I will always have fond memories of celebrating Thanksgiving with my parents and our relatives. My Dad was born in Italy and came to America at the age of 13. He lived with relatives who also emigrated from Italy before the Great Depression. My Mother was first generation American and she also had relatives from Italy. However, since Thanksgiving is strictly an American holiday, it was extremely important to my parents and relatives because they wanted to be everything AMERICAN.
My Mother passed away seven years ago, just two months before her 92nd birthday and to this day I still miss her very much.
My Mother, I called her “Ma”, was born to immigrant parents from Italy on March 20th, 1910. She grew up in Hell’s Kitchen on Manhattan’s west side, a melting pot of immigrants at the turn of the century. I loved to hear her tell stories of those days growing up in New York City with gaslights, trolley cars, and food vendors pushing their carts on every street corner. Those were my bedtime stories that I fondly recall to this day.
Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent, which means it is 40 days until Easter Sunday. As an adult Catholic, I believe this is the most important holiday we celebrate. Without Christ sacrificing himself on the cross for our souls, we would not have a religion.
During Lent we fast, we abstain, we renew ourselves, we do penance and we pray.
The week preceding Easter is Holy Week, which consists of Holy Thursday, Good Friday (the solemn day that Christ was crucified) and then Lent ends on midnight, Holy Saturday, the day of penance. On Easter Sunday we celebrate the resurrection of Christ. This is a very joyous day for all Christians.