October 8th 11am

Mass at 11am Sunday Oct 8th  Second Line Procession at 12:15pm from St. Patrick’s Church to the Italian Piazza.    Recognizing Italian Heritage Month, the Beginning of the Age of Discovery, and the Columbian Exchange.

1891 Massacre of Italians

The 1891 Massacre of eleven Italians in New Orleans by a mob of 5,000 inspired President Benjamin Harrison to expand Columbus Day celebrations nationwide to encourage Americans to accept Sicilian and Italian immigrants.

The City Council of New Orleans awarded a grant of $10,000.00 to a Committee of Fifty appointed by the mayor that purchased Winchester rifles to conduct the massacre.

In 2019, Mayor Cantrell acknowledged the role the City Government of New Orleans played in the massacre and recognized the contributions of Italians to the city of New Orleans. The event made international news.

Following the War of Independence, America removed tributes to the King of England and honored Christopher Columbus by renaming Kings’ College as Columbia University, the nation’s capital as the District of Columbia, and naming the Columbia River. The female figure Columbia was portrayed as a goddess before the US created Uncle Sam.

Later the name Columbia was given to the Apollo 11 Command Module and the Space Shuttle as a symbol of exploration and discovery.

Knights of Columbus

I have been teaching myself filmmaking for the past four and a half years and I’m still learning every day. I am building my business as a freelance filmmaker, as well as working on my own photo shoots.

The Knights of Columbus was founded in March 1882as a mutual benefit society for working-class and immigrant Catholics in the United States. The order is dedicated to the principles of charity, unity, fraternity, and patriotism. Membership is restricted to adult male Catholics. Charitable activities include support for refugees, aid for victims of natural disasters, annual donations exceed $150 million and 50 million volunteer-hours toward charity projects. 

During World War I, the Knights built recreational facilities for servicemen in Europe. In the 1920s, the Knights donated to NAACP publications and worked to stop the Second coming of the KKK.

In gratitude to the Knights of Columbus, Congress in 1934, passed a statute stating: “The President is requested to issue each year a proclamation designating October 12 as Columbus Day inviting the people of the United States to observe Columbus Day, in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies.  President Franklin Delano Roosevelt responded by making such a proclamation. In 1971 Columbus Day became an officially recognized Federal holiday in the United States, observed on the second Monday in October.

The New Orleans event is being organized by Adrian Bruneau of the Knights of Columbus and Charles Geno Marsala, President of the American-Italian Federation of the Southeast. At the Italian Piazza Reception both will speak. 

Marsala’s documentary “Who Killa da Chief?” received honorable mention at the Russo Brothers / National Italian-American Film Competition. The film explores the seven possible non-Italian suspects who had motive and demeanor to kill David Hennessy in 1890. Hennessy was the Chief of Police.

Marsala has been invited by First Lady Jill Biden to attend a reception at the White House on October 12th.  The Italian Heritage Organization in Biloxi will host its tenth annual Columbus dinner on Oct 7th. October is Italian Heritage Month.  For more information visit www.AIFEDSE.org