SocietÓ Italiana
Di Mutua Beneficenza Cefalutana
Organizzata 19 Giugno 1887     *  *  *  *    Incorporata 10 Agosto 1887
4226 Orleans Avenue
New Orleans, La 70119-4606
(504) 486-9122

A Benevolent Society Organized By Immigrants and Their Descendants From Cefal¨, Sicily.

City of Cefalu

The City of Cefal¨

Cefal¨ is a city located geographically in the middle of the northern coast of Sicily. The word “Cefalutana” comes from the old Sicilian dialect, meaning “of or from Cefal¨.”

The SocietÓ Italiana di Mutua Beneficenza Cefalutana was founded in New Orleans, Louisiana, on June 19, 1887, and incorporated on August 10, 1887.  Its first officers were: Antonino Bonomo, President; Vincenzo Glorioso, First vice-president; Antonino DiCarlo, Second vice-president; Giuseppe DiCarlo, Secretary; Salvatore Glorioso, Treasurer; Salvatore Messina, Financial Secretary; and Vincenzo D’Antonio, Grand Marshall.

The original purpose of the SocietÓ Cefalutana is for mutual benefit (Mutua Beneficenza) of the many immigrants who came from Cefalu`. They assisted each other in times of illness, death, financial need, language/cultural difficulties, etc.  These early members, working together in a true spirit of brotherhood with their “paisani," enabled the mainstreaming of the entire group into American society.  Thanks to their efforts, and those who followed them, the ideals of the Society have not changed.

During World War I the SocietÓ raised funds from throughout the South for the defense of Cefal¨, including purchasing a cannon for their mother village.

On June 5, 1908, the SocietÓ Cefalutana joined with other Italian immigrant societies to form the Italian Hall Association. This organization was responsible for the purchase, on July 1, 1912, of the building at 1020 Esplanade Avenue in New Orleans, thereafter called the Italian Hall. Members were either immigrants or descendants of immigrants who had struggled to make a new life in America. The Italian Hall was used as a meeting place for these societies.  Historic records show many parties and dances were held there to help raise money for the less fortunate. In 1966 this historic building was sold, and converted to luxury condominiums. Still on and with the building are the Italian Coat-of-Arms inscribed with the words “Unione Italiana” located on the top of its front and two lions which guard its front entrance.

Membership is open only to those over the age of 18 who have blood ties to Cefal¨.  Spouses may be associate dues-paying members and are entitled to all benefits. Children of adult members will be considered members until they reach their eighteenth birthday, at which time they can apply to become full members.

Church
A lovely old Cathedral in Cefal¨ whose construction began in 1154.

The SocietÓ celebrates the feast of Ges¨ Salvatore, Patrono of Cefal¨ each year on the Sunday nearest the 6th of August. The SocietÓ is honored at a special commemorative mass, followed by a banquet with Italian food and music. This tradition was started in Cefal¨ in the 12th century and continues to this day. On August 6 in Cefal¨ Sicily, there are festivities and fireworks, as well as a solemn procession from the Cathedral through the streets of the village. Here in New Orleans, our SocietÓ has continued this local tradition each year of its existence.

The SocietÓ also owns and maintains a mausoleum located at St. Louis Cemetery #3 on Esplanade Avenue in New Orleans. The first member to be buried there was Vincent Quartavora on March 21, 1889. Sixty-two members are buried in the old plot, which had 12 vaults. The first burial in the new and well-maintained mausoleum was Mrs. Carmela Piraro on January 1, 1927. There are 24 vaults, and as of August 1, 1995, there are 94 buried, plus the remains of the 62 from the old plot, for a total of 154 souls. Over the years some families have transferred their relatives’ remains to their own family tombs.

The present officers of our SocietÓ in 2000 are:

Presidente: - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  Salvadore J. “Sal” Serio
Primo Vice-Presidente:- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  Sal D’Antoni
Secondo Vice-Presidente:- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  Sal Cefalu
Archivista: - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  Bernadine “Bernie” Caruso
Tesoriere:- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  Jim Incaprere
Collettore: - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  Marguerite Cicero
Secretaria di Corrispondenza: - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  Francine Cicero
Grande Mareschiallo:- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  John Provenza
Consigliere:- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  Joseph Taranto
Dottore:- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  Frank Incaprare
Monsignore: - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  Crosby DiFatta Kern
Direttore:- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  John Tortorice
Direttore:- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  Frank Provenza

Although the benefit of burial in the SocietÓ mausoleum and the celebration of the feast of Ges¨ Salvatore are our main function, the SocietÓ today provides an opportunity for social interaction and sharing of our common heritage. As current members of the SocietÓ Cefalutana, we must preserve the culture and traditions of our beautiful village of Cefal¨. By joining the SocietÓ Italiana di Mutua Beneficenza di Nuovo Orleans, you will be able to retain your connection to your ancestral roots.
 

Salvadore J. Serio
Presidente

Panoramic View Of Cefal¨

Panoramic View Of Cefal¨

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