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This edition: April 2010

Episode Details

Original tape date: April 27, 2010.

First on ITALICS, we take you to a public rally held recently at our Lady of Loreto Church, in Brownsville, Brooklyn. The Rally, sponsored by the Committee to Save Our Lady of Loreto Church, was both an attempt to educate the public on the issue, and garner their sympathy and support to save the historic church from the current plans for its demolition, and redevelopment. Our Lady of Loreto Church is owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, and was decommissioned two years ago, after 100 years of service. Both the Diocese of Brooklyn and the Committee to Save Our Lady of Loreto, agree on the redevelopment of the area, but differ in execution: the committee’s plan would save the historic Church structure as a cultural center and community anchor along with providing adequate housing units while the Diocesan plan would seem to demolish the building for even fewer housing units. Ultimately the final decision on the redevelopment plan rests with that the building’s owner, The Diocese of Brooklyn, and as far as the Diocese is concerned, the matter is already settled.

The Committee to Save Our Lady of Loreto is comprised of a loose coalition of multi-ethnic community groups, historians, scholars, and other interested parties, and this diverse unity is one of the most hopeful aspects of this unfortunate battle. The Rally was held on April 5th, 2010, ten days later, on April 15th, contractors hired by the Diocese, removed the stained glass windows from the Church, further readying the structure for apparent demolition. The struggle continues, and we will report on it for you.

Next ITALICS presents excerpts of a recent conversation between Charles Piazza and Jeffrey Dunston, of The Committee to Save Our Lady of Loreto Church and Anthony J. Tamburri, of the Calandra Institute. The interview presents a broad history of the church and the recent efforts by the grass roots multi ethnic committee to preserve the historic church, and provide well-needed housing to a long impoverished area. The conversation is excerpted from The Calandra Institute’s NewMedia, Internet Only Production ITALICS2.0.

Guest List

Patricia Deans President , Brownsville Heritage Center

Jeffrey Dunston Northeast Brooklyn Housing Development Corp.

Melvin Faulkner Office of NY State Assemblymember Inez Barron

Tom Federici Grandson of church sculptor Gaetano Federici

Viola D. Greene-Walker District Manager, Community Board #16

Kimberly Headley Special Assistant, Office of US Congressman Ed Towns

John LaCorte Jr., President, Italian American Historical Society of America

Charles Piazza Committee To Save Our Lady of Loreto Church

Arthur Piccolo The Alberti Project

Xamayla Rose-Parsadi Youth Policy Analyst, Office of Brooklyn Boro President Marty Markowitz

William Russo NY Housing Authority

Frank Sciame Chairman & CEO, F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc.

Cav. Uff. Joseph Sciame President/Chairman, Italian Heritage and Culture Month Committee

Cav. Anthony Julian Tamburri, PhD. Dean and Executive Director, The John D. Calandra Italian American Institute

Mario Toglia Historian

Marilyn Verna Historian

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