Italian Speaking Community


Since 1913, Saint Athanasius church has always had an affluent congregation of Italian-speaking emigrants predominately from Southern Italy.  Due to their strong faith that followed them from their birth town to the U.S., they attended Mass, every Sunday even though they were not able to either understand or participate by responding to the Mass.  When the Italian speaking community increased, due to the massive immigration from Italy of the 50s and 60s, Monsignor Purick realized the necessity of starting a weekly Mass celebrated in Italian.  In May1967, the first Italian Mass was celebrated here at Saint Athanasius and this Italian community was ecstatic about the possibility of attending Mass every Sunday celebrated in their native language.