever deepening relationship with God who reveals himself in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Catechesis takes many forms and includes the initiation of adults, youth and children as well as the intentional and systematic effort to enable all to grow in faith and discipleship.

Many people recall the term C.C.D. which stood for the "Confraternity of Christian Doctrine" which served parishes in their efforts to provide religious education to children who attended public schools. Today, we have retrieved the notion of catechesis to capture the broader mission of the Church to proclaim the Gospel to adults, youth and children in order to "put people in communion with Jesus Christ" (Catechism of the Catholic Church #426).

Baptistry at San Rocco
The elevated baptistry allows people to get a better view of baptism in progress, especially during Sunday Mass. This baptismal font is from the original San Rocco parish church. It was here, for example, that Father Lou Cameli was baptized over 60 years ago.

Note that here, in the baptistry, the Easter Candle is kept in a place of honor. During Eastertime, it is moved to the sanctuary.

Christmas Play 2004: 5 kids
On the left are Nikko Rodriguez and Rachael Wolter. This whole Christmas play was directed by Lucy Prisco. Mary Rodriquez edited the script.

Michael O'Shaunessey reads.
Here, Michael O'Shaunessey reads. That's Mattie West in the black dress, with the candle.

Mchael Pena reads.
Michael Pena reads.

Gospel Procession Christmas 2004
During the relatively long "Alleluia Madrigal," sung by the choir, the Gospel Procession is also extensive. Above are Josh Graham, Nikko Rodriguez, and Joe DiMaggio, who carries the censer.

Father Tommaso Petrongelli
Here, with hands extended, Father Tommaso Petrongelli is saying the Prayer after Communion, at Christmas Mass during the Day.

Confessional for San Rocco
The new San Rocco confessional (reconciliation room) has three large windows, so people can readily see inside. Yet, there is adequate soundproofing, for privacy. Penitents also have a convenient choice of kneeling down for confession or sitting down and going face-to-face, as they wish. During Sunday Mass, if necessary, this confessional can also be used a cry room for parents with babies.

[Jan. 2, 2004] Wedding of Mike Prisco and Monica Garcia.  Mike is the son of Mike and Lucy Prisco

[Jan. 3, 2004] Funeral of Ray Planera, patriarch of the Planera clan, one of the original founders of the Amaseno Lodge.  He is survived by his wife, Maria.

[Jan. 4, 2004] At Sunday Mass, after substantial preparation, Jon Niemi is baptized, confirmed, and given first Holy Communion.  His sponsor is Bob Marinucci. 

[Jan. 25, 2004] Baptism of John and Jake Santaniello.

[Feb. 3-6, 2004] Priests from the local Vicariate VI participate in a retreat at Mundelein Seminary.

[Feb. 13, 2004] Healing service at St. Rocco is led by a priest from the Peoria diocese, Father Glenn Fontana.  Angie Fiello organizes the event: 755-308l.

[February 16, 2004] Bishop Perry has indicated his willingness to come to St. Rocco, for the dedication of the new hall, to the east of the church and the parking lot.  However, since an outdoor procession will be part of this dedication, we will probably have to wait for warmer weather.  At that time, we will welcome people in the neighborhood to the celebration, as well as many friends of the Oratory.  Except for the kitchen counter, now being constructed, the hall is largely completed and is already available for use. Marge Petrelli says it's really beautiful, especially the ceiling images.

[February 21, 2004] Funeral of Philomena Stella, nee Sesto, survived by her daughters, Josephine Gliottoni and Helen Stella.

[February 22, 2004] As we agreed today at the end of Mass, a group from St. Rocco will go the movie The Passion of the Christ, at the Marcus Theatre in Chicago Heights.  We will go next Sunday, February 27, at 2:30 p.m.  It's $4.50.  Call August Anzelmo for reservations at (708)754-3447; pay him.  After the movie, we will meet at the hall, to discuss the Passion. It's pot-luck; bring food, as you wish.

[Feb. 27, 2004] Meeting in the hall, to discuss the movie. 

[March 8, 2004] Funeral of James Armato.

[March 21, 2004] The DiGiovanni clan, all wearing red, celebrate St. Joseph's Day with a dinner in the hall.   The clan now numbers about 300, spread out across the country.  At the beginning of the celebration, there is a litany, prayer, and blessing with holy water.

Nick DiGiovanni, Mike Prisco, and Pepe
Nick DiGiovanni, Mike Prisco, and Pepe.

Paul Rodriguez, Michelle Kalch, Mary Rodriguez
Paul Rodriguez, Michelle Kalch, Mary Rodriguez

[April 3, 2004] On Saturday, her sons organize an all-day prayer session, with Mass, for Doreen DiGiovanni, who has terminal cancer.

[April 13, 2004] Funeral Mass for Hal Pritchard, who visited San Rocco often.  Many people attend from the "University of Prague," the continuing education program at Infant Jesus of Prague Church; Hal worked with them for several years.  Hal's attorney, Doug Cipriano, read the Scripture readings for the funeral Mass.

[April 18, 2004] Baptism of Marissa Sebastian, daughter of David, who helped build the new San Rocco church building. He has a construction company in Crete.

[May  2, 2004] First Holy Communion is celebrated for Adam, son of Rita Planera, at Sunday Mass.  Father Gilligan met with him privately beforehand; his mother saw that he was instructed sufficiently.

[May 2, 2004] Bishop Perry comes to preside; we have a relatively full church for Vespers.  The choir sings Hear, O Israel, an excellent, four-part setting by Robert Kreutz. Special guests include Dennis Nardoni and John Bucci; the latter provided the ceiling panels, as you know.

 At the suggestion of Jimmy Koite, who comes to the Oratory, we had sent out invitations to local churches, Protestant and Catholic.  However, only Father Max and Father Gilligan show up to celebrate with Bishop Perry.

After Vespers, in the procession to the hall, we sing Alleluia in tone 8.  At the end of the blessing, we sing Benediteci, in Italian, no less.  (Andretta Marconi had provided the music for Faith O'Brien to transcribe.) Then, to be sure, there is food and drink.

Already, the hall has been reserved by 7 or 8 groups, mostly Mexican-American, from the immediate neighborhood.  People are delighted with the new hall, especially the art on the ceiling.

[May 10, 2004] Priests of Vicariate VI attend a seminar on mangement, given at St. Jude Church in South Holland.  Professor Jack Grossman, retired from DePaul, coordinates the session.  (In the seminary, priests have had no training whatsoever in management.)

[[May 11-13, 2004] Father Gilligan goes on retreat with his ordination class, at Mundelein Seminary.   We have 23 still left in the priesthood, out of 38 ordained.

[May 15, 2004] Funeral for Florence D'Andrea, mother of Bev Green, who sings in the San Rocco choir.

[May 19, 2004] Father Gilligan meets with Peter Danis, management expert, to consider certain pastoral questions, as a follow-up to the session given recently at St. Jude.  Peter is the former president of Boise-Cascade/Office Max. 

[May 23, 2004] Baptism of Trevor Anthony DeButch, son of Gina Candeloro and Michael DeButch.   Gina is the daughter of Dominic Candeloro. 

[June 20, 2004] Sunday, Mike & Sharon Pena have their baby baptized at 11:15 a.m., after Mass.  They live in Arizona but have strong family connections here;  Lucy Prisco, mother of Sharon, has spent much time visiting them.

[June 24-27, 2004] The San Rocco Festa takes place on the grounds, making use of the new hall.  For more photos, go to the section About Us/Festa! Festa!  This was a big deal, with hundreds and hundreds of people present.  As you can see from the many photos here, there was an overflow crowd, with many tables needed.

Joe DiMaggio with Marie
Joe DiMaggio and Marie

There's food outside and, above, inside
There's plenty to eat, both outside and inside.

Marge, Jenny, Jackie, and Joseph Petrelli
From the left are Marge, Jenny, Jackie, and Joe Petrelli.

Noonan Academy
Children participate, from the Noonan Academy in Mokena. They are directed by Mary Kay Pignotti.

[July 23, 2004] Mary LoBue, mother of Fred, is buried from San Rocco.  The singing is entirely a cappella.

[July 31, 2004] It is Saturday evening. The local Coptic Orthodox parish, St. George, celebrates Vespers in our hall, presided over by Bishop Makarios.  As the bishop requests, Father Gilligan reads the Scripture during the service, from the Gospel.  The church building in Monee awaits an occupancy permit from Will County, and the parish's usual site at Tolentine is not available this weekend. 

[August 1, 2004] It is Sunday morning.  At 10 a.m. in the Oratory building we celebrate Mass as usual.  However, beginning at 9 a.m., the St. Anthony Hall, on the east side of the parking lot, is being put to another use.  The local Coptic Orthodox parish celebrates morning prayer, service of incense, and Divine Liturgy [Eucharist] in our hall.  Afterwards, they host the members of San Rocco and provide food for them, in the hall.  Egyptians and Italians know how to celebrate.

[August 8, 2004] The San Lorenzo festival begins at the Amaseno Lodge, moves in procession to the church for Mass at 11 a.m., and returns to the lodge for more celebration. Vintage cars take part in the procession. 

[Aug. 16, 2004] San Rocco Oratory celebrates Vespers in honor of St. Rocco at 7 p.m.

[Aug. 15, 2004] Pope Shenouda, Patriarch of the Coptic Church, flies in to O'Hare Airport from Cairo, Egypt.  He then drives to St. George's parish in a limo, where clergy and people greet him.  Father Gilligan is there on behalf of San Rocco and takes part in the common prayer. 

[Aug. 18, 2004] Josephine Picchi is buried from San Rocco.  The organ is not used.

[Aug. 19, 2004] Paul and Mary Rodriguez and other parents meet with Father Gilligan in South Holland, to see if the San Rocco community could have its own religious education program.  As of now, their children are going to various local parishes in three dioceses.  Over the past few years, this has been frustrating for these families, they say.  They think that the children would benefit more from a program at San Rocco.     


[Sept. 5, 2004] Angela Kuhlman and Jovan Fiore get married at San Rocco.

[Sept. 11, 2004] American Catholic Press holds its annual benefit at the Flossmoor Country Club.  Alan Keyes speaks, on a pro-life theme.  Both Bishop Perry and Bishop Kane attend, in part to honor Sister Mary Paul, principal of Marian High School.  She receives the Gratiam Dei Award.[Sept. 28, 2004] Father Gilligan meets again with Rosalind Sanders, to plan the religious education program. The next  day, he meets with Father Joe Bennett, pastor of Holy Ghost in South Holland; his grade school is closed.

[Sept. 19, 2004] The parents, by their choice, with their kids, meet in the hall at 9 a.m. at San Rocco.  Four volunteer to teach and help in teaching; Mary Rodriguez agrees to coordinate the work.

[Sept. 19-21, 2004] Father Gilligan attends a seminar on Gregorian Chant at Mundelein Seminary. People attend from all over the U.S.  A schola from Gonzaga University, Spokane, helps with the liturgies.  Chant is sung in both Latin and English.

 With approval from Bishop Perry, Father Gilligan tells the parents they can leave their respective religious education programs and set up their own at San Rocco.  He explains why the Eucharist, Sunday after Sunday, is the fullness of Christian initation, not confirmation, as the policy of the Archdiocese itself makes clear.  Bulletin articles are prepared for the next eight weeks on the right order of initation, with confirmation given second, after baptism, before Communion. Some of the children have already received first Communion but, inappropriately, were not given confirmation beforehand.

He also says that Bishop Perry agrees to come in January, to celebrate confirmation and first Communion in the same Mass.  What is important, he says, is that parents and kids take part regularly in Sunday Mass, as they do.  That is the fullness of the Holy Spirit, not confirmation.

[Sept. 22, 2004] Sue Bordenaro and Rosalind ("RAHzlihn") Sanders of the Office of Catechesis of the Archdiocese of Chicago meet with Father Gilligan at ACP in South Holland. They explain what resources and personnel are available from the Archdiocese. They say San Rocco can go ahead with confirmation in the proper order, before first Communion.  However, Eastertime, they say, would be a better time; Jan. 9 seems too close.

Today, Matteo Vasquez is baptized at San Rocco.  His mother, Patricia, meets with Father Gilligan beforehand, in South Holland, as preparation.  Her grandparents were born in the U.S.

[Sept. 24, 2004] Father Glenn Fontana comes again for a rosary, Mass, and healing service.  People attend from various local parishes.

[Sept. 24, 2004] Father Gilligan meets with members of San Rocco, at ACP in South Holland, for the sake of long-range planning.  The Markionni brothers (Nick and Rob) attend, as well as August Anzelmo, Angelo Ciambrone, and Mike Prisco.


[Sept. 26, 2004] On Sundays, regular religious education classes begin at 9 a.m. in the hall.  Both parents and kids are present.  More kids show up; now, we have eleven. Paul Rodriguez, Jr., organizes servers for Sunday Mass; from now on, we have four at every Mass.  Several of the boys need to use adult-size albs, which were donated some time ago, intended for the choir.

The parents break up and sit at separate tables with the children, going through lessons that are age-appropriate.  The parents themselves intiated this religious education program, and now they themselves are the teachers, in separate groups. 

[Sept. 28, 2004] Father Gilligan meets again with Rosalind Sanders, to plan the religious education program. The next  day, he meets with Father Joe Bennett, pastor of Holy Ghost in South Holland; his grade school is closed.

Josephine Monty, Rachel Wolter, and Mary Rodriguez
Above, from the left, are Josephine Monty, Rachel Wolter, and Mary Rodriquez.

Parents and their children on Sunday morning, in the new hall
On the left are Josh Graham and Joe DiMaggio. On the right are Vera DiMaggio and the Graham family.

[Oct. 10, 2004] Spaghetti dinner is held at San Rocco, in the new hall.  Many come.  Many eat. All rejoice. Quam bonum et iucundum est.

[Oct. 11, 2004] Josephine Maolini is buried from San Rocco.  The singing is unaccompanied, without the organ or piano.

[Oct. 17, 2004] Tim Downs of Benziger makes a presentation at 9 a.m., Sunday, to introduce parents and children to what Benziger can offer them. The parents themselves receive sample copies of the books to evaluate and compare with the Harcourt samples they already have.

[Oct. 26, 2004] At Holy Name of Mary parish, a Protestant fund-raiser proposes a tithing program for parishes, based on biblical motivation.  Father Jim Flynn, pastor, speaks highly of the program.  The program is Baptist, using the King James Bible, and relies on Old Testament instructions to give up 10% of your income.   Other Old Testament injunctions are not mentioned, for example to kill sinners by public stoning, to avoid pork and shellfish, and not to work on Saturday.  Nor is it explained why tithing is more enduring a commandment than these.

[Oct. 27-29, 2004] Father Gilligan participates in a seminar on translation at Mundelein Seminary.  Experts speak on the rewording of the sacramentary and theories of translation. Only one other priest attends from the Archdiocese of Chicago.

[Nov., 2004] This month, Paul and Mary Rodriguez attend three training sessions on Saturdays, for setting up a religious education program at San Rocco.  Help is given several times by Sister Judy Dieterle, Jeanine Havlik,  Marilyn Krawczyk, Elinor Malone, and Rosalind Sanders.  Both Paul and Mary say that they find these sessions beneficial.

[Nov. 1, 2004] August Anzelmo organizes a pro-life rally in the hall.  There is no public endorsement of any individual candidate for election.

[Nov. 6, 2004] Nick Capeletti is buried from San Rocco.  The organ is silent.

[Nov. 17, 2004] Sunday morning, Mary Rodriguez reports to the parents and their kids.  With regard to the restored order of initiation, she says that 19 dioceses in the U.S. have implemented this order, with Eucharist being the primary sacrament of initation.  (Elsewhere, individual parishes have also done this, at the initiative of the pastor.)  She distributes an FAQ sheet  (FAQ) about this topic.

 With regard to textbooks, she compares Benziger's and Harcourt's offerings. Following advice of Elinor Malone of St. Emeric's, Mary recommends Harcourt.  Elinor is the only CCD instructor in the southern suburbs to be fully certified, having taken all the courses necessary.  Elinor is happy to recommend confimation before first Holy Communion, as the traditional order of the sacraments of initiation.

 First reconciliation (confession) would be in December.   Confirmation would be around Eastertime.  At home, the kids should keep reviewing prayers, the Sanctus, and the Agnus Dei, she says.   (For further information about the restored order of the sacraments of initiation, go directly to Send Forth Your Spirit, by Bishop Aquila. This is a PDF file.)

[Nov. and Dec., 2004] During these two months, at each Sunday Mass, the choir sings the Trisagion at the beginning of Mass and the Blest Be the Name acclamation at the end of Mass, both by Bortniansky. During the preparation of the gifts, the choir sings the Gregorian Chant, We Look for Light.  In addition to familiar Advent hymns, these songs set the season of Advent apart as something special.

[Nov. 21, 2004] Steve and Nikki Krumdieck have their baby Phoebe baptized.  This is the grandchild of Ron and Priscilla Fushi.

[Nov. 25, 2004] Thanksgiving Day Mass is celebrated at 10 a.m.

[Dec. 4, 2004] Clara Lewis, deceased,  is remembered at a Memorial Mass.  Full church.  Clara was a regular participant in Sunday Mass at San Rocco Oratory and was generous in her support and friendship.  Jim Joyce, a good friend of the deceased, helps in planning the music for the Mass; he is an assistant organist at Infant Jesus of Prague Church, Flossmoor, Illinois.

[Dec. 5, 2004] Mary Rodriguez reports that in the third session downtown, with the Office of Catechesis of the Archdiocese of Chicago, the instructors explained why it's better to have confirmation and first Communion together, in the same celebration.

[Dec. 8, 2004] At 7 p.m., Mass is celebrated on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

[Dec. 11, 2004] Funeral Mass for Virginia Aprati, sister of Joe Petrongelli.  Church is completely filled; participation is excellent.  As usual at funeral Masses, as required, there is no organ used.

[December 12, 2004] Sunday, in church, first confession (reconciliation) is celebrated by the whole group.  Both parents and kids go to confession, at a kneeler in the back of church, enclosed by a screen. Other people go, too, until shortly before Mass begins.  However, as in the past few years, many people find the kneeler too public for confession; they don't go.

[Dec. 13, 2004] Today, Monday, at 7 p.m., at the request of several people, mostly from the Planera family, we celebrate Mass in honor of St. Lucy.  There is much devotion to this saint in both Sweden and Sicily and, evidently, also in Amaseno, Italy.

At the beginning of Mass, we sing 325, Saints Who Suffered, for a martyr. Following majority vote, the three collects of the Mass are said in Italian. At the end of Mass, people sing Il canto di Santa Lucia, in Italian, from memory.  (For further information, go directly to:  Santa Lucia Day.)

Dec. 19, 2004] At the last Sunday Mass of Advent, Father Gilligan announces that San Rocco will omit the Christmas Midnight Mass, because last year we had very few people, with no solemnity.  It seems better to have just one celebration at 10 a.m. and to work to make it a beautiful celebration, with organ and full choir. 

Today, people note that Dave Sebastian has completed construction of a new baptistry, a wooden platform, in the southeast corner of the church.   It's a beautiful piece of work, with well crafted wood.   It's also elevated, so that people in the Sunday assembly can see more easily.  Many of the baptisms at San Rocco are celebrated during Sunday Mass, so that the whole congregation can participate.

The wooden railing also sets off the baptistry as a sacred space, while still allowing the baptismal party to climb up the single step.  

[Dec. 25, 2004] The Christmas Mass brings in a full house.  Many people are away at other parishes with relatives, yet other people are here with their families.  Michael and Sharon Pena, for example, are visiting from Arizona.

While one member is absent, the choir is strengthened with Michael and Kelly Padden.   There are sufficient singers in each of the four sections, so that full harmony can be provided.

 The Children's Christmas Play, rewritten by Mary Rodriguez and rehearsed in religious education class, is directed by Lucy Prisco. 


Christmas Play 2004: live baby
In the Children's Christmas Play, 2004, Paul Rodriguez brings up a live baby. In the pew is Michael Pena, husband of Sharon, with their child. They are from Arizona.

Christmas Choir 2004
Christmas Choir 2004: From the left are Frank Jobbe, Nick Markionni, Angelo Ciambrone, Michael Padden, Rob Markionni, Ken Ziccardi. Also from the left are Marty Bramlette, director, Bev Green, Carol Dallesandro, Sharon Billo, Kelly Padden, Susan Baggio, Cesarina Planera, Luisa Pizzoferrato, and Anna Marie Christofanelli. Absent: Pat Hahto.

Rob and Nick Markionni
Accompanied by Marty Bramlette, on her electronic keyboard, Rob and Nick Markionni perform a Christmas motet. That's St. Anthony on the wall.

Entrance Procession
The Christmas Mass begins with the choir singing "O Come All Ye Faithful" in 4-part harmony, in the vestibule.

Entrance Procession continues
As the choir enters the church proper, they continue singing in four-part harmony.

Conclusion of the Alleluia
The Gospel Procession ends at the pulpit.

[Dec. 28, 2004] With the help of a plan, Dave Sebastian and two workers construct a soundproofed confessional, a reconciliation room, in the southwest corner of the church.  The room allows penitents a choice of kneeling down before a screen or sitting down for face-to-face confession.

The large, glass windows in the door and the north side of the confessional allow people to see inside easily, without being able to hear.  Now, people going to confession can have the privacy they want, instead of using the kneeler in the side aisle. 

Another possible use for this confessional is that of a "cry room," a place where sometimes a parent will have to go, with a small child or a baby who needs attention.

August Anzelmo told David Sebastian to add the ornamental, wavelike decorations on top of the confessional, each with its own cross.

The statue you see on the left is that of St. Lawrence; up to now, the statue was in the side aisle, just south of the organ.  A pew has been moved against the side wall, making it necessary to move the statue to its present location.

San Rocco Oratory

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