Festa Mass & Procession Committee Thanks Sponsors and Donors

The annual Festa Italiana mass and procession was held Sunday, July 24 in the Marcus Amphitheater at 11 a.m. The Mass was followed by a procession of societies and patron saints, concluded with a benediction on the festival grounds.




Thank you to Father Michael Hammer, who lead this year’s Sunday mass!


Fr. Mike HammerIn his 47 years of priesthood for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Fr. Mike Hammer has faithfully served Milwaukee in numerous facets. Community members may have known him as an assistant priest at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Three Holy Women Catholic Parish or Old St. Mary’s Church. Or, perhaps as the co-chaplain of the Pompeii Women’s Club. Or, members may know him for his dedicated service to the HIV-AIDS community. It was during a visit to a Catholic hospice in 1983 when Fr. Mike discovered his calling to serve those touched by AIDS. As the director of the Catholics AIDS Ministry for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Fr. Mike has since worked to support and counsel hundreds of people who have confronted the disease in their lives.


“With the AIDS epidemic, I have truly witnessed the power of love,” Hammer said. “Because of the devastating nature of AIDS, I have seen families overcome huge differences and turn to love and support one another.”


Thank you to Fr. Mike for your dedicated service to our community! Fr. Mike will continue that service by helping Festa Italiana celebrate traditional Sunday Mass July 24 at 11 a.m. Don’t miss it!


*Admission into the Marcus Amphitheater:

Admission into the Amphitheater area is free on July 24, 2016 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!



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 Marcus Amphitheater.


Last year, all participating Milwaukee ethnic festivals collected over 147,000 pounds of food.  In 2016, 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!



Seeking Singers for Festa Choir

We welcome and invite singers to join their voices in this year’s Festa Choir 2016! 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 o pen 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 14, 7 pm; Saturday, July 16, 8:30 am; Monday, July 18, 7 pm, Tuesday, July 19, 7 pm; and a dress rehearsal Wednesday, July 20, 7 pm.  The Mass, which is the heart of Festa Italiana, will be held on July 24 at 11:00 am 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 the 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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