Festa Mass and Procession Sunday, July 23

The annual Festa Italiana mass and procession will be held Sunday, July 23 in the American Family Insurance Amphitheater at 11 a.m. The Mass will be followed by a procession of societies and patron saints, concluded with a benediction on the festival grounds.  This year marks 50 years of the destruction of Our Lady of Pompeii Church in the Old Third Ward.



*Admission into the Amphitheater:

Admission into the Amphitheater area is free on July 23, 2017 until 1:00 p.m., whether you attend the celebration of the Catholic Mass or not. When the grounds open after mass concludes, you may enter the festival for free from the Amphitheater area. Please enter at the South Gate or Gate 11.


We hope you can celebrate this Festa Italiana tradition with us!



Festa Welcomes MOST REVEREND JEFFREY R. HAINES as Mass Celebrant



Most Reverend Jeffrey R. Haines was born October 6, 1958. He attended Holy Apostles Parish and Grade School, New Berlin, and graduated from New Berlin West High School in 1977. He began his college studies at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, before transferring and graduating from Marquette University in 1981 with a degree in theology. Bishop Haines attended Saint Francis de Sales Seminary for graduate theological studies from 1981-1985, earning a Masters of Divinity degree.  He was ordained to the priesthood on May 17, 1985, by Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland, O.S.B.


After ordination, Bishop Haines was appointed Associate Pastor of St. Nicholas, Milwaukee.  In 1987, he was given additional responsibilities as Associate Pastor of Holy Redeemer Church, Milwaukee. In 1991, he was appointed Associate Pastor of St. Eugene Parish, Fox Point.  In 1996, he was appointed Pastor of St. Frances Cabrini Parish, West Bend.


In 2002, he was granted temporary leave to study canon law at Catholic University. However, he returned within the year to become Temporary Administrator of St. Patrick Parish, Whitewater.  In 2003, he returned as Pastor of St. Frances Cabrini Parish, West Bend, and was given additional responsibility as Assisting Priest of Immaculate Conception/St. Mary’s, West Bend in 2004. In 2011, he was appointed Rector of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Milwaukee.


Most Reverend Haines was named Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee by Pope Francis on January 25, 2017. He was ordained on March 17, 2017 at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Milwaukee.


Additionally, Bishop Haines was three times elected moderator of the Archdiocesan Council of Priests of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, and currently is a member of the College of Consultors.  He also served on the Archdiocesan Synod Preparatory Commission and the Archdiocesan Synod Implementation Commission. He is respected by fellow clergy and parishioners alike for his pastoral and leadership skills.


Born in Milwaukee to his parents, Jim and Maureen (“Mo”) Haines, Bishop Haines has three siblings, John (Mary), Rick (Donna) and Anne (Sean) Haines Carroll.

Hunger Task Force Donations Strongly Encouraged

Hunger Task Force will once again be collecting non-perishable food items at Festa Italiana upon entrance to Mass outside of the Amphitheater.


Last year, all participating Milwaukee ethnic festivals collected 158,673 pounds of food.  In 2017, all of the ethnic festivals have committed to collecting donations under “The Fests Feed Milwaukee” initiative, with a goal of 160,000 pounds of food collected by the end of summer.  We are asking attendees to bring three (3) non-perishable food items to Festa Italiana to help us reach our collection goal.  We appreciate your support! Grazie mille!



Festa Mass to pay tribute to the Italian-built Pompeii Church on the 50th anniversary of its demise




October 9, 1967 will always be remembered with great sadness in Milwaukee’s Italian American community. That was the day when demolition of the beloved Our Lady of Pompeii Catholic Church commenced.


The “Little Pink Church,” as it was affectionately known, had been the heart of the city’s Italian American community for more than 60 years. Located at 419 N. Jackson Street, the church was torn down for an off-ramp to Interstate 794.


Built through the perseverance and hard work of Milwaukee’s Italian immigrants, the church was dedicated on May 14, 1905. The final Mass was conducted on July 31, 1967. It was a place for these Italian Americans to not only come and worship, but to celebrate their customs, traditions, language and learn how to acclimate to the realities of living in a new country and learning a new language.


With the 50th anniversary of the demise of the church, the Festa Italiana Mass will pay tribute to the Little Pink Church and its lasting effects on our community.


Seeking Singers for Festa Choir


We welcome and invite signers to add their voices to this year’s Festa Choir-2017, which will provide the music for the Mass on Sunday, July 23! The choir will be rehearsing at St. Sebastian Catholic Church, 5400 W. Washington Blvd., Milwaukee. Rehearsals will last two hours and music will be provided. Some hymns will be sung in Italian and Latin, but no previous knowledge of either language is necessary as language coaching is provided. The mixed choir is open to all voice parts – soprano, alto, tenor and bass.


No auditions are necessary. However, previous choral experience is recommended. Maestro Michael Kamenski requests that singers participate in at least four rehearsals, including a mandatory dress rehearsal. Rehearsal dates are as follows: Thursday, July 13, 7:00 p.m.; Saturday, July 15, 9:00 a.m.; Monday, July 17, 7:00 p.m.; Tuesday, July 18, 7:00 p.m.; and a dress rehearsal Wednesday, July 19, 7:00 p.m. The Mass, which is the heart of Festa Italiana, will be held on July 23 at 11:00 a.m. in the Marcus Amphitheater. We welcome back members of the Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra and are happy to add members of the Milwaukee Children’s Choir to this mass!


To register to sing with the Festa Choir please contact the director, Michael Kamenski by email:  (Please note FESTA CHOIR in the subject line) or by phone at 414-453-1928.

Seeking priests, deacons and brothers

Priests, deacons and brothers are cordially invited to participate in the annual Festa Italiana Mass. Priests are invited to concelebrate, deacons to vest. Members of the clergy interested in participating should contact Therese Ciofani at 414-303-9772 or email Free parking and admission to the festival will be provided.

Mass interpreted for the deaf

We cordially invite members of the Deaf Community to attend our mass where a sign language interpreter will be provided. When attending, please let the usher know if you would like to sit near the front so that you can be seated near the interpreter.


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