Century-old stained glass and 8-foot-tall angels: How St. Rita church will honor its Italian-American history, welcome next generation

Sep 27, 2019 334

BY: Sophie Carson

Go to a Catholic Mass anywhere in the world, and it’ll be nearly identical. Steadfast rituals and beliefs for hundreds of years: that deep-rooted sense of tradition is what has sustained parishioners like Milwaukeean Margaret Balistreri through the demolition of her Italian-American community’s spiritual home — twice.

“Our church is gone, but we’ve taken the important things: our traditions, our faith, our memories, our prayer life, our music,” she said. “In the long run, life goes on. We haven't been abandoned. We’ve grown.” So she didn’t despair last year when crews tore down St. Rita on the east side, where Margaret married Anthony Balistreri and where she attended school as a girl. Instead she championed it, serving on the committee to direct the rebuild and assuaging other parishioners’ hesitations about change.

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SOURCE: https://eu.jsonline.com

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