Fra Noi

Fra Noi produces a magazine and website that serve the Chicago-area Italian-American community. Our magazine offers our readers a monthly feast of news and views, culture and entertainment that keeps our diverse and widely scattered readers in touch with each other and their heritage. Our website offers a dizzying array of information drawn from every corner of the local community.

St. Joseph’s Tables abound in March

Each March, dozens of Italian families, organizations, parishes and businesses across the Chicago area open up their doors and their hearts to the less fortunate by setting up St. Joseph’s Tables. At press time, information was available only on the events in this listing. To be listed next year, call 708-338-0690 or email MARCH 2 ST. WILLIAM CHURCH (Chicago) | 4 p.m. Mass followed by a traditional meatless St. Joseph’s Table | Adults, $25; children 7-14, $8; 6 and under, free | Tickets must be bought in advance | Sponsored by the San Rocco di Potenza Society to benefit …

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A preview of music, film, theater, dance and more

Keeping the flame alive Andrea Falcone is a musician on a mission. He seeks neither fame nor fortune. Instead, he and the fellow members of La Tosca Italian Mambo Ensemble are dedicated to performing and preserving the folk music of Italy. Featuring master accordion, violin, mandolin, stand-up bass and guitar players, the group is co-led by Falcone’s wife, Stephanie Pielok. “We perform a repertoire from the 1850s to the 1950s: tarantella, pizzica and tammurriata from Italy but also tango, fox trot, mazurka, and the music of the Romany, including gypsy jazz,” says Falcone, a native of Milan. La Tosca will …

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IAPC to honor worthy trio

The Italian American Political Coalition will present Judge Celia G. Gamrath with its William Paca Award, Richard Caifano with its Lifetime Achievement Award and Richard Catezone with its Public Service Leadership Award at its annual Heritage Celebration on March 7 at Elmcrest Banquets in Elmwood Park. For tickets, call 708-369-2500. The following profiles were provided by the organization. Richard Caifano Lifetime Achievement Award Richard Caifano has been a leader in the legal profession and Italian-American community for nearly six decades. An attorney in private practice since 1965, he focuses on civil and criminal litigation at the trial and appellate levels. …

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Holy Week to reign at Mt. Carmel, Pompeii

Holy Week is central to the spiritual lives of Italians on both sides of the Atlantic. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish and Shrine and the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii will play their parts from Palm Sunday (March 24) to Easter Sunday (March 31). OUR LADY OF MT. CARMEL (Melrose Park) will celebrate Mass with the distribution of palms at 7:45 a.m. and noon in English and at 10:30 a.m. in Italian on Palm Sunday; Mass of the Last Supper in English and Italian and the washing of feet at 6 p.m. and adoration of the Altar of …

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Mt. Carmel to host Lenten Fish Fry

As long as you’re abstaining from meat during Lent, you might as well have some fun while you’re at it at the Lenten Fish Fry at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Melrose Park. Hosted by the St. Anthony Society and slated for 5:30-8:30 p.m. on March 8 in the school gym, the event will feature fish and chips, coleslaw, corn on the cob, coffee, soda and sweets, as well as live entertainment, raffles and St. Anthony items for sale. Donations are $20 for adults and $12 for children under 12, with wine and beer available for an additional …

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Salvi’s baseball prowess earns a NIASHF nod

Chicago attorney Patrick A. Salvi was honored as Sportsman of the Year at the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony and gala in December. A founder and managing equity partner at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, Salvi also is the CEO of Salvi Sports. A lifetime baseball aficionado, Salvi bought the Gary SouthShore RailCats in 2008, owning and operating it until 2022. Under his leadership, the minor league baseball team won four division championships, had 30 players signed to MLB organizations and won the 2013 American Association Championship. Salvi later expanded his baseball holdings with the purchase of …

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North Shore couple underwrites park renaming

Highland Park’s Cloverdale Park was recently renamed Fontana-Pasquesi Park and dedicated to the many immigrants from the province of Modena in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy who settled in the northern suburb in the early 1900s and contributed significantly to the town’s history. Modena is one of Highland Park’s sister cities. The name change and dedication are the result of a donation by North Shore residents Larry and Maria (Fontana) Pasquesi, who trace their roots to both Highland Park and Modena.  

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Mishawaka stands by Columbus

More than 300 people gathered in Mishawaka, Indiana, on Oct. 8 to celebrate Columbus Day and Italian Heritage Month. A 1 p.m. ceremony at the Columbus statue in the city’s Central Park featured presentations by Mayor Dave Wood, Elkhart County Judge Mike Christofeno and St. Joseph County Assessor Rosemary Mandrici as well as representatives of local clubs from St. Joseph and Elkhart counties. Festivities continued with an Italian buffet luncheon at the DiLoreto Club, with food provided by local Italian restaurants. The event was sponsored by the DiLoreto Society, DeAmicis Italian Club, Italian American Heritage Society of Notre Dame/Michiana, Italian …

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A rare public sighting of woodwind master Cipriano

Our Good Vibes feature spotlights websites, blogs, videos and podcast from around the world that celebrate Italy’s inimitable spirit. If you have a favorite online offering you’d like to share, send it to For more, follow us on Facebook. A rare public sighting of woodwind master Gene Cipriano Gene Cipriano was a man of many talents. Able to play clarinet, saxophone, flute and oboe, he was a musical “Swiss army knife” who played on an estimated 1,000 movie and TV soundtracks, recordings and commercials over his six-decade career. “Cip” was the ultimate team player, content with being an anonymous …

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National leader praises JCCIA at year-end summit

Basil Russo was the guest of honor when the presidents of the affiliated organizations of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans gathered for a year-end summit at the Des Plaines Theatre on Nov. 14. The meeting was called by JCCIA President Ron Onesti to look back on last year’s successes and announce initiatives for 2024. Russo is the president of the Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations as well as the Italian Sons and Daughters of America. He came to Chicago to sing the praises of the JCCIA and invite its affiliates to join COPOMIAO. “The JCCIA …

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