Italian Heritage Photo and Pompeii Church Exhibit

The Italian Heritage Exhibit, a two-part exhibit, will continue to feature the Blessed Virgin of Pompeii Exhibit with statuary and art from our Italian societies and our Italian churches, including St. Rita and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel churches.

This year’s exhibit will feature saint celebrations that Italians have been practicing for hundreds of years.  These celebrations came about in thanksgiving for prayers answered in times of natural disasters, famine, and severe illness.

St. Joseph altars and tables are huge celebrations in Italian-American communities throughout the United States. The tavolata (table) is a display of traditional Italian foods, pastries, and breads donated by followers of St. Joseph.  All the foods are meatless because St. Joseph Day falls during lent. Often the food is directly donated to the poor, and in some places the food items are sold to raise funds to feed those in need.

During the feast of Saint Anthony, home altars are still on display in homes throughout our city.  Some devotees still open their homes to a nightly novena (special prayers on nine successive days) preceding the saint’s feast day.

The Festa display will honor this tradition with examples from the typical home and church altars celebrating these and other saints.

St. Joseph Travolata, 2018              

The second part of the Italian Heritage Exhibit contains our Historic Photo Collection.  From the thousands of photos donated to the ICC collection emerges a window into the past.

The photos exhibited span a seventy-year period from 1885 to 1955. Included are family portraits, weddings, life in the Third Ward, military and many facets of the Italian immigrant experience in Milwaukee.

This year, visitors will see more than twenty-five hundred photographs displayed, somewhat chronologically, with timelines of major events and pop culture happenings. It is our hope to provide guests with some context for the story presented in each photo and historical background for the time periods exhibited in the collection.

St. Rita Square


Capri Senior Communities will be a part of the Italian Heritage Exhibit. Capri is rebuilding the properties of St. Rita church and school, on the corner of Pleasant and Cass streets, into a senior living community.  A new St Rita Church will blend the architecture of The Blessed Virgin of Pompeii Church with the windows and artifacts from St Rita Church. Representatives from Capri will provide information and updates on the St. Rita Square Development including the senior living spaces and the new church.

September 2018

June 2019






Join Holy Crucifix Society in this Year’s Procession

        If your family history includes the Holy Crucifix Society, join this year’s procession following the Festa Italiana Mass.  Honoring their parents and grandparents, families of former members will once again participate in this year’s procession.  Find the Holy Crucifix vara after mass, and be a part  of keeping this tradition alive.




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