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Meet the Masters: Return to Masters Homepage
Altar/Rosary Society of St. Anthony's Church,
Italian Religious & Domestic Traditions, Watertown

Jenny Spaziani tells how St. Joseph's feast was observed in the old country. Listen (Real 1:24)

Meet the Masters: Altar / Rosary Society of St. Anthony's Church, Watertown

Generations of women have been responsible for the perpetuation of religious and ethnic customs among Watertown's Italian Americans. Ida Jane Alteri recalls the procession for the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel through the old Italian section of Watertown.  Go to full article
In 1913, Rev. Claude Sechi became the first pastor of upwards of 100 Italian families in Watertown, a parish soon known as St. Anthony's Church. Today the church represents the largest Italian American community and the only national church remaining in the Diocese of Ogdensburg. Generations of women—represented by the combined Altar/Rosary Society—have often been responsible for the perpetuation of significant religious and ethnic customs among Watertown's Italian Americans. Perhaps best known of their celebrations is the annual public Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, for which the women prepare abundant pastries and other traditional foods and participate prominently in the religious procession which ends the feast. These women also prepare the church, the altar and their own homes for the Feast of St. Joseph, the Feast of the Holy Family and numerous weddings, christenings, funerals and other special occasions each year.

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