Bishop Highlights Culture and Faith at Festa Italiana Mass
By Lynne Conner, Observer Correspondent
August 12, 2021
ROCKFORD—The rich cultural heritage of Italian-Americans and its connection to the Catholic faith were lauded by Bishop David Malloy in his homily during the Festa Italiana Mass, held on the grounds of Boylan Central Catholic High School, Aug. 8. 
‘We take this Mass so seriously…because this Mass is part of the fabric of being Italian.’
­—Bishop David Malloy
“It’s good that we’re here for both of these celebrations, for Festa Italiana and for the Mass. Because both are important as we celebrate Italian heritage; and we cannot overlook that the two are intertwined,” he said. 
“We take this Mass so seriously … because this Mass is part of the fabric of being Italian.”
Bishop Malloy encouraged those gathered for the Mass to see their culture and faith as interconnected gifts. “Culture is a gift from God that every one of us is privileged to receive. 
“It’s ultimately the way in which a specific group of people encounters the reflections and traditions of the past.” 
He praised the Italian culture’s promotion of marriage, family, food and the arts as a way to ultimately bring people closer to God.
“One of the deepest roots of Italian heritage is the celebration of faith in God,” Bishop Malloy said. “There is something central about the Catholic faith that has been entrusted to Italian culture and therefore to you, the Italian people. 
“Was not our Catholic faith a glue which bonded immigrants when you arrived years ago? It strengthened families and individuals and it has been a blessing for the whole Church.”
A reception featuring a variety of Italian cookies was held at the conclusion of Mass. 
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