SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Local Italian and Catholic culture was celebrated in Springfield on Sunday with the ‘Our Lady of the Assumption’ mass and procession. This event is significant for the area because it brings back a special tradition.
Members of the faithful gathering in Springfield for the Feast of Maria Santisima (SS) Dell’Assunta, ‘Our Lady of the Assumption.” The day kicked off with a mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church and was followed by a procession.
Then at 4:00 p.m., there will be The Italian Feast, Maria SS Dell’Assunta, which is open to the public and will have food, music, and remarks. The dinner will be held at the Parish Center. Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi, and Hampden County District Attorney, Anthony Gulluni will be at the dinner.
Sunday’s event is part of a larger effort to revive older traditions. The annual Assunta Feast was once a longtime-staple among the local Italian-Catholic community, but momentum to uphold the tradition waned over the years.
Now, thanks to groups like the St. Padre Pio Lodge of the Springfield Sons and Daughters of Italy and the Asunta Society it’s making a comeback.
“The Catholic tradition, there are in Italy a lot of how you call, societies that underline some special devotion for some saint or Holy Mary, etc. It’s very old, old, old tradition, centuries ago,” expressed Fr. Paolo Bagattini of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, “These two young guys who wanted to work for this and they planned the event and everything, they invited people and they rediscovered the old stories. Now this is just a starting point because they want to revitalize the Italian culture, you know?”
Last month, a ‘La Madonna del Carmine’ mass and procession was held at the church, and next month, one will be held for Santa Maria delle Grazie.
Parishioner Rico Daniele of the St. Padre Pio Lodge of the Springfield Sons and Daughters of Italy told 22News that it’s exciting to see this revitalization among the church and greater community, “We got to work together to make this world a better place, we do this for the kids, for the grandparents and bring people together.”
The procession featured parishioners pinning cash to a statue of the Blessed Mother, all of which is donated to the church. The day wrapped up with a feast at the Parish Center.
This celebration is a staple of the celebration of the region’s Italian heritage. No one knows when the last event was held by the Assunta Society, but organizers have noted that it might have been 40 years or more ago.
For more information you can visit their website at www.springfielditalians.com.