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
Mons. Rocco Piro - Pastor emeritus
Don Antonio Meliante - Parish vicar
Don Giuseppe Calace - permanent deacon
Parish office - via Dante 23
open workdays 9 to 11 a.m.
phone: 0039 0971 430008
IBAN: IT 28 J 07601 04200 00013119854
Postal Current Account : 000013119854
Click the past year you want to see/download
Don Antonio LAURITA - (Parish Priest)
Mons. Rocco PIRO - (Pastor emeritus)
Don Antonio MELIANTE - (Parish Vicar)
Don Giuseppe CALACE - (Permanent Deacon)
We apologize in advance for the translation errors that you'll surely find in the texts: we do our best efforts, but maybe it's not enough !
Note: Photos can be seen in the italian section
June 25 - Confirmation
This evening at the Main Church the Sacrament of Confirmation has been administered.
To say that with Confirmation the knowledge of Jesus is complete, is wrong, because it just represents the beginning of the true life in the faith. You become apostles, ready to announce the Gospel with your own life.
Every year in such a day you can breathe a big emotion in the air; and boys and girls, although not always attentive during the year, give their best, being capable to capture the importance of the moment.
Our hope for them is to live and to witness to Jesus with their whole being.
We pray for these seeds to grow, becoming strong trees producing numerous fruits.
June the 5th - First Communion
Finally we reached the First Communion day. It has been a hard yard, and we did any possible effort to have children prepared and serene for this day.
Here they are, ready to receive Jesus for their first time: the emotion in their eyes rewards us of all difficulties we faced ! They're becoming apostles,ready to announce how Jesus, son of God, sacrificed Himself for us. Our wish is that they will never forget the sensations experienced today, continuing in their road to become real Apostles of Christ.
May the 7th - First Confession
So, also this catechetical year ended. After a three years flow, children are going to receive for the firs time the sacrament of Confession. In these three years we tried to make the children aware of the presence of their friend Jesus and the Father who knows and loves all of them.
We had to stop the weekly meetings because of the pandemic, but we've continued using WhatsApp, thanks to the families' cooperation, up to the moment we finally restarted to meet.
The ceremony begins when children access the Church, with the emotioned parents awaiting.
The priest welcomes them, and they give him the white dresses they were wearing the day of their batpism, renewing the promises of that day. Once more, the parable of the prodiga son is read, and during the homily the children asnwer the questions coming from the priest; at the end, the priest gives them the white robe.
Let's say that we, as catechists, have experienced a new venture that helped us to rediscover the interior beauty of children, and gave us the hope they will continue in the willingness to know and love Jesus.
Our Patron feast 2022
The historical-religious identity of Pignola is strictly linked to its patron Mary Most Holy of Angels, the most important event of the year.
The origin is very old: the first mention is found in 1521, at the time the chapel in Pantano was built. In a manuscript by the chapel responsible the feast is mentioned as being organized by the Confraternity of Our Lady under the strict control of two prelates from Pignola; there were musicians, fireworks and a lot of hawkers. After a while, the organization passed to groups of faithful, and this is true also today.
The feast starts on the 2nd Friday of May: in the morning you can hear some firecrackers announcing the beginning of the Novena; and a lot of people goes to the Sanctuary of Pantano (about 5 kilometers from Pignola) to participate in the morning Mass.
But the culmination of the celebration is the solemn procession where the Madonna’s statue is carried on the shoulders from the Sanctuary to the Mother Church, accompanied by Her knights, the parish priest, the band and a crowd of faithful.
During the feast there have been also recreational events: music by “The Kolors”, Mirko Gitone and the “Musicamanovella”, with thousands of spectators very happy to return to an almost “normal” life after the restriction due to the pandemic, and also cultural like the painting exhibitions of Francesca Conte and Sara Di Iorio. Thus, we have to thank the Organizing Committee : a tight-knit team driven by Mimmo Pirulli.
As well, many people were attending the traditional appointment of the “Uglia”, with the carriers
dancing and jumping through the broom bonfires, prepared by some families that cure this aspect since many years.
A good signal for the future has been given by a group of young people that set up the committee for next year. This is also a signal of hope: soling well, the harvest is good !
As always, Pignola reveals its essence in times of difficulty: generous, selfless, sensitive. I’m happy to tell you that I just gave 825 €, coming from your donations, to Italian Caritas that will use them to help Ukrainian people. I was sure I could count on you, and I’ll continue to do it; I bless you warmly
don Antonio Laurita
The Carnival in Pignola and its masks
The Catholic Action wants to give a contribution to the debate on the Pignola’s Carnival and its traditional masks.
Everybody knows that the carnival represents a moment of aggregation and is also time for carefree madness, joy and transgression. It’s an unique event full of irony and satire, in which all participate: men, women, children, old people.
The community of Pignola, digging into his past, has brought to the light some peculiar aspects; but we have still to continue working on this aspect.
So, first of all let’s say that in Pignola the carnival does not begin on January the 17th (S. Anthony Abbot’s feast) but the day before, when they light a bonfire, called “fanoja”, sometime higher than four meters.
It could come from a legend telling how S. Anthony went back from hell carrying his stick burning, to give the fire to men; or it may be just a way to represent, with sparks and flames, the incoming time of fun.
While the bonfire burns, you can hear music from accordion and drums, and see people eating homemade pasta and pork. The situation is monitored by the “mantellari”, masks wearing big hats and old capes, that should avoid somebody steals the fire and are also announcing that “U re” (the carnival’s king) is coming with his court.
A “mantellaro” is a mysterious and solitary character. Maybe a disillusioned by life, or shy, or a lover; as well, could be young or old, man or woman: nobody knows. They just represent the defender of traditions.
After the traditional race of mules, horses and donkeys we have the “zite”, a ramshackle married couple on their buggy.
But what is quite unique is the tradition of the “parate”. The characters are a husband and wife, godfather and godmother (better: accomplice and gossip) and a doctor. They, inspired by real and recent events, improvise funny comedy acts at somebody’s house; in any case, at the end the wife faints and the doctor states she can be saved only with a good portion of local salami. So, the family hosting the “actors” will offer salami and wine to all.
Another traditional, very old mask is “U Peligne” (the hairy); on it, there are very few information. Somebody says he is a person dressed in longhaired animal skins, with a stick and having a billy goat on a lead; someone else states he is a disheveled dancer with reversed clothing, able to play and dance at the same time with a big, life-sized doll.
Last, let’s spend a few word on the “official” carnival mask of Pignola: “Ze Gerarde Fotte” (uncle Jerry).
He loves good wine and food, funny jokes (sometimes dirty); ready to quarrel, he has a red plaid shirt, black waistcoat, brown corduroy trousers, black hat, white wool socks, mountain boots in bad conditions, and round thick glasses.
He has always with him a chamber pot: when hungry, he uses it as a dish to eat spaghetti or pork chop.
We could say he represents the rural humility and also the tenacity of our people, ready to react to any offense addressed to him or to people being hosted here, where each guest is sacred.
The A.C. president
Dear brothers and sisters,
I'm here to remind your responsibility and involvement in the spiritual care of your children.
As in the past, we'll begin this new Pastoral Year having some meetings with all parents.
These meetings represent an opportunity to become more conscios to be "a people on its journey" that cannot ever state to have reached the final destination.
Thus, in educating our children in the faith we must be all involved and mainly agree
with the educational proposal that has the sacraments as milestones.
That's why we'll meet on January the 9th at 4:30 p.m. in our Main Church.
Sure of your comprehension and cooperation for the well-being of your children,
The parish priest and the catechists