Ustica 2012

Ustica 2012

Page Two

La Festa dei Pescatori

This is the Blessing of the Fishermen celebration that is held every May. I had planned our time in Ustica especially around this Festa to be a real part of an Italian occassion. Then I had a surprise when invited by email from the town Historian Vito Ailara, and later emails from Padre Andres to be the first to play their restored 1867 Organ. It had just been returned to the Island after repairs.So now I was to be a part of the Festa!!

Note: Background music is Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring by Bach! This is one of the pieces Marlene played on the organ!!

The 2nd day in Ustica I went to find the organ in the church and practice. Here Padre Andres is showing me the organ, Laurie on the left.I loved playing this small organ, it was such an honor for me.
It turned out that they begin the Festa with a Mass in the church, then a procession to the Port. So I played before and after the Mass. It was a packed house because there was also a baby baptism.
Here is the church of Ustica, Chiesa di San Ferdinando. It was constructed a few years after our great,great, grandmother was born there in 1816..
Here is a view of the packed church to begin the Festa.The church is the center of all activities on this small Island of around 1300 people.
Laurie, Padre Andres and me, in front of the church. The Padre has only been there a short time, but is so loved by all the Usticese. He is such a wonderful person.
The beautiful church alter, with a statue of Jesus.
Here is the start of day 2 of the Festa dei Pescatori. The statue of Mary is taken down to the port for a ride around the Island?? they think ??
The Island Band is a part of the church and really great musicians.
Laurie & I walked with the people in the 2 days of processions.
The procession ended at the port, the boats were decorated, but the Coast Guard wouldn't let them out, they hadn't payed insurance to carry all the people. Oh No !!
What an outcry !!! A few hundred very mad Sicilians !!! Here are the Coast Guard standing there not moved at all by the yelling.
And Laurie and I were supposed to ride with the Captain of the Coast Guard in their boat, Pietro had arranged it for a surprise. Oh well, we all got surprised.
There were official people in uniform all over. They are really into "dress up." These 2 men are in the Dept. of Finance, it watches money and things illegal.
Here is another picture of the disappointed crowd.
Click on the Pictures for Enlargement or Click on the Flag for the Next Page!!