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Raising of the Italian Flag for La Festa 2021

Some of the board members, committee volunteers and civic officials associated with La Festa Italiana raise the Italian flag on Courthouse Square in downtown Scranton, site of the festival to be held Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 3-6. For more information, the entertainment schedule and updates, visit the festival Web site at: www.lafestaitaliana.org.

Kneeling in front from left: Mark Dougher, Lackawanna County maintenance director; Louis DiMattio; La Festa President Chris DiMattio; Joe Guido. Standing from left: Lackawanna County Commissioner Chris Chermak, Rich Surace, Tom Tulaney, Bill Genello, Debra Meila, Joe Castrogiovanni, Karen Clifford, Frank Castellano, Tony Nicosia.

Mass in Italian To Be Celebrated Sept. 5 in Scranton

The annual Mass in Italian will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Sunday, September 5, at the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Scranton. All are welcome to attend.

The liturgy is celebrated in conjunction with La Festa Italiana, which occurs over the Labor Day weekend, Friday through Monday, September 3-6, on Courthouse Square, one block away.

Father David Cappelloni, V.F., La Festa chaplain, has announced that the Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, will preside and the principal celebrant and homilist is Oblates of Saint Joseph Father Paul A. McDonnell.

Concelebrants will be priests from the Diocese of Scranton. Deacons from the Diocese will also participate.

The Mass will be broadcast live by CTV: Catholic Television of the Diocese of Scranton and will be rebroadcast on Tuesday, September 7, at 8 p.m., and Wednesday, September 8, at 10 a.m. It will be available for viewing later in the week on the Diocesan website at www.dioceseofscranton.org.

Father McDonnell, OSJ, a member of the Congregation of the Oblates of Saint Joseph, was ordained a priest on August 10, 1991 by the late Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo. He is a native of West Pittston and a graduate of Wyoming Area High School, immediately afterwards entering the Oblates of Saint Joseph Seminary, Laflin, where he obtained a bachelor of arts degree in Philosophy at King’s College, Wilkes-Barre. He then left for Italy for five years, first completing the novitiate year in Padua and then in Rome for theological studies at the Angelicum & Lateran Universities.

Father McDonnell has served in various roles throughout his 30 years of priesthood, namely as pastor of the former Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish (Saint Joseph Marello), Pittston, rector of the Oblates Seminary and the first provincial superior of the newly united USA Province of the Oblates of Saint Joseph, residing at their headquarters in Santa Cruz, Calif. from 2013 – 2020. 

Last summer he returned to his native area to resume his duties as rector of the religious community in Laflin and most recently has been appointed by Bishop Bambera to serve as Sacramental Minister of Our Lady of the Eucharist Parish, Pittston.

This year’s Italian Mass is being offered in memory of all those members and friends of La Festa Italiana who passed away since the last Mass was celebrated, including Honorable Ray Alberigi, John “Jack” Brunetti, Christina Caprio, Father Andrew Gallia, Patrick A. Luongo, Joseph “Chef” Schiavone, Kevin Shaughnessy and Father Joseph Sica.

Music ministry for the Italian Mass will be provided by the choir of Saints Anthony and Rocco Parish, Dunmore; accompanied by a brass quartet, all directed by Joseph Moffitt. Dominick DeNaples, mandolin; Patrick Loungo, Nicholas Luongo, Lou Cossa, guitar, and Monica Spishock, timpani, will also accompany.

Ashley Yando-DeFlice is the cantor and the leader of prayer. The guest vocalist is Olivia DiMattio

The lectors are Heather Luciani and Sister Catherine Iacouzze, MPF. The Prayer of the Faithful will be led by Diane Alberigi, Frank Castellano and Karen Clifford.  

The Offertory gifts will be presented by La Festa President Chris and Ann Celli DiMattio, Grace Castellano, Honorable Robert Mazzoni, UNICO National President Steve Pelonero and Robert W. Pettinato, founding member of La Festa.

James Baress, Patrick Caramanno, Joshua Cillo, Stephen Eboli, Jonathan Eboli, Richard Garofalo and Joseph Wentline are the ushers.

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La Festa Hours

  • Sept. 3 from 4pm - 10pm
  • Sept. 4 from 11am - 10pm
  • Sept. 5 from 11am - 10pm
  • Sept. 6 from 11am - 8pm