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In Calgary, Antonella Fanella notes that the community worshiped at Our Lady of Perpetual Help and St. Mary's and St. Joseph's Parish when Italian priests were available.  In 1963, Monsignor Angelo Sacchi, the first permanent Scalabrinian came and said Mass at St. Paul's Parish in Italian.  Working with the community, an old Presbyterian Church in Inglewood became La Parrocchia di Sant'Andrea [St. Andrew's Parish].  Fanella writes:

In comparison to the pre-war migrants, who were sporadic in church attendance, the post-war immigrants became closely attached to St. Andrew's.  While they claim to have felt comfortable in the 'English' church, the immigrants needed their own church.  Only an Italian parish could accommodate their special cultural traditions such as compareggio (godparenthood), le feste dei santi (festivals of patron saints), first communion, weddings, or a special mass for a deceased relative in Italy.

The priests had worked in Italian communities in the US and eastern Canada and understood the need to create vehicles for social interaction that would make the church the centre of community life.  They, thus, ministered not only to souls but also bodies.  The church hall became the location for much interaction including meetings of societies as well as weddings, anniversaries and the range of social interaction.  A key society in Edmonton was the Santa Maria Goretti Youth Group.  This allowed young people to meet without parental supervision and was the means for many couples falling in love and marrying.  The priests understood that the family had to be connected to the church so that religious faith and traditions would continue from one generation to the next.

The Scalibrini order in 2002 made the decision to leave Santa Maria Goretti Parish in Edmonton and hand over the Church to the Archdiocese of Edmonton.  It's priests are aging and their founding mission is no longer relevants.  In fact, their contemporary focus is on needy parishes in Latin America.  The impact on Edmonton's Italian community, if an Italian priest cannot be found, could be significant.  But this is the challenge that established ethnocultural communities face.  How can religion, customs and traditions be kept relevant when the impetus to bring people together for reasons of being alien in a strange land no longer exist. As well, the general movement away from religious worship to secularization impacts on Italian parishes.  Many Italian-Canadians only go to Mass at Christmas and Easter when the church is packed.  The rest of the time, it is the elderly who populate the pews.

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