Festa Mass and Procession Sunday, July 22

The annual Festa Italiana mass and procession will be held Sunday, July 22 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.



*Admission into the Amphitheater:

Admission into the Amphitheater area is free on July 22, 2018, 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!



Committee announces that Fr. John Baumgardner to be Principal Celebrant of the Festa Mass on Sunday, July 22

Father John Baumgardner has accepted an invitation from the Festa Italiana Mass & Procession Committee to be the Principal Celebrant of the Festa Mass on Sunday, July 22.


The Festa Mass, free and open to all persons interested in attending, begins at 11 a.m. in the American Family Insurance Amphitheater on the Summerfest Grounds. The gate to the amphitheater will open at 10:15 a.m.

Fr. Baumgardner will become an Assistant Pastor at Old St. Mary Catholic Church and Three Holy Women Parish – St. Hedwig, St. Rita and Holy Rosary – on July 1. He will be part of the pastoral team that is led by the Very Rev. Timothy Kitzke, the longtime Chaplain of the Italian Community Center (ICC). The ICC is, of course, the nonprofit Italian organization that hosts Festa Italiana.


July 22 has special meaning for Fr. Baumgardner. Not only is it the date that he presides over the Festa Mass, but it also marks the one year anniversary of his ordination into the priesthood.


“We’re very excited to have him as the Principal Celebrant of our 41st Festa Mass,” said Sister Mary Louise Balistreri and Salvatore Lo Coco, managers of the Mass and Procession Committee. “He is an outstanding young man. We are pleased that he accepted our invitation to join us to celebrate the essence of Festa Italiana, the Mass and procession.”


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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. This year, Hunger Task Force is asking for donations of cans of peaches or pears in 100% juice.


Last year, all participating Milwaukee ethnic festivals collected 130,00 pounds of food.  In 2018, 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!


We’re partnering with Hunger Task Force to collect food donations for our community! Bring a can of peaches or pears in 100% juice to receive FREE admission to Festa Italiana on July 22 from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.



Seeking Singers for Festa Choir


We welcome and invite signers to add their voices to this year’s Festa Choir-2018, which will provide the music for the Mass on Sunday, July 22! 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 12, 6:30pSaturday, July 14, 9:30aMonday, July 16, 6:30pTuesday, July 17, 6:30p; and a dress rehearsal Wednesday July 18, 6:30pm. The Mass, which is the heart of Festa Italiana, will be held on July 22 at 11 a.m. in the Marcus Amphitheater.  Additional instruments will augment the choir to add to the festivity!


To register to sing with the Festa Choir please contact the director, Michael Kamenski by e-mail at (please use “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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