Members of the Society carrying statue of St. Andrew in procession, St. Andrew Fiesta, 1995.
St. Andrew Apostle Society
In 1900, Italian male immigrants from the town of Amalfi, who had settled in New Haven, formed the St. Andrew
Apostle Society. The society provided members with a forum to
gather and to share memories about their heritage, and it also
sponsored a mutual assistance program to cover the misfortunes of
illness and death. The founders named the society, St. Andrew,
after the patron Saint of Amalfi, Saint Andrew, the Apostle.
As members assimilated in their new homeland, the
society's role broadened to include civic and community
responsibility. Among the projects undertaken by the society were
substantial contributions to St. Michael's, the mother church of
Connecticut Italians, and its parish church; and to charities in
New Haven and in Italy, beginning with a major contribution to
victims of the 1908 Calabrian-Sicilian earthquake. Society members,
as Americans, have a proud tradition of service in the armed forces
during all the major conflicts since 1900. A plaque on historic
Wooster Green, near the society's headquarters, attests to those
who lost their lives fighting for America.
The once common practice among Italian-Americans to
commemorate patron saints of their various villages and towns with
liturgical feasts and festivals has vanished in many communities,
due to assimilation. However, the St. Andrew Apostle Society since
its inception has celebrated the liturgical feast day of St. Andrew
with an annual open-air festival at the end of June. Over the
years, the celebration has grown to attract thousands of people of
many ethnic backgrounds. The society also spearheaded a "sister
city" relationship between New Haven and Amalfi, which conducts
annual student, cultural and sports exchanges.
Project documentation includes a history of the St.
Andrew Apostle Society, newspaper articles, photos, a poster for
the 98th Annual Feast of St. Andrew, and a videotape of both the
June 1999 Saint Andrew's Feast and the documentary, "Sisters: New
Haven Preserves Its Old World Heritage."
Originally submitted by: Rosa L. DeLauro, Representative (3rd District).
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.