[OLR Festa]

Our society is cooperating with the other associations of Our Lady of the Rosary for the good of the Parish. We work in concert with other societies to organize, provide support and administer the annual Festa of Our Lady of the Rosary.

After the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, an influx of Italian immigrants made their way to San Diego.

The Italian community was no different than any other ethnic community as it continued to practice its Italian Catholic faith. And they practiced their beliefs at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, the center of San Diego's, "Little Italy," populated by fishermen mostly from Genoa and Sicily as well as other areas of Italy.

Our Lady of the Rosary was founded and built in 1925 by Italian immigrants. The debt of the church was paid through the generosity of the fishermen who pledged a percentage of their tuna-fishing income. The fishermen and their families brought many traditions to the new parish. The immigrants of Genoa brought Our Lady of the Rosary Festa; the Sicilians communities brought Madonna del Lume (Mother of the Light) and Madonna Addolorata (Mother of Sorrows) Festas. In 1960, the Madonna del Paradiso (Mother of Heaven) Festa was established.

On the first Sunday in October, the parish celebrates the Festa of Our Lady of the Rosary. The church’s Marian Societies, in order to show solidarity, have come together to collaborate and celebrate as one. This act of unity is extremely important because in the past each community would celebrate its own Festa.

The fishing industry continues to play a very important role in maintaining the identity of the Italian community in San Diego. It has been said: “If if wasn’t for the fishing industry in San Diego, the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary would not exist.” The blessing symbolizes the strong bond between the church and the fishing industry — past, present and future.

The Festa begins with a High Mass at Amici Park at noon. A procession follows through the streets of Little Italy. The parade leads to the Embarcadero where there will be a blessing of two fishing boats. The entire Italian community and Italian Catholic organizations at Our Lady of the Rosary welcome all to come celebrate the Festa of OLR.

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San Diego, Calif.
Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church
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