Roman Catholic Church is the established church of Italy and its
history is intertwined with the history of the country. Its central
role in not only the spiritual life of Italians but also their
customs and traditions is unquestionable. This is what
immigrants from Italy brought to
coal mining communities.
Italian culture values religionor generally a spiritual and
moral outlook on life.
The church blesses all rites of passage in lifemarriage, birth,
death, and feast days give shape to the seasons. All hold both
religious and secular significance. Because in the mining
communities, there were no Italian parishes, Italians worshipped
in the local Catholic church and a number of them developed
close ties with missionaries such as the Oblates of Mary
Immaculate who came from Europe and some of whom spoke Italian.