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Parish of Santa Maria Maggiore
(St. Mary Major)

via Dante 23/25 - 85010 Pignola (PZ)
Archdiocese of Potenza-Muro Lucano-Marsiconuovo

Don Antonio Laurita - Parish Priest

Parish office - via Dante 23
open workdays 9 to 11 a.m.
phone:  0039 0971 430008

TAX CODE: 96002180766

IBAN: IT 28 J 07601 04200 00013119854
Postal Current Account : 000013119854


11:00   MAIN CHURCH         
                      S.ROCCO  18:30
11:30       PANTANO       18:30

             Working days
S.ROCCO     18:30
(at Main Church from 3rd Sunday of May to 3rd Sunday of Sept.)
PANTANO   19:15

The Parish Priest is available daily for confession or interviews after each evening Mass



The Next Door Saints, young people who made their ordinary "extraordinary" 

As of Sunday, June 30, a very valuable exhibition entitled "The Saints Next Door" has been set up in Pignola in the beautiful church of San Rocco. It aims to celebrate the life journey of many modern-day young people, fascinated by Christ, who have made their lives a gift of love. The exhibition, conceived on the occasion of the Synod of Young People, was promoted by the St. Paul Cultural Center and has visited Italy in a wide variety of places, from schools to parishes and hospitals. For the past few months it has been in Basilicata, and thanks to the collaboration of Diocesan Catholic Action with the St. Paul cultural center, it can be requested by interested parishes or groups.

The display consists of 32 self-supporting solid cardboard panels, and presents the story of witnesses of the Gospel, some of whom are already Blessed, others Servants of God, and others "ordinary" but exemplary young people for the quality of their faith, presenting them with an artistic portrait, a short biography, an incisive phrase written or spoken by the person himself and a QR code that links to sites, bibliography and books for further study. The figures identified are Italian, European, and also from the Global South, to give a global idea of youthful holiness, which also touches the so-called "peripheries." Famous and less-known faces, young men and women belonging to different ecclesial paths are described.

The exhibition is made of five sections characterized by different colors: purple indicates believers from different continents who have in their daily lives given proof of a life in accordance with Gospel principles; green presents witnesses of holiness in sickness; yellow those who in their profession and integrity of Gospel witness are to be defined as giants of the faith like Judge Rosario Livatino; orange is reserved for martyrs in mission; and finally, blue for "normal" young people such as Carlo Acutis who have distinguished themselves for the quality of their faith and charity lived, thus becoming credible witnesses to reach the path to holiness.

This exhibition therefore aims to show "contagious" stories of young Catholics who took the Gospel seriously and tried to live it with joy and enthusiasm, according to their specific vocation (priestly, religious, lay, conjugal...).

And, in order to enhance the significance of the exhibition and its value not only in cultural terms, a moment of reflection was organized by Pignola Parish Catholic Action on Sunday, July 7, which featured two significant testimonies, namely that of Giancarlo Grano, diocesan councilor of Catholic Action, who, in describing the exhibition, stressed that the goal was to stimulate young people to an ever greater awareness of the call to holiness. In his speech, he pointed out that the heart of the Church is full of young saints, even if little known, "ordinary" people who, however, stood out for the quality of their faith and lived charity, thus becoming credible witnesses. Of them, even years later, an indelible trace has remained in their respective communities; and it is remarkable that they did so in their local reality, in their profession, study, emotional life, pastoral, cultural, and social commitment to the service of the Church and society.

An exciting moment of the evening was the presence of Marco Rafaniello, who provided a significant testimony involving the attendees in a sensory experience, to let them understand how the condition of the blind can be a path of growth in faith, capable to transform life in the understanding of the true light, that of the spirit, the only one capable of guaranteeing the serenity of a condition of life not of disability but of different ability. 

The evening, which was well attended, was a step in the catechetical journey that the parish AC has initiated with the adult group, with the goal of growing together in the journey of faith.

Angela Guma



Twenty-seven children received today the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit through the Sacrament of Confirmation from our Archbishop  Davide Carbonaro, on the day of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Gifts that the boys, guided by us, their catechists for 6 years, have analyzed and understood, despite their very young age and the distractions they are constantly exposed to in a world that seems to have forgotten the Love of Jesus Christ for His Church.

The Holy Father reminds us, through today's Gospel, that "... it comes naturally to make remembrance of Jesus' goodness, gratuitous and unconditional. which is sovereign. ... the heart of Jesus heals our memory, which has forgotten emotion and the capacity to feel compassion, because it brings it back to foundational affection. It roots it on the most solid foundation. It reminds us that whatever happens to us in life, we are LOVED..." (from the Holy Father's homily at the Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome on November 5, 2021).

Our wish for these children is that they will always and forever from this day forward succeed in:

- Restore importance to being rather than appearance (intellect)

- Being able to LOVE one's own being, others, and God (science)

- Loving the father in heaven by recognizing everyone as brothers and sisters (mercy)

- Recognizing the need we have for God and his greatness by "speaking well" of him in speech and deed (fear of God)

- Loving, knowing and wanting like God, always putting him first, even if it means going against the grain (wisdom)

- Discerning what God wants from us in every situation and trusting Him (counsel)

- To concretely accomplish good and overcome evil (fortitude)


But above all, may they always be free to be unique and unrepeatable, an immense gift that the Holy Spirit gives to all of us...

With immense affection, Your Catechists


From the "Catechism of the Catholic Church": ... by the sacrament of Confirmation the baptized are bound more perfectly to the Church, are enriched with a special strength by the Holy Spirit, and in this way are more strictly obliged to spread and defend by word and deed the faith as true witnesses of Christ.

So, the Baptism introduces the believer to the Christian life, and Confirmation goes to confirm the commitment in being a witness to the Word of God and in the faith; in fact "Confirmation" comes from the Latin word confirmare, which means to make stable or strengthen. And that's why the sacrament of Confirmation is also called as the "sacrament of Christian maturity." 

Older readers will recall that years ago the bishop used to give a ritual slap on the right cheek of the confirmand: the gesture descended from the alapa militaris, the slap that was given to recruits in the Roman army to symbolize the first wound.

After all, even the word sacramentum originally indicated the oath taken by Roman legionaries and meant faithful service until death. That episcopal gesture has been abolished; as well, it is no longer used to say that Confirmation makes one a "soldier of Christ," perhaps because speaking of soldiers by the Church may seem at least inappropriate. In fact, the term clashes with the word PEACE, which is omnipresent and preponderant in the Church: "Peace be with you!" are the first words that the Risen One addresses to the disciples on Easter evening; during the Mass, "I leave you peace, I give you my peace"; " and give them unity and peace according to your will."  In the Eucharistic liturgy, "Grant them peace in our days" ; many parishes are named Mary "Regina Pacis"; we all know "the dove of peace"; and finally, we remember what Matthew writes, reporting Jesus' words, "Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be called children of God."

Thus, probably the term "soldiers" is now omitted just to avoid possible misinterpretations, even though it should seem obvious that the reign of Christ the King is spiritual, and consequently our battlefield will be primarily for souls (first our own): battles against discouragement, depression, vices, sickness, fear, obsessions, and selfishness. And it is only with the spirit of the soldier that we will be able to go after our Captain, Jesus Christ

June 2 - First Communion

The day of First Communion is a time of great joy and deep spirituality.

It is the time when our hearts open to receive Jesus in the Eucharist, an extraordinary gift of His love for us.

As catechists, we have walked with you along this path of preparation, guiding you and learning with you the importance of faith and community.

Today, to see you receiving your First Communion fills us with pride and hope.

Always remember that Jesus is your dearest friend, ready to accompany you in every step of your life.

Continue to nourish your spirit with prayer, love and gratitude, and bring the Light of Christ into the world with your acts and words.


                                                                                                 With affection, your catechists

May 26 - Conclusion of the Feast of Our Lady


With the solemn enthronement of the effigy of Mary Most Holy of Angels, patron saint of Pignola, the entire community concluded the celebration of the feast in honor of Our Lady, once again proving their sincere devotion to Her. The people of Pignola, who recognize in Mary a powerful Protectress and a loving Mother who intercedes with God for humanity, filled with emotion and grateful for the feast days dedicated to Our Lady, entrust themselves to the providential hand of the Queen of Angels in a continuous tension toward God.  The community of Pignola feels part of humanity that in its historic journey has found in Mary a sure reference to take part in the salvation won for all by Christ. In this common journey with men and women throughout history, the people of Pignola continue to venerate their patroness with deep devotion in order to secure her help and her great work of bringing them closer to God. As on the day of Our Lady's enthronement, which took place on the octave of the feast day, and as on all feast days, all  devotees to Mary lift their gaze to Her confident that Our Lady will bend down to protect them, and continue also this year to treasure a legacy of faith and devotion that has gained depth over the centuries. Honored with such special devotion to Mary and steadfast in her protection, the whole community rejoices in the gifts of its Heavenly Mother and reaches out to God through her to attain full happiness. May the feast in honor of Mary Most Holy of Angels be perpetuated in the heart of all her devotees and bring a foretaste of the eternal Bliss for which God created humanity.

Rocco Mastrogiuseppe

Farewell speech by the Chairman of the Feast Committee


Also this year, the fourth Sunday of May, the Sunday of the Eighth, has already arrived. After a week of celebration and a year of work, if I am here as a representative of this wonderful group, it is only thanks to all these guys, who exactly 364 days ago gave me the confidence to embark on this wonderful journey and took part in the 2023/2024 Feast Committee; so I invite you to come up here to the stage:


Mariangela Albano, Michele Arcangelo Albano, Luca Azzilonna, Antonio Bolettieri, Gennaro Capece,

Raffaele Cirigliano, Francesco Matteo Corleto, Daniela Darimini, Saverio Darimini, Maria Grazia De Carlo, Francesco Gerardi, Luca Guida, Nicola Guida, Daniel Lagrotta, Marco Laguardia, Lucrezia Lauria, Martina Melcore, Francesco Palmieri, Carolina Petraglia, Michele Pio Pietrafesa, Fabio Piro, Monica Piro, Rossella Piro, Letizia Rosa, Salvatore Sabia, Rocco Santopietro, Marzia Scavone, Saverio Scavone, Gaetano Smaldone, Giuseppe Summa,

Erica Trotta, Michele Vignola, Nicola Vignola, Simone Vignola


Guys, thanks to us, to our work, commitment and sacrifice, we succeeded in our goal to honor our Patron Saint in the best possible way, giving the Pignolese community the celebration it deserves. We have worked hard, starting with the feast in honor of St. Donato, organized in little more than 48 hours but with an unexpected success, then with the feast in honor of St. Rocco and the next one of St. Michael; we made the pamphlet so that it will be a testimony for future generations, the photographic installation that expresses the importance of the past for our community, we gave new life to the garden below the Mother Church by naming it to Don Rocco Piro and above all to give back to the "Terra" district a green and cared space, we concretized our legacy as a committee in the Mother Church. Our task has come to the end; now it is the turn of another great group to undertake this journey, to whom I extend my sincerest wishes. There are so many people to whom we owe heartfelt thanks, starting with the mayor and the municipal administration, which has always been available for us by offering maximum cooperation; secondly, the local police in particular Nicola Sabatella always cooperative and ready to prepare all the bureaucratic paperwork necessary for the success of the feast in maximum security; we also thank the Carabinieri command, Marshal Accogli and young people Antonio, Girolamo and Federico; the Civil Defense, Young Minds associations, the youth portal and the AVIS of pignola. Thanks also to the Knights of Our Lady, the bearers and all those who voluntarily cooperated for the success of the feast: Nicola Corleto, Felice Deluca, Davide Lauria, Mimmo Pirulli, Vincenzo Calace, Officine Piro and Falegnameria Buonansegna. We thank the Azzarino, Napolitano and Riviezzi families. Special thanks to Rocco Corleto for always being by our side, to Don Antonio for believing in us from the first moment and to Don Francesco Scavone; we also thank Aniello Citera and Federico Colangelo for lighting our celebration.

Finally, thank you to all the pignolesi who have contributed during this year for our feast: Pignolesi, believe in the youth and the new generations who will never let you down.

Thanks to all.

Saverio Darimini

Pignola welcomes in his festive garb Mons. Davide Carbonaro, the new archbishop who came here just a few days after his entrance into the diocese, to administer Confirmation to adults.

Pastor in surplice and stole, ministrants, mayor in sash, local police officers in full uniform, marching band, in their yellow cloaks the brethren of the Congregation Mary Most Holy Queen of Angels, the title under which the Virgin is venerated, and always loved, by the people of Pignola, and, above all, the people, so many, who packed the square to welcome the new Pastor and to tell him with simplicity, the true sign of affection : “ Monsignor, among us feel at home, you are at home. “

The Pastor's greeting is not one of circumstance. Don Antonio, who emphasizes how this is a Marian land, does not hide the emergencies that mark Pignola like the whole of Basilicata: the lack of work, the flight of young people, the loneliness of the elderly, the yielding of many to the flattery of a common sense that confuses modernity with indifference, or, worse, the denial of the values on which “the beautiful life” is built. The ancient astylar cross at the head, in procession, we ascend to the Mother Church. The Archbishop greets the women, men, and boys who wing his passage. He shakes hands, caresses the faces of the children, smiles, proceeds unhurriedly as one who - this is the feeling he conveys - walks, strolls, among friends. The answer to Don Antonio, the message to the faithful who crowd the pews and aisles is in the homily that sounds not like a learned sermon but like a calm and serene reasoning on the crucial issues that disturb our time and those who inhabit it. Doubt, which is the anguish of those who believe, the silence of God, the essence of God. "The essence of God,” says the Archbishop, ”is Love and love that dissolves doubt and gives substance and certainty to Faith. And in Archbishop Carbonaro's words you hear the echo of St. John of the Cross : “ In the evening of life, on love we shall be judged ” A love that our confused days claim even when they seem to want to reject it so as not to be disturbed by it.  

A confused time ( but in the end weren't they all ? ) that nevertheless has its own specificity since it claims to be post-Christian as the now dominant culture aims to define it in order to be able in this way to adapt, without making a problem of it, conduct, lifestyles, economic and normative systems adopted “etsi Deus non daretur ”, as if God did not exist. And thus is realized, in the end, a de facto civil coexistence rooted in a new agnosticism according to which there would be no need to ask questions about God because, in this view, the affirmation of his existence would be logically meaningless. Today's agnosticism is thus represented by an irreligion that, by accepting the prior negations of individualism, relativism, 'hedonism, and selfishness, resolutely leaves behind the religious dimension as an archaeology of the past.

But the people who fill the Mother Church seem to want to affirm something else.

Despite everything - they seem to say - this confused time claims love and longs for God, because, they seem to want to warn - emptiness suffocates, generates despair, existential sadness, a feeling of worthlessness. "The pedagogy of love is a pedagogy,” explains Msgr. Carbonaro, ”that falls into the ordinary, the everyday, the weekday, the family, friendships, social relations. Love is substantiated by works, it is hand extended to those who suffer, to those in pain. It is help to those in material and inner distress, rescue to those who are marginalized, lonely, deprived of the dignity that work confers. It is, love, concern for the community, action to improve its economic, social conditions. It is, love, building not only a culture but - and it is much more - a civilization that definitively defeats Sartre's desolate invective, “The others are hell.”

And - says the Archbishop addressing the young people - for such a new civilization it is worthwhile to spend oneself, to spend oneself here, in this circle of houses close to each other that speak of dreams and shared lives and from which it is painful, unjust, to leave searching elsewhere the work denied . The service ends, the Archbishop leaves as the first lights of evening come.

 Erberto Stolfi

May 26, 2024 - Welcome greeting from the parish priest to the new bishop Mons. Davide Carbonaro


Your Excellency, I welcome you to this Community, a small portion of the flock entrusted to you by divine Providence and the benevolence of Pope Francis, making myself the interpreter of the feelings of cordial welcome of all those present, religious and lay. Thank you, Your Excellency, for your coming among us; we are certain that you will be able to instill confidence in all the faithful and especially in the young people who, having completed their studies, cannot find work and often feel left alone and forced to leave their native land.

Here you find, Your Excellency, many elderly people, the true patient and faithful guardians of religious traditions, authentic precious caskets of those moral values that have nourished the centuries-old faith of our communities, and to them we owe respect and sympathetic gratitude. At the same time, there are  young people who, while keeping up with the times, have drawn fruit from the teachings of their elders, as demonstrated by the committees that excellently organized the last patronal festivals and continue to be active in the faith. Ultimately, Your Excellency, you find here a population in which history, traditions, and folklore are mixed with the noblest values of honesty, generosity, solidarity and hospitality; it is made up of respectful, caring people with rich personal and collective histories, with strong memories and great ideal tensions. A helpful and welcoming community, strongly connected to its churches, that keeps alive and strong the sense of belonging.

The community from the bishop expects a shepherd who passes through the streets, not only of the country but of our lives; a shepherd who makes himself a traveling companion; a shepherd who awakens the sense of service and calls to the consistency of faith. I am convinced that the Supreme Pontiff sent you here to spur us to be industrious and vigilant in the communion of hearts; we trust that you will help all the members of the community of our diocese to be capable of spending their lives in service and collaboration, and above all you will help us priests not to feel alone and to fulfill our difficult mission of leadership to the best of our ability, each one adhering to what his role requires.

To you, Most Reverend Excellency, we all assure filial obedience and remembrance in our prayers, confirming our utmost availability and sincere collaboration.

May Mary, the Mother of the consecrated, She who is our beloved patroness, bless us, watch over and protect the episcopal ministry that you begin among us today.




A meeting with the theme "FAITH AND SCIENCE" was held on May 14 in Pignola at the Church of San Rocco, organized by Catholic Action of Pignola.  

Don Antonio Laurita introduced the meeting; the distinguished Dr. Marcello Ricciuti, head of the complex structure of Palliative Care and Hospice at the San Carlo Hospital in Potenza, was there to bring his testimony.

Framing the evening were two works created by local artist Sara Di Iorio.

The discussion of the topics took place in a dialogical form: the undersigned asked Dr. Ricciuti questions regarding his experience as a believer and a professional and how Faith relates daily to the practice of the medical profession. 

The Doctor told us that the good work ("good" comes from myself, because the interviewee's humility would never lead him to call it such) that is done inside the facility, where so much pain and suffering unfortunately reign, is due to the presence of professional figures, including doctors, nurses, psychologists, volunteers, etc., all trained to work in that department. He added that the approach to patients is very discreet, trying to offer them physical and -if allowed- spiritual relief as well.

When he was asked where he finds the strength to carry out his task he, quoting St. Teresa of Calcutta, replied: in prayer; the little great woman of Calcutta every day with her sisters, before going out into the streets to assist the poorest on Earth, prayed for hours. Prayer sustains Faith and Faith sustains the work. Death, like birth, is a traumatic and painful event and as such needs assistance to provide relief, dignity and a word of hope.

Captivating, then, was the testimony given in response to the question "which was the most ethically difficult request coming from a patient ?" Dr. Ricciuti told us about a woman with cancer who came to him asking for a certificate attesting the terminal stage of the disease and irrepressible pain, in order to be able to go to Switzerland to end her existence. After a moment of bewilderment and in friendly tones he assured her that one can reach death in a dignified manner with the right treatment. Reassured at the moment, the patient left, but returned several times with the same request, receiving the same encouragement each time. Eventually, after a month's stay at the hospice, the patient passed away peacefully.

Many, therefore, were the topics touched upon: faith, science and bioethics, euthanasia and abortion.

The audience, which came in large numbers, always appeared very interested, appreciating the clear and simple exposition of the distinguished guest speaker.

Warmly thanking Dr. Ricciuti, who, among other things, brought out his already well-known gifts of profound humility -doubles by which one measures the greatness of a man-, the conclusions of this first meeting were entrusted to the excellent professor Angela Guma, who wished everyone to continue our educational journey together. May God help us to work like the yeast. 

Francesca Conte

In memory of Vittoria Topazio


"Abide in my love and be faithful to my Commandments as I have been faithful to my Father's Commandments." This faithfulness characterized your earthly life dear Vittoria.

Remaining always in His Love you conveyed to everyone the joy of living even in the difficulties that life had in store for you. Let us not forget the loss of loved ones at a young age.

There was a bond of friendship between us since I had confirmed your dear Catherine.

But I learned to appreciate you in these last years, attending with you the daily Holy Masses celebrated by our late Don Rocco. We sat in the same pew and I admired your deep faith that flowed from the heart. On our way out we would walk together down the road to the Morales and wishing each other "Good day" we would part.

Hardworking and dignified you were an example to all. Now may that God whom you loved so much welcome you into His Kingdom and grant your children that Christian resignation to their suffering for the loss of someone they loved so much.  Farewell dear Vittoria.

                                                                                                                      Ninetta Perone and family



There were 25 children who approached the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time.

The children, after a year of careful preparation, experienced the celebration with great emotion, which included songs, renewal of baptismal promises, gospel reflections and individual confession.

Through meditation on the parable of the "Merciful Father" (Lk 15:11-32), the children experienced God's embrace. One of the most beautiful things about how God greets us is the tenderness of the embrace he gives us, the ability to be forgiven and above all to learn to forgive others as he forgives us.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation should be a festive gathering that heals the heart and leaves peace within. The same celebration that the good Father makes at the return of his son "Let us celebrate, for this my son was dead and has come back to life, was lost and has been found" (vv23-24)

The father hurries to return to the son the signs of his love for him: the beautiful dress, the shoes, the ring. The Father waits for him with love and upon his return embraces him and celebrates. The Father's mercy is overflowing, unconditional and is manifested even before the son speaks.  God is waiting for me, God wants to embrace me always !

"Before all the love you offer me, your small and fragile creature, my heart overflows with happiness. How great, Lord, is your love for me ..."

The catechists

A new servant of God from Pignola: Francesco Scavone, Presbyter of the Diocese of Rome


On Saturday, April 20 at the Vatican, in St. Peter's Basilica, eleven new priests were ordained for the Diocese of Rome, destined for parishes where many had already served during the years of preparation for priestly ordination. Of them, six come from the Pontifical Major Seminary, two from the Diocesan College Redemptoris Mater and three from the Almo Collegio Capranica. Among them one is from Pignola, Francesco Scavone, who as an adult was called to work in the Lord's vineyard.  His is an extraordinary path: Francesco graduated from the Liceo Classico Quinto Orazio Flacco high school in Potenza, went on to earn a master's degree in economics and management at Tor Vergata University with highest honors and mention in the graduate register, and had Erasmus experiences in Belgium

The vocation, Francis says, was definitely born in Pignola, thanks to participation in parish life and commitment in Catholic Action, and then deepened in Rome at Fr. Fabio Rosini's vocation center with the experience of the Ten Commandments. Finally, in 2018, the mature decision to enter the seminary, at the Capranica College in Rome, where he obtained a degree in Philosophy and Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University and subsequent specialization in Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome with residential in-depth experiences in Jerusalem.

Francis' story shows, then, how in seminary one does not enter as a loser; rather, it is a response to a call that makes one leave the world for something greater. That's why the Pignolese community experienced a moment of great joy and showed a deep sense of unity with the conspicuous presence of parishioners at the presbyteral ordination in St. Peter's Basilica and at the first Mass in St. Mary of Good Counsel Parish where Francis was immediately ordained as deputy pastor.

Francis' ordination is yet another grace for the community of Pignola, which has always been rich in priestly ordinations. The community is among the most conspicuous in the diocese; we had Fr. Dino Vicenza, Fr. Mario Benvenuti and Fr. Angelo Salvia. Incardinated in the diocese of Potenza are Don Antonio Laurita parish priest of Pignola and Don Luigi Sarli based in Potenza at the parish of Santa Maria della Speranza. Unforgettable is the testimony of departed priests including Don Salvatore Vigilante, Don Gerardo Marsico, Don Luigi Corsini, Don Rocco Piro and Don Pinuccio Lattuchella whose work left an indelible mark of authentic missionary work.

There was therefore great satisfaction expressed by the parish priest Don Antonio Laurita, shared by the entire community in the certainty that Don Francesco will exercise his service with competence and generosity. We are sure that he will be a humble and competent servant as well as an instrument of God's Love and action, an evangelical phrase that as Don Francesco well pointed out in his first moving Eucharistic celebration was entrusted to him as a spiritual testament by Don Rocco Piro, his guide and teacher.

We want to express our deepest joy to the newly ordained priest saying  Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam

Angela Guma


Rome, April 20, 2024 - Priestly ordination of Francesco Scavone

presided over by His Eminence Cardinal Angelo De Donatis of the Title of St. Mark Major Penitentiary


Another son of Pignola puts his life at the service of the Church, God's holy people.

But what does "priest" mean ? The term comes from the Latin presbyter, which in turn comes from the Greek presbýteros, meaning "elder." This word denotes a churchman vested with the power to preside over religious ceremonies, lead the community and preach the word of God. There is no difference between priest and presbyter: in all cases we are talking about a man who has received the second level of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. The first is the Diaconate (Deacons may preach the word of God, administer Baptism, and assist in other Sacraments, but they do not have the pastoral and sacred functions of Presbyters); the second is the Presbyterate (that is, priests), and the third is the Espiscopate, that with which Bishops are bestowed, who are entrusted with the ministries of teaching, pastoral governance, and sanctification.

Presbyteral Ordination is a time of great celebration and emotion. Indeed, the liturgy expresses with great clarity what the identity of Christ's priest is to be, indicates the mission to which he is called and suggests the fundamental features of the spiritual life to which he is to adhere.

After the Gospel reading, each ordinand is called by name and, rising, responds, "Here I am."

This word contains a program of life and resounds again and again in salvation history, from the here I am of Abraham tested to sacrifice Isaac, to the here I am as the simple response of a humble young woman in Nazareth to a shattering announcement.

In the here I am of every ordinand, then, resonates this self-denial to the will of God who knows us, loves us, and calls us by name; in it resonates the desire to become in all things a servant of the Lord. That here I am is the only thing God asks in order to flood the ordinand with his Spirit and to continue in him his plan of life.

Maundy Thursday, Holy Mass in Coena Domini

The washing of the feet


As we do since several years, again this year 12 boys who are about to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation played the 12 apostles on whom Jesus washes the feet during the Last Supper.

Jesus prepares to celebrate Easter with his friends and first washes their feet. Why ?

The ritual of the Pesach Seder, the Jewish Passover dinner that Jesus does with his apostles, required that at the beginning the head of the household wash the hands of the diners before to eat.

Jesus reinterprets this gesture with the washing of the feet. At that time it was customary for the servants or slaves to wash the feet of the guests to remove the sand got in the dusty streets, and only after this act they began to dine together.

John 13:1-15 told us the explanation:

When he had therefore washed their feet and resumed his garments, he sat down again and said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Master and Lord, and you say well, for I am. So, If I, the Lord and Master, washed your feet, you also must wash one another's feet. I gave you an example, that as I have done, you also should do."

Through the gesture of the washing of the feet He is saying to everyone , "I love you. And as I love you, you love one another!" The Church sees in this gesture a symbol of God's love, and it sums up the whole life of Jesus, who came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mk.10:45). Christians relive the gesture of the washing of the feet during the Holy Thursday liturgy at the Holy Mass in Coena Domini; with this act of washing Christ shows himself "Servis servorum Dei”, that is, servant among God's servants. This is the title belonging to the successors of Peter, the apostle to whom Jesus first bore witness.

And it’s with this great gesture of love that the Easter Triduum opens, leading us to look at and experience the ultimate goal of his life and that of each of us: the Resurrection.

"if Jesus had not risen, in vain would be our faith" (1Cor.15)

the Catechists

Easter Vigil

The Easter Vigil has an ever new fascination.

The blessing of fire and water remind us with the power of symbols the event of salvation that is enacted in the today of our lives.

It is the Kingdom always awaited and already present, hidden like yeast in the dough but acting bursting forth to sustain our hope. Hope seems so difficult today, in a world torn apart by wars and poverty where the future of young people is uncertain, the society fragile, traditional points of reference vanished; for many people just to survive is now a problem.

Well, it is precisely for this world on Easter night that the liturgy resonates the call of Isaiah:

"O all ye thirsty, come to the water; he that has no money come anyway: buy and eat without money and without expense wine and milk" (Is.55:1)

These are symbolic expressions that announce salvation, peace, and freedom from evil. The darkness of the church that welcomes the faithful is pierced by the light of the Paschal candle, symbol of Christ victorious over death; and in the glow of the new light bursts the song of the exultet that tells of the hope that every Christian holds in his heart. In the dark times we are experiencing, the need for serenity is felt more than ever: the media flood us at all hours with terrible events everywhere, shaking our lives and generating a deep sense of uncertainty.

The longing of the many faithful who participated in the Easter Vigil was amply fulfilled by the words of hope and peace present and signified in every liturgical action of this holy night: having entered the dark church with darkness even in their souls, they came out comforted by the Easter light, heartened by the hope that evil will always be defeated by good, just as light defeats darkness.

"Every day is Easter for those who know how to hope above the closed tomb" (G.Bevilacqua)


don Antonio

March 24 – Palm Sunday


According to the evangelist Luke, Jesus enters Jerusalem riding a donkey. Jesus presents himself as the king of Israel, the expected messiah, but why does a king choose a donkey as his mount?

According to Genesis and Zechariah's prophecy, the donkey characterizes the Messianic King who will descend from Judah (Gen. 49:11). King Solomon, too, at the time of his coronation (1 Kings 1:38-40), was made to ride on King David's mule, while his rival Adonijah had unnecessarily procured chariot and horses (1 Kings 1:5). So it is clear why Jesus chooses a donkey as his mount, he is the King of peace, his kingdom is a kingdom of peace.


With this Gospel episode the Passion week is opened in the sign of Messianic kingship. The same theme closes the "Titulus crucis" (title of the cross). According to the evangelist John, the inscription above the cross read "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews."

Jesus entered the city acclaimed as a King before Easter, and was condemned to death a few days later by Pilate on the specific charge of having declared himself as such.

Our parish community also remembered Jesus' entry into Jerusalem on Sunday.

After the blessing of the palms held in St. Anthony's Church, a procession went up to the Main Church hailing the King of Kings.

the catechists

We want to thank the components of the Feast Committee for the accurate cleaning of the little triangle of green near the Main Church, where at the end they planted an olive tree that they called Ireneo (that means “son of peace”).

This tree is mentioned in the Bible: the dove brought an olive branch to Noah after the flood; moreover, the Gospel states that Jesus, just before the Passion, is in the Garden of Olives; and when came down from the Cross, rested  under an olive. As well, the 3rd  day He rises between olives.

The living Via Crucis


On Friday March 29 the has been the 50th living Via Crucis., an event organized by our Parish together with the Catholic Action, the theatre group “Il sipario” and the young components of our Pro Loco, under the direction of Paolo Rosa and Stefania Covino and with the cooperation from Davide lauria, Giuseppe Signorelli, Fausto Marcogiuseppe and Anna Candela. As underlined by our parish priest don Antonio, it is a moment of active participation to the Mystery of the Passion and Death of Christ, so it’s an unfailing event, a tradition to be handed down.

It began in the Main church, to continue through the streets of the historic center, and had its pick at the ruins of the old church of S. Donato where the three Crosses of the Calvario were erected.

Angela Guma



On Sunday 17 March there has been in Pignola an extraordinary Catholic Action accession feast.

Normally this ceremony takes place on December the 8th; but it was preferred to wait for the nomination of the new Parish Council, and also to create a moment of reflection on the identity of our association.

Thus, after the mass celebrated by Father Angelo Salvia who also blessed the association membership cards, we listened to some “veterans” of the association and a new member, Rocco Marcogiuseppe, that explained the reasons of their choise.

Then we saw a video prepared by Diego Brigandì containing some of the most significant moments of the AC life.

Let’s say that to join AC is a response to a call; in fact, the path inside AC is based on four fundamental pillars for the life of every Christian: responsibility, fraternity, ecclesiality, interiority.

To offer own availability is an act of RESPONSIBILITY; FRATERNITY represent the core of AC, meaning “to make group”, that is the community dimension. The formation path (from 6 years to adult age) is made of activities that are common to all dioceses (ECCLESIALITY), with common goals to be reached together with the parish priest, who is the point of reference to grow in faith (INTERIORITY). 

Our parish priest don Antonio Laurita in his speech underlined that his role is to assist, not to lead or to impose.

A flourishing AC in the parish has a great value also for the civil community, because of its cultural and social role in the town; so we, as AC Pignola, have the duty to ensure the union spirit needed for a real civil growth of our town.

Angela Guma

In memory of my sister Angelina


Dear Angelina,

my heart is full of an endless torment. Separating from you is really difficult because we’ve shared everything during our life. Now a lot of images come in my mind; I see you when you were a little girl, already loving book as you did forever, and your deep culture surely came from that.

Moreover, you really had highly-skilled hands: with a needle, you created breathtaking dresses, and still today, to indicate one very well realized, people simple says “It’s by Angelina”

Your life was lightened by the love to your daughters Teresa, Mariella, Irene, Valeria, as well to Antonio: nothing was ever capable to diminish your love for him.

It’s sad to know I cannot share anymore with you my innermost thoughts: you’ve always been a special part of my life, and this will continue to be true in my memory and my prayers.

Now it only remains for me to cradle myself into sweet memories, and I see you as an angel between angels.    Good journey, my adored sister…


On March 9, the anniversary of the death of don Rocco Piro, the mass has been celebrated by the Archbishop  Ligorio.  At the end, a short film on don Rocco’s life, prepared by Salvatore Pentangelo,  has been show.  (available in the italian section - click here ==>)

In memory of don Rocco

Dear don Rocco, your death broke our hearts, and after one year we want to remember the disappearing of a so big and brilliant light, like a meteor in our community. My words, that are the words of everybody here, come from our hearts: yes, at that moment we felt all orphans, because you’ve been really a wonderful father that taught us to love God.

Thanks to your deep culture you enriched our souls and minds; you’ve made us strictly linked to the cult of our Madonna, and still today we’re used to hear the sweet music you told us.

As well, we’ll never forget how you’ve always been near to the poor and sick.

When I was at your home to celebrate your 99th birthday (well, we would have liked to celebrate the 100th anniversary too) I remember that you put under the pillow the crown that don Antonio brought you from Guadalupe, and I’m sure it was like a viaticum for your last days; and I also remember you told us how you felt the end very near, but without sadness because the light of your faith mitigated your last hours.

You’ll be always in our hearts, and we implore you to continue to pry for and watch over all of us

 Ninetta Perone and the whole community



On February 13, in the church of S. Rocco, there has been the reunion to elect the new parish council that now is composed as follows:

·         Angela Guma - president

·         Fiorentino Trapanese e Francesca Conte – responsibles for adults

·         Francesco Palmieri e Mariangela Albano – responsibles for youngs

·         Stefania Covino – ACR responsible

·         Mara Azzarino – ACR vice responsible

·         Davide Lauria - secretary

In memory of Antonio Scavone

I express my heartfelt, deep sympathy and condolences for the death of you loved Antonio, a respectable man always open towards others, and fully dedicated to the work and his family.

A family made by several beautiful children that, following his example, have established themselves in social and employment  fields.

Sometimes I meet him while he was doing -effectively- his job as School caretaker; I was asking information about Massimo, a good friend of my Francesco, and about Stefania, a so dear girl. He was really proud of all of you, including his dear wife, and this was clear looking at the emotion coming from his eyes.

Now he will stay up there, in the Glory of God the Father, and from heaven he will continue to watch over all

of you.
                                                                                                                                  Ninetta Perone

Mons. Salvatore Ligorio (on the left) will be replaced by Mons. Davide Carbonaro as Archbishop of our diocese

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