HolySaviourChurchcel­e­bratesMSSFeast

The Colonial - - OPINION - By Bren­danWills

Gloomy skies and a light driz­zle dur­ing Sun­day Mass did not stop the parish­ioners at Holy Saviour Church in Nor­ris­town from gath­er­ing by the hun­dreds for the pro­ces­sion of the holy statue of Madonna del Soc­corso di Sciacca Aug. 17.

By the time the large oaken statue, on the backs of a dozen vol­un­teers, emerged from the small lot next to the church on Main Street and turned up Wal­nut Street onto Sandy Street, the skies had al­ready light­ened. And when the pro­ces­sion turned back down Airy Street and passed Holy Saviour Hall, the sun was shin­ing brightly.

The Feast of Madonna del Soc­corso di Sciacca was the last of Holy Saviour’s three prin­ci­pal feasts that take place dur­ing July and Au­gust.

As Mon­signor Charles Sanger­mano ex­plained at the pre­vi­ous week’s three­day Holy Saviour Feast, “Th­ese feasts rep­re­sent the pa­trons of the towns in Italy from which peo­ple came to Nor­ris­town.”

While the of the Feast of Madonna del Soc­corso di Sciacca cel­e­brates the pa­troness of those from Sciacca, the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel cel­e­brates the pa­troness of those who came from Casal­duni and Ben­evento and the Feast of the Holy Saviour cel­e­brates the pa­tron of those who came from Mon­tella.

Those three Ital­ian groups, Sanger­mano noted, formed three dif­fer­ent clubs to help unite and pro­tect im­mi­grants. To­day, those clubs are still ac­tive in the Holy Saviour com­mu­nity and or­ga­nize the re­spec­tive feasts.

Charles Tor­netta, pres­i­dent of the MSS Lodge that or­ga­nized the fes­tiv­i­ties, said the 110th MSS Feast was the most im­pres­sive he re­mem­bers in re­cent years, draw­ing neigh­bors to their porches and down the street for feast food.

“This is one of the big­gest years in re­cent his­tory. It’s always very well at­tended and well sup­ported by the mem­bers of Holy Saviour Par­ish, lo­cal busi­nesses and the peo­ple of Nor­ris­town,” Tor­netta said. “The same busi­nesses always sup­port us, but each year we find a few new ones that come and get in­volved.”

Like Tor­netta’s pride in the Nor­ris­town, Ply­mouth and larger Mont­gomery County com­mu­nity, he also said the feast’s food can­not be matched.

“As far as I’m con­cerned, we have the best pork sand­wiches of all the Ital­ian feasts in Mont­gomery County, the Philadel­phia area and New Jer­sey,” Tor­netta said.

If the amount of peo­ple wait­ing in line at Holy Saviour Hall to get one of those pork sand­wiches is any mea­sure of suc­cess, then Tor­netta was right. The only line big­ger might have been the line of chil­dren ea­gerly wait­ing for free face paint­ing.

Be­sides food, the feast was full of mu­sic, which was pro­vided by the Verdi Band of Nor­ris­town dur­ing the pro­ces­sion and Starlight En­ter­tain­ment and Jerry Ter­ence on ac­cor­dion-key­board while the com­mu­nity feasted.

Walk­ing with mem­bers of the MSS Lodge dur­ing the pro­ces­sion were mem­bers of Mount Carmel Club, Holy Saviour Club, the Val­ley Forge Sons and Daugh­ters of Italy and the Knights of Colum­bus.

21st Cen­tury Me­dia pho­tos / GENE WALSH

Fol­low­ing Mass and the pro­ces­sion of the holy statue, chil­dren at­tend­ing the feast in Holy Saviour Hall were given the chance for free face paint­ing.

Mem­bers of the MSS Lodge carry the holy statue of Madonna del Soc­corso di Sciacca dur­ing the Holy Saviour pro­ces­sion and feast.

A large crowd watches bal­loons let loose af­ter Mass at Holy Saviour Church for the pro­ces­sion of the holy statue of Madonna del Soc­corso di Sciacca.

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