Italian American Digest DIGEST Spring 2018 Final2

Vol. 45 No. 1 Spring 2018 Pope John Paul II Statue Adorns St. Louis Cathedral With Mayor Landrieu in Attendance, Archdiocese Blesses Statue of Sainted Pope • January 2017: Art- ist Franco Alessandrini approaches AICC Chair- man Frank Maselli about creating a statue of Saint Pope John Paul II to be placed in front of Saint Louis Cathedral. • December 23, 2017: The statue boards a flight from London to New Orleans. • December 24, 2017: The statue arrives in New Orleans, but the airport crew is unable to open the cargo doors, so the statue makes the trip back to London! • April 2017: Artist Fran- co Alessandrini leaves for Italy to begin prepara- tions. • June 2017: Alessandrini selects a piece of marble from the quarry in Car- rara, the same Tuscan quarry where Michelan- gelo sourced the marble to sculpt his David. • December 30, 2017: The statue again arrives in New Orleans, racking up even more frequent flyer miles. This time the airport crew is able to unload it. • October 31, 2017: Ales- sandrini completes the statue in Carrara. • January 4, 2018: With the help of a crane, the statue is installed. • November 14, 2017: The statue makes its way from Carrara to Vatican • January 7, 2018: Arch- bishop Gregory Aymond blesses the statue. St. Joseph’s Day Festivities For information on the St. Joseph’s Day Parade in the French Quarter, turn to page 3. Find an extensive list of St. Joseph altars on page 4. The Sansepolcro Flag Throwers performed in Jackson Square to celebrate the statue’s blessing. These performers keep a 500-year-old Italian tradition alive. • November 15, 2017: Pope Francis blesses the statue in St. Peter’s Square. Top: Arhbishop Gregory Aymond blesses the statue of Saint Pope John Paul II. Above: Sculptor Franco Alessandrini stands by his statue as Mayor Mitch Landrieu and AICC Chairman Frank Ma- selli share the podium. City and is placed in St. Peter’s Square. • December 28, 2018: A parcel leaves customs and makes its way in a truck to the French Quar- ter. But only the base of the statue is in the truck! T he Archdiocese of New Or- leans opened the New Or- leans Tricentennial with a mass at Saint Louis Cathedral on Sunday, January 7. Immediately following the mass, Archbishop Gregory Aymond blessed the statue of Saint Pope John Paul II which was installed directly in front of the cathedral. The American Italian Cultural Center coordinated the statue’s creation in Italy by local art- ist Franco Alessandrini and its installation at the cathedral. The mass and blessing were both beautiful and inspiring. Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Arch- bishop Gregory Aymond, Ales- sandrini, and AICC Chairman Frank Maselli all spoke at the event. The Sansepolcro Flag Throwers performed in Jackson Square after the blessing. We invite you to visit the statue and enjoy this gift to the citizens of New Orleans upon her Tricentennial. t i m e l i n e • March 2017: AICC Chairman Frank Maselli, artist Franco Alessandrini, and Archbishop Gregory Aymond meet to discuss the creation of the statue and it’s a go! Archbishop Aymond suggests the statue become the Arch- diocese of New Orleans’ gift to the citizens of New Orleans for the Tricenten- nial. by Megan Celona Circulation 20,000