Letter to parish priest

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wisemonkey
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Letter to parish priest

Postby wisemonkey » 24 Jan 2009, 20:01

I am thinking of writing a letter to the parish priest of Scala Coeli Italy requesting that a mass be said in memory of the Ricci family, my ancestors.

While I do have the address the translation sites that I am using lose a lot in the translation.

I would also like to ask the priest if he or someone in his parish would be willing to take pictures of the cemetery headstones bearing the family name Ricci and send them to me via email or postal mail.

Also I do not know the best method of sending money to Italy.

If anyone can help it will be much appreciated.

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Re: Letter to parish priest

Postby nuccia » 24 Jan 2009, 20:09

You can compose your letter and post it on the translation board. Someone will be happy to help.

As for taking pictures of headstones..well thats tricky because it is against the law to do that in Italy. You would need to get permission first from the Mayor, etc.

To send money, perhaps an International Money Draft would be best. This is a controversial subject here since no one really has the best answer.
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Re: Letter to parish priest

Postby Italysearcher » 24 Jan 2009, 20:20

You might want to check out my website for information on cemeteries. Unless they died in the last 50 years it is unlikely you will find them unless the they were rich or the town had lots of land.
Ann Tatangelo
http://angelresearch.wordpress.com
ANNOYING THE SAINTS - Stories of my Life in Italy. http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-b ... ly/7731505

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wisemonkey
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Re: Letter to parish priest

Postby wisemonkey » 24 Jan 2009, 20:22

Yikes, I had no idea it would be illegal. Thanks for the heads up. If the economy was better I would have liked to go to Italy to take pictures in the cemetery. Good thing I'm poor or I would have found myself in trouble with the law.

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Re: Letter to parish priest

Postby PeterTimber » 24 Jan 2009, 21:27

The town is small ( www.nonsolocap.it )and insert name and click on name for website and scroll down to www. url for town picture (small hill top agricultural village) which most likely signifies walled cemeteries with communal pits for bodies after whatever number of years (usually 20 =one generation) has passed bodies are removed and rer-buried in pits which are later rotated so that eventually they can start the process all over. =Peter=
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Re: Letter to parish priest

Postby wisemonkey » 24 Jan 2009, 23:37

Peter, thank you for the information. I had no idea there were communal pits. Could you please provide a source for this information or website?

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Letter to parish priest

Postby bonval » 25 Jan 2009, 01:30

Most times if you are there in person, it is not a problem to photo what is the family graves. We have done that because my husband's family are all still there - but it is frowned upon/illegal to photo what is not your own family due to privacy issues. Many graves even have photos of their loved ones on them so for immediate family it is touching. For example we were not there when my mother-in-law was buried (we left 2 weeks prior to her death so could not return) but the trip home to see the grave was very emotional for us.
Almost every if not every cemetary has a 'chapel' over what is called the 'bone room' or large communal crypt. Land is at a premium for cemetaries and space limited. Families reuse their family plots but bones are moved when after twenty years the space is needed again. I am sure you have heard of All Saints Day - folks go to the chapel to pray for their departed and you will see mounds of flowers near that chapel - often in the center or such prominent position in the cemetary.The bones are treated with great respect - no one goes to disturb them and it is not just a dirt pit - the chapel is over the top of this 'room'. There are often also 'poverty'/ or indigent plots marked with small metal crosses with names of those who could not afford larger plot with headstones - and all graves are consecrated land - inside the walls of the cemetary. That is not meant to imply that a non-Catholic is not also respected or not allowed there - we have family members representing several faiths who are all buried within walls of the town cemetary. Those who can have lovely mausoleums - a visit to a cemetary in Italy is very special if you are ever able to go - you might find some photos online if you 'google' for it just to see the difference from an American one for example.

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Re: Letter to parish priest

Postby PeterTimber » 25 Jan 2009, 03:58

Sorry if I offended your sensiblities about poor villages and towns in southern Italy. I just wanted you to know why cemetary photographs were not really feasible after a number of years have passed. Thecemetaries are ac corded great respect in that they are on the highest ground where possible so that they are visible to the town folks daily. =Peter=
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Re: Letter to parish priest

Postby bonval » 25 Jan 2009, 04:30

Peter - I agree - those old graves disappear and then no way to find a reminder of anything to photograph -- kind of a shame because we here in US are so used to going to cemetaries, even some picnic there on beautiful grounds, etc. Picking the plot is such an important issue here - Mom would love the view, etc. Here we also have groundskeepers who have maps of whose grave is located where going back couple hundred years - and US genealogists would give lessons in 'rice drawings' - making copies of old gravestones by doing rubbings with special graphite on rice paper to preserve graves!

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Re: Letter to parish priest

Postby liviomoreno » 25 Jan 2009, 06:29

wisemonkey wrote:Yikes, I had no idea it would be illegal. Thanks for the heads up. If the economy was better I would have liked to go to Italy to take pictures in the cemetery. Good thing I'm poor or I would have found myself in trouble with the law.


To my knowledge there isn't a state law that forbids to take pictures in the cemeteries. Every single cemetery may have different rules. I support your idea to write to the priest and ask him to have someone taking the pictures, there are chances that you will get a positive answer.

About communal pits: also in this case every cemetery has its own rules. Usually there are family graves and communal pits and the duration before a reburial may vary from 20 to 99 years. Also private graves may be re-used for other purposes if they result to be abandoned and nobody is taking care of them...

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Re: Letter to parish priest

Postby nuccia » 25 Jan 2009, 16:25

Thanks Livio and bonval,

I would love to get some pictures of my families graves but was told I wasn't allowed. I will call again and see.
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apiapibij

Re: Letter to parish priest

Postby apiapibij » 25 Jan 2009, 17:06

Salve a tutti,

In Southern Italy exists a large difference between theory and practice. There are many laws and rules about which nobody ever bothers to care about. I do not know if the inderdict on taking pictures on cemeteries (if it exists) is one of those, but I took pictures on many cemeteries and nobody ever said anything about it.

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Re: Letter to parish priest

Postby wisemonkey » 25 Jan 2009, 17:14

Not at all! Please don't think that. I was more astounded trying to wrap my brain around it more than anything.

It dawned on me why there is a section in the Catholic Cemetery in my hometown simply marked "Italians". Perhaps they were following the old country custom because headstones were unaffordable. For some reason, I thought the marker was just for infants.

Now the pieces fit together and I really appreciate that.

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nuccia
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Re: Letter to parish priest

Postby nuccia » 25 Jan 2009, 17:17

apiapibij wrote:Salve a tutti,

In Southern Italy exists a large difference between theory and practice. There are many laws and rules about which nobody ever bothers to care about. I do not know if the inderdict on taking pictures on cemeteries (if it exists) is one of those, but I took pictures on many cemeteries and nobody ever said anything about it.


Ben you give me hope! Since our towns are not too far from each other, maybe I will be able to finally get that missing piece I have been looking for too. If I can photograph a few of my families headstones I may be able to get past the road block I am stuck on.

Thank you! :)
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Re: Letter to parish priest

Postby tmrdmatlock » 26 Jan 2009, 00:49

Ms. Ricci, I just rec'd your message on myspace and you should be receiving within a few minutes. Email me directly what you would like to say and I will be glad to translate it for you since I speak both dialect and true italian. I also instructed you on how to send the money safely. Theresa


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