St. Francis Day Cel­e­bra­tion set for June 4

An­nual tra­di­tion hon­ors pa­tron saint of Maida, Italy

Springfield Sun - - NEWS - By Jesse Weiner For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

AM­BLER >> Pasta. Chick­peas. Mu­sic. Prayer.

Those four things come to­gether only once a year: at the St. Francis Day Cel­e­bra­tion in Am­bler.

The St. Francis Day Cel­e­bra­tion has been a tra­di­tion in the Am­bler com­mu­nity for many decades. This year’s fes­tiv­i­ties, to be held Sun­day, June 4, will be the 99th an­niver­sary of the cel­e­bra­tion, which brings to­gether lo­cal res­i­dents who orig­i­nate from the com­mu­nity of Maida, Italy.

The Saint Francis So­ci­ety of Am­bler or­ga­nizes the cel­e­bra­tion, which will be­gin with High Mass and Pred­ica (ser­mon) at St. Joseph’s Church, 16 S. Spring Gar­den St. in Am­bler, at 1 p.m. The Mass will be fol­lowed by a pro­ces­sion through Am­bler ac­com­pa­nied by the Verdi Band that will end at the L.R.B. Sons of Italy Club, 211 W. But­ler Ave. in Am­bler. At the club, there will be a free de­vo­tional din­ner called the Cicer­ata, which con­sists of a tra­di­tional Ital­ian meal of chick­peas and pasta. Af­ter din­ner, there will be a large cel­e­bra­tion fea­tur­ing live mu­sic, games and a raf­fle draw­ing. The fes­tiv­i­ties will end around 8 p.m.

Carmine Cilib­erto, trea­surer of the Saint Francis So­ci­ety, ex­tolled the cel­e­bra­tion as a way to bring to­gether the Ital­ian com­mu­nity.

“The cel­e­bra­tion gives peo­ple a rea­son to cel­e­brate their home­town and their her­itage,” Cilib­erto noted.

The mu­si­cal en­ter­tain­ment, this year head­lined by the La Voce del Sud, al­lows the peo­ple to “dance and sing along to folk mu­sic that they don’t hear very of­ten,” he added.

The event hon­ors St. Francis, the pa­tron saint of the town of Maida, who in­spired the fun fes­tiv­i­ties.

“St. Francis’s mis­sion was to pro­vide en­ter­tain­ment and food to please the peo­ple of his own town,” Cilib­erto re­marked.

The Am­bler cel­e­bra­tion cer­tainly hon­ors his mis­sion.

The event has some­thing for ev­ery­one of all ages. While the adults can en­joy the Mass, the live mu­sic and the food, Cilib­erto made a point that “for the kids, there will be a game truck and face paint­ing.”

Cilib­erto has been work­ing with the Saint Francis So­ci­ety of Am­bler for more than 10 years and ex­tended an open in­vi­ta­tion to all to come out to the event.

“While we have four main events dur­ing the year, this is our largest turnout, and we in­vite ev­ery­one to come out and en­joy the cel­e­bra­tion,” he said.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the St. Francis Day Cel­e­bra­tion, visit Saint­fran­cis­so­ci­ety­ofam­bler. com.

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