Category Archives: Uncategorized
A group of American Mammanas are from southeastern Sicily, in Pachino in the Province of Syracuse. Much of this group settled in Staten Island, while others live in Brooklyn and New Jersey.
A small branch of Castel di Lucio Mammanas were born in the Norman castle-village Sperlinga, Enna in the 1880s and 1890s. Their father Antonino was a son of Francesco Mammana (1825-17 Nov 1899) and Francesca Rinaldi (born 1833). Placido Antonio Mammana (1838-20 Sep 1911) of Castel di Lucio also died in Sperlinga; he is the father of Domenico Luigi Mammana (1873-1971), progenitor of the Mammanas of Easton, Pennsylvania.
A FATAL ASSAULT
Italians Indulge in a Stabbing Affray at New Italy
ONE NOT EXPECTED TO LIVE
Another Seriously Injured—The Two were Waylaid by Three of their Countrymen and Assaulted.
There was another stabbing affray Saturday night at New Italy, in Washington township, a short distance from Bangor. All the participants were Italians and all reside at New Italy. The injured are Antonio Cascioli and Lorenzo Schiavone. Cascioli has two ugly stab wounds in his body. One of them is just below the heart and penetrated the lower lobe of the left lung. It may prove fatal. Schiavone’s include two deep cuts in the left shoulder, a stab in the fleshy part of the neck and several cuts above the head.
The two men had attended services at the Catholic Church and then spent a couple of hours at Michael Falcone’s store, nearby. It was about 11 o’clock when they left the store and started for home. A short distance from Falcone’s place they were met by the 14 year old brother of Cascioli, who said that there were three men down the road who had inquired if Antonio Cascioli had gone home.
A few moments later three men referred to by the boy were met. They were crouching along the roadside and made no answer when, in passing, Antonio Cascioli said “Good night” to them in the Italian language.
Cascioli and Schiavone had passed the men only a few feet when the trio pounced upon them and commenced showering blows on their heads and shoulders. The frightened boy escape and ran to summon help. While two of the assailants held Cascioli the third plunged a stiletto into his body. Then Schiavone, who had already been stunned by a heavy blow, was caught by the assassins and stabbed with a siletto. The two men were then left by the roadside. One crawled to a house nearby and the other was carried to his home by the help brought by the boy.
Detective Ross, Policeman Repsher and Constable Godshalk, of Bangor, were called and at 4 o’clock Sunday morning had Michael Treggone, Vito Treggone and Donato Carreshi in the lock-up. They are accused of being the assassins. The trio had been drunk and were seen in the neighborhood where the stabbing took place but a short time before the two men were attacked. Earlier in the evening the same trio attacked an Italian from Howell-town in Lorenzo Pacifico’s hotel at New Italy, and one of them knocked him down with the handle of a revolver.
Vito Treggone is married. All the others named are single men. The parties under arrest are considered the most dangerous characters in the slate district. Danato Carreshi stabbed a Welshman at Belfast three years ago and at Bangor in 1895 shot an Italian named Sachetti. Michael Treggone has already figured in several cutting affrays and Vito Treggone is a desperate fellow who is quick to draw a stiletto. When they were arrested all three of the men had on wet clothing, showing that they had been in the storm and had not been home long.
At the home of one of the assailants there was found yesterday morning a cane in which there was a double-edged dagger about 14 inches long. There were blood spots on the sharp blade and the weapon is believed to have been used in the affray Saturday night. The dagger was attached to the handle of the cane and was concealed in the stick.
—The Morning Call, 7 December 1897, page 1.
The word lagniappe is among the most enjoyable in North American English. Originally a Quechua term from the Andes, it came to the northern shores of the Gulf of Mexico through cultural exchange with French-speaking Creoles in what is now Louisiana. Today, it means “something extra,”—a gift one receives from a merchant, such as the thirteenth doughnut in a baker’s dozen or a bundle of cilantro at the grocer. Mark Twain considered lagniappe “a word worth traveling to New Orleans to get.”
Public Domain Day is the relatively new occasion when books and other pieces of creative work enter freedom from copyright each year on January 1. For most books published in English, this now applies to authors who died before 1924, as well as to copyrights filed before that year. The host of items that became part of the public domain on New Year’s Day this year include George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” Agatha Christie’s The Man in the Brown Suit, and A. A. Milne’s When We Were Very Young, as well as the works of Una Pope-Hennessy, Lead Belly, Margaret Mitchell, Richard Strauss, and Osbert Sitwell.
Newly-digitized works of Anglican and Episcopal history are a tiny minority in the group that are now free to read for all with internet connections, but they are a lagniappe of richness with which to begin a new year.
History of the Afro-American Group of the Episcopal Church
By George F. Bragg
Baltimore: Church Advocate Press, 1922.
This primary source on African American history in the Episcopal Church is by one of the most prolific authors of letters to the editor in the entire history of The Living Church. George Freeman Bragg (1863-1940) was the long-tenured rector of what was then called St. James First African Church in Baltimore, and a tireless activist against racial discrimination inside and outside the church. The book includes narrative chapters, parish histories, brief biographies of African American leaders, and wonderful photographs.
Journal of the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America Held in the City of Detroit from October Eighth to October Twenty-fourth, Inclusive, in the Year of Our Lord 1919, with Appendices
New York: Printed for the General Convention, 1920.
The 46th General Convention of the Episcopal Church was the first to take place in Detroit, and one of the farthest west in the United States when it took place. GC46’s proceedings were published the following year in a 616-page compilation (another 200 pages of this volume are a new edition of the Constitution and Canons). Particular matters of interest at General Convention 1919 included episcopal jurisdiction in the Danish West Indies, which had recently been purchased by the United States; empowering Episcopal bishops to receive Orthodox Christian congregations under their jurisdiction; omitting the Gloria in excelsis at two occurrences in the Book of Common Prayer; declaring full communion with the “Orthodox Eastern Church;” and sending greetings to Congregationalists.
The first issues of Anglican Theological Review appeared a year after the United States had entered the First World War, with the following explanation: “Only one excuse can be offered for the appearance in America of a new quarterly periodical limited to a discussion of theological students of the Anglican Communion. The excuse is simply that the field is vacant, and needs to be filled.” The first volume of ATR, under the editorship of Samuel Mercery and Leicester Lewis of the former Western Theological Seminary in Chicago, is now available for free download. Prominent articles include work in New Testament bibliography, editor Lewis’s “Troeltsch vs. Ritschl: A Study in Epochs,” F.J. Hall on the Immaculate Conception, Vida Dutton Scudder on “The Social Teachings of the Christian Year,” and several investigations by Dickinson Miller on the problem of evil. As further issues of ATR enter the public domain (a process the periodical can hasten at no charge) the venerable periodical’s treasures of earlier generations will be made available to more readers.
Dean Inge (1860-1954) was one of the most prolific of twentieth-century clerical writers, with an absence in modern readership comparable only to his former prominence among literary churchfolk. Inge was Dean of St. Paul’s, London from 1911 to 1934, a tenure that placed him in national and international view for his “outspoken” attitudes on modern life; these opinions included a visceral hatred of democracy (which he called “absurdity”), and advocacy for nudism (about which he wrote an entire book). This group of eleven essays is slightly less provocative, expressing concern at the contemporary English birth-rate, investigating the thought of John Henry Newman and Roman Catholic Modernist theologians, and exploring mysticism and the writings of Charles Gore.
As parts of the global Anglican and Methodist families move closer to one another in local covenants (in New Zealand and the United Kingdom) and with a full communion proposal in the United States, the biography of John Wesley himself continues to drive headlines in church life. Wesley famously insisted that he died in the Church of England, in which he had been a devout and enthusiastic communicant. As the movement he helped to begin outgrew the existing ecclesiastical structures and met with official disapproval, he acquiesced to the reality of schism. Wesley the Anglican is the outgrowth of a series of lectures at the General Theological Seminary in New York, exploring “Wesley the Human,” “Wesley the Churchman,” and the evangelist’s travels in North America as well as many threads of his thought and writing.
Richard J. Mammana is archivist of the Living Church Foundation and a member of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a parishioner at Christ Church, New Haven and the founder of Project Canterbury, anglicanhistory.org.
Sister Mary Veronica of the Community of St. Mary
Born 20 July 1874 Ella Sarah McCullough in North Bennington, Vermont
Professed 25 April 1906 at Peekskill, New York
Died 23 December 1965 at Peekskill, New York
Sister Mary Veronica, C.S.M.
Sister Mary Veronica died December 23rd in the 92nd year of her age and the 60s of her Religious profession. She remember living in the old Peekskill Convent—now St. Michael’s House where the Altar Bread is made—and as junior Postulant lead the Community procession into the new Convent at its Dedication in 1903. Sister was our last living link with Dr. Dix, and came to the Community from Trinity Church in New York City as his beloved spiritual daughter. One of his letters to her, written a few days after her clothing as a Novice in 1904, describes his joy at giving her the habit with his own hands in his last official visit to the Convent.
She was Professed on St. Mark’s Day, 1906, and almost immediately began working on the mural and reredos of St. Scholastica’s Chapel on the second floor of the Convent. With the cooperation of Sister Mary Angela, who did the letter on the walls and around the windows, the project was completed in 1910. From that time Sister began to have orders from churches for painting altar reredos or even whole sanctuaries and choirs. In the Thirties she developed her own technique with a special wax crayon in portraiture and received many orders for portraits, which she continued to execute until failing sight and strength forced her to give up all painting in her 89th year.
We cannot attempt any kind of evaluation of Sister’s art. She certainly had great technical ability; but we think of her paintings chiefly as expressions of the beauty and order of her own strong spiritual life. Her talent was used only for the glory of God and the good of souls, and was developed under holy obedience. During her ten-year term as Mother Superior General she put aside all painting so that she might concentrate on her official responsibilities. The time came for these burdens to be taken by another, and Sister Mary Veronica returned to work quietly and diligently in the studio for thirty-five more years. When the Mother thought that standing at the easel was too much for Sister’s strength, Sister was happy to work in another studio organizing the files and orders for the illuminations and cards painted by another sister. Like all her work, this was accomplished with enthusiastic precision.
It is, however, Sister Mary Veronica in her personal relationships that we love to recall: her child-like wonder combined with an alert sense of humor and a careful following of current events on all levels—local, national and international; her patience and the rueful little smile called forth by the frustrations of increasing deafness and illness; but, above all, her loving and prayerful interest in everyone she met or heard of,—and she never stopped praying for anyone.
Many of us were struck by the Divine ordering of all things so that Sister Mary Veronica’s death so near Christmas made it necessary to have her funeral service in St. Scholastica’s Chapel—the Convent chapel which she had beautified so long ago and where she prayed daily for almost sixty years.
—St. Mary’s Messenger, March/April 1966.
¶ Research notes-in-progress by Richard J. Mammana, Jr.
Most Mammanas (first records 1753) and Mammanos (first records 1803) in the United States come from the following small villages and towns in central and northern Sicily:
Province of Caltanissetta
Province of Enna
Province of Messina
Castel di Lucio or Castellucio
Province of Palermo
The spelling Mammana is used presently in 136 Italian comuni, with Mammano used in 71 comuni (source https://www.mappadeicognomi.it/en/). There are about 300 living Mammanas and 300 living Mammanos in the United States today, as well as large family groups in the Italian diaspora in Brazil and Argentina, with smaller groups in the United Kingdom, France, and Australia.
Easton, Pennsylvania Group 1
From Castel di Lucio, descendants of Antonino Mammana and Margarita Giordano through their son Placido (1775—30 June 1845). In this group, Domenico Luigi Mammana (20 January 1873—15 Feb 1971) came to the United States in 1901. His brothers Francesco (born 28 September 1878) and Michelangelo Celestino Mammana (5 June 1893) followed through Ellis Island in 1907, but nothing is known of them after their arrival. Most persons in this group are historically Roman Catholic or Lutheran, and some have been members of the Circolo San Placido. Most generations in this group include a son named Placido, Placid, or Patrick in honor of St. Placidus, patron saint of Castel di Lucio.
Variant spellings in this group include:
Mamana (descendants of Joseph, 4 September 1909—21 August 2004)
Mann (descendants of Anthony Joseph, 16 November 1918—25 March 1992)
Easton, Pennsylvania, Group 2
From Castel di Lucio, descendants of Rocco Mammana and Francesca Cicero through their son Placido (1791—27 August 1871). In this group, Luigi Mammana (born 15 December 1860, death date unknown) came to the United States in 1906 and settled in Williams Township, outside of Easton in Northampton County, Pennsylvania. This group intermarried with other Italian Americans, especially Amatos, Berrettas, and Vigilantis. Census records for this group occasionally use the spelling Mamanna, and several generations have been affiliated with Lutheran and Presbyterian churches, as well as the Roman Catholic Church. As in Group 1, the boys’ name Placido, Placid, or Patrick is common in most generations, as is membership in the Circolo San Placido.
Agira—New Jersey Group
From central Sicily and Agira in the Province of Enna, descendants of Giuseppe Mammana and Marianna Punzina through their son Orazio (18 October 1891—28 October 1941, immigration 1909). Most parts of this family use the spelling Mammano. Repeated names for boys are Orazio (Horace), Vito (Victor), Philip, and Joseph; the girls’ name Carmela is also used regularly.
Rochester Group 1
From Valledolmo, descendants of Arcangelo Mammana (born 1799) and Saveria Antinella (born 1803) through Archangelo (20 June 1869—20 April 1942) who arrived in the United States in 1884. This group settled in Monroe County (Rochester), Chautauqua County (Fredonia), and Erie County (Buffalo) in New York. Almost all members of this group are Roman Catholics, and the surname is almost always spelled Mammana without variation. One member of this line changed his last name to Manning at an unknown date in the 1950s. The Giambrone family, also from Valledolmo (surname sometimes changed to Brown) is closely connected.
Rochester Group 2
From towns in Caltanissetta and Enna, descendants of Carmelo Mammano and Filomena Tuttobene through their sons Giuseppe (1880-1942), Frank Michael (1883-1941), and Ignazio (2 August 1885—10 April 1956). The surname is spelled Mammano, Mommano, and, after the first generation born in the United States, Momano. Most members of this group are Roman Catholics.
Rochester Group 3
One of the largest identifiable surname-islands of Mammanas and Mammanos, descendants of Salvatore Mammano and Maria Miccichè of Caltanissetta through three sons:
Vito (1840—13 December 1914). His son Salvatore immigrated in 1902 and was a prominent building contractor in the Rochester area. Several lines of this group re-use the given names Vito (Victor), Salvatore (Sam), and Liborio or Liboria (Betty).
Michele (1847—23 May 1895)
Christofaro (1852—23 December 1882)
The only surname spelling variations are Mammano and Manning, the latter possibly entering usage because of the 1920 murder trial of Christopher Mammano.
A small group (seven siblings) using the spelling Mammana settled in Erie, Pennsylvania, arriving in 1903 from Caltanissetta and Messina.
Descendants of Niccolò Mammana and Carmella Graziano (died 7 August 1933) through sons Michael Prospero (1894-1958, immigration 1911), Salvatore (1899-1945, immigration 1923), and Benedict Ernest (1902-1984, immigration 1920). This group settled first in metropolitan New York and migrated to Tucson, Arizona, with substantial variation in surname spellings and religious affiliations. The given names Benedict/Benjamin, Nicholas, and Vito repeat; surname spellings are Mammana, Manners, and Marin.
Descendants of Vincenzo Mammana (born 1840) and Teresa Buzzone (born 1845) from Centuripe, Regalbuto, and Valguarnera Caropepe in Enna Province. This group are Roman Catholics, with either Mammana or Mammano spelling.
Mammanos from San Cataldo
A line from San Cataldo in Caltanissetta came to the United States in 1913 through Giuseppe Alfredo Mammano (5 February 1892—29 July 1978), settling in New York and New Jersey. In-law surnames for this group are Alù, Andaloro, Bruno, Giambra, Macaluso, Marino, Palermo, and Scifo.
Staten Island Mammanas
Descendants of Francesco Mammana (1864—12 December 1943) and Santa Santucci (25 December 1867—14 April 1952) through Gaetano Carlo (Thomas Charles) Mammana. There are 30 names in this grouping, but it has not yet been possible to determine from where in Italy they came.
Regalbuto—Bronx and Connecticut Group
Descendants of Carlo Antonio Mammana and Carmela Bonanno. There are about 60 names in this grouping from Enna Province who settled in metropolitan New York, with some individuals now relocated to Montana. It has not yet been possible to determine when they came to the United States.
Jacob Motz or Moots was a German-speaking Lutheran stonecarver active between the late 1760s and the early 1780s. His surviving work is present in 37 examples in 11 churchyards in what are now Northampton County and Lehigh County in Pennsylvania, and Warren County in New Jersey. (At least two of his stones were destroyed by bulldozers on the orders of a congregational council in 1974.) Almost half of the stones are in the cemeteries of Zion Stone Church in Kreidersville and the former Christ Union in Lower Saucon, Hellertown.
Motz’s work was identified as belonging to one individual as early as 1954 by Preston Barba; he was identified by name in December of 2019 by Richard Mammana using probate settlement documentation in the Northampton County Court Archives. Before 2019, Motz was known only as the “Northampton County Carver.” The stones, some of which are in advanced states of deterioration and lichen encrustation, have the following characteristics in common:
1. The text of the epitaph is in German with idiosyncratic spelling.
2. The material is local sandstone.
3. The stone was carved between 1768 and 1782.
4. A characteristic vase with flowers features on the reverse.
5. The text on obverse has majuscule and minuscule lettering mixed within words.
6. Stylized sunbursts in corners.
7. There are occasional dates on the obverse that correspond to the date of erection or completion, not the decedent’s date of death.
O admirabile commercium creator generis humani animatum corpus sumens de virgine nasci dignatus est et procedens homo sine semine largitus est nobis suam deitatem.
O wonderful exchange: the creator of humankind took on a living body, merited to be born of a virgin, and, being born as a man without seed, gave us his deity.
One of the O Antiphons is suited equally to the Annunciation (the March 25 commemoration of the conception of Jesus Christ inside of his mother Mary) as to singing during the time just after Christmas. It is the first O Antiphon alphabetically in its Latin text, and so reading it at it the beginning of Advent makes a logical sense.
We have begun a season of exchanges, a kind of directional action that is common enough in our normal lives. Foreign exchange of money for other money when we travel for work or go on vacation to another country. The gift exchanges of social obligation, workplace fellowship, friendly sincerity. Exchanges of one place for another when we travel to visit family during the longue durée of the extended holiday period. And all of us reading this live in the permanent shadow of the Columbian Exchange that brought horses and bees and measles to Mexico in return for coffee, gold, slaves, chocolate, potatoes, and slaves to Europe.
O admirabile commercium is a capsule of three words that contain some of the potent truths about the incarnation as an exchange of another kind. The incarnation is the teaching that in the person of Jesus Christ the fulness of the eternal world-creating God became joined permanently, unbreakably, inexplicably, with the fulness of humanity: God exchanging incorporeality for a specific body that was born like every other human baby from a particular woman in a given place. The exchange went reciprocally but not transactionally in the other direction, too: largitus est nobis suam deitatem: “God gave us his deity.”
The Wonderful Exchange confers on every human person a permanent dignity that nothing can take away—age, actions, station, illness, immigration status, “gloomy doubts and faithless fear”—none can change God’s chosen identity with us and all whom we meet by choice or chance.
If this principle confers on each of us duties of respect and reverence toward those around us—the same respect and reverence that we would give to God—it does so along the lines Frank Weston of Zanzibar explained in a famous 1923 sermon: “if God leapt a gulf for you, I suppose that you can leap gulfs for God.”
Advent emerges then as a season of jumps: from God to us, from us to God, from me to you, and from each of us in sincerity toward anyone who differs from us.
If you’d like to listen to O admirabile commercium in music that has nourished souls before us for half a thousand years, Handl, Josquin Desprez, William Byrd, and Hans Leo Hassler are all free and brief.
—For background on this Advent reflection, see Slouching toward Bethlehem in 2019.
A Pennsylvanian in Connecticut (and often other places), Richard Mammana is a father, author, reviewer, archivist, web developer and ecumenist. He is the founder of anglicanhistory.org.