Reception Held at Casa Italiana
for Founders of CISC Inc.
A reception to thank the "Founders" of Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center Inc. for their continued support was held this weekend in the Casa Italiana Hall. The guests were welcomed by Fr. Sergio Dall'Agnese, new Pastor of Holy Rosary Church, and President Francesco Isgro, who noted CISC's many accomplishments in its short existence. He then introduced Ciro DeFalco as the new Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Elizabeth Di Gregorio, our volunteer director of the Italian American Museum of Washington DC (IAMDC), who gave brief remarks
On behalf of the Lido Civic Club, President Rich DiPippo and past president Phil Finelli, presented a $20,000 donation to CISC Inc., and $10,000 to the Casa Italiana Language School. President Isgro also announced that Commendatore Robert Facchina, who was unable to attend, has made a generous pledge to help establish a new grant program for college students to carry out research and other projects that further the mission of CISC and IAMDC. At the conclusion, President Isgro was presented with a special award by General Paolo Ruggiero, Italian Army Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, for his contributions toward Italian relations.
Fr. Sergio Dall'Agnese, New Corporate Chairman
Fr. Andrei Zanon Transferred to NYC
The CISC Corporate Board of Directors recently welcomed Fr. Sergio Dall'Agnese and elected him as the new Chairman of the CISC Inc. Corporate Board.
Fr. Sergio Dall'Agnese is not new to the Washington DC Metropolitan area having served in Riverdale Park, MD from 2005 to 2014. While serving as pastor of Holy Rosary Parish, Fr. Sergio will continue as the Representative of SIMN (Scalabrini International Migration Network) of the Province of St. Charles. At a welcoming ceremony held at Casa Italiana, CISC Inc. President Francesco Isgro, pledged the full support of our organization. The reception at Casa Italiana, was also an opportunity to say thank you and arrivederci to Fr. Andrei Zanon who has been transferred to New York to take a new position with the Center of Migration Studies. During the reception, President Isgro also congratulated Maria Marigliano on her 45th anniversary as choir director and organist at Holy Rosary Church, a" lifetime achievement."
Fr. Andrei Zanon, New Corporate Chairman,
Ciro DeFalco New Chairman of Board of Directors
The CISC Board of Directors recently welcomed Fr. Andrei Zanon as the new Chairman of the Corporate Board. Fr. Andrei, whose ancestors migrated from Italy to Brazil, is the new Administrator of Holy Rosary Church, and "he brings much energy and enthusiasm to our community," said President Francesco Isgro. Congratulations to Board Member Ciro DeFalco, who was elected Chairman of the Board. Ciro has had a long and distinguished career in international finance and development, and who, as Executive Vice President of the International Development Bank, essentially served as its chief operating officer. "We are grateful for Ciro's wisdom and leadership," said Isgro.
Marconi Project 4-minute clip of the interview
with Joe Novello former NASA scientist and engineer
CISC President Interviewed by #WeTheItalians
CISC Inc. President Francesco Isgro, was recently interviewed by Umberto Mucci of WeTheItalians.
"There are almost twenty museums of Italian emigration to America, and another one has recently been inaugurated. It is part of a wonderful complex in the US Capital, Washington DC....." WeTheItalians
A Warm Welcome to Fr. Pietro Paolo Polo
and Fr. Andrei Zanon
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center, Inc. and our Italian and ItalianAmerican community we'd like to give a warm welcome to Fr. Pietro Paolo Polo and Fr. Andrei Zanon, our new pastors at Holy Rosary Church. READ MORE
CISC Inc. President Honored by Italian Government
CISC Inc. President & CEO Francesco Isgro was honored with the title of Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia (Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy) by the Italian government at a covid-restricted official ceremony held on February 17 at the Embassy of Italy. Minister Plenipotentiary Catherine Flumiani, bestowed upon him the title, along with First Counselor Domenico Bellantone. READ MORE
Our Farewell Message to Fr. Ezio Marchetto
On behalf of the Board of the Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center and our Founders, congratulations Fr. Ezio on your new assignment and thank you for all that you have done for our community.
When you arrived nearly 8 years ago, Holy Rosary Church was at the beginning of a huge construction project that transformed the foot print of the church and Casa Italiana. Through it all, you led by example. We have seen you work hard and diligently. You delegated and placed your trust in us, and you guided us -- and together we achieved many accomplishments.
At the same time, you demonstrated a spiritual leadership that has drawn our community closer together. It was thanks to your vision and support that we established our nonprofit organization with the clear mission of conducting and promoting cultural activities at Casa Italiana and in the Washington area. It was thanks to your dream of a museum to show and preserve our Italian-American legacy, and exhibit and promote our arts and culture -- that we now have the Italian American Museum of Washington DC, right next door.
Thanks to you and the confidence you placed in our Board of Directors, in just two years we were able to make those dreams a reality. The Italian American Museum of Washington DC will forever be a testament to your vision and the support of many community members.
On a more personal level, it was an honor to work with you also on our community paper, Voce Italiana for so many years, and I thank you for your commitment to producing a quality newspaper to inform the community and beyond.
Fr. Ezio -- We wish you a smooth transition and much success in your new position. We will miss you and we look forward to your future visits – including a special gathering when we can celebrate your accomplishments with our entire community.
--Francesco Isgro, President & CEO
Pictured above, Fr. Ezio Marchetto, with CISC Inc. Founder Joe Bruno, and Francesco Isgro
Fr. Ezio Marchetto, Pastor of Holy Rosary Church and Chairman of Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center Inc. Assigned to New Position in New York City
Message to the community from Fr. Marchetto:
"Anno nuovo, vita nuova.”
We are all familiar with this Italian expression proclaimed at the beginning of a new year. This year, it takes on a deeper meaning as a major change will take place at Holy Rosary. The good news is that starting in the month of February, two priests will be staffing Holy Rosary parish; the other part of this news is that I will not be one of them. By the end of January, I will leave the parish to assume new responsibilities with my religious congregation. I have been appointed as Provincial Bursar, and to properly serve in this capacity, I will be residing at the Provincial House in New York City, in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan, next door to Our Lady of Pompeii Church. READ MORE
Buon Natale and Happy New Year
Dear Supporters and Friends,
As we close out this challenging year, I am pleased to announce that it was also a very productive year at the Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center Inc. We completed and inaugurated the Robert A. Facchina Italian American Museum of Washington DC (IAMDC), and on December 15, we held a small symbolic inauguration ceremony with our donor, Robert A. Facchina. We hope that you will be able to join us for the grand opening sometime in 2021.
Below is the December 2020 issue of Voce Italiana, which covers the IAMDC’s inauguration, the visit of H.E. Wilton Cardinal Gregory, the elevation of H.E Silvano Cardinal Tomasi, and more.
On behalf of the Chairman and Board of Directors, I want to thank you again for supporting our mission. We wish you and your families a Merry Christmas season and a safe, healthy, and happy New Year.
Francesco Isgro, President & CEO
Calling it an “an historic day for our Italian and Italian American community,” on December 15, 2020, CISC President Francesco Isgro, together with CISC Chair Fr. Ezio Marchetto, Italian Embassy First Counselor Domenico Bellantone, & donor Commendatore Robert Facchina cut the ribbon at the inauguration of the Italian American Museum of Washington DC (IAMDC). Due to covid-19 restrictions the event was limited to 10 people.
Italian Ambassador Armando Varricchio congratulated the CISC Museum Committee at a luncheon earlier at Villa Firenze and stressed the key role of people and culture in our Italy-US relations, as well as "the contributions that Italians and Italian Americans have made in the nation’s capital.”
Thank you to the museum committee members, Fr. Ezio Marchetto, Francesco Isgro, Elizabeth DiGregorio, and Anna Isgro, and to all who contributed to making IAMDC a reality.
Hope you can join us for the grand opening in 2021.
2020 Fall Letter to Founders and Supporters
Dear Founders and Supporters,
We hope you are all well, despite this challenging pandemic period. We would like to report that lots of exciting things have been taking place at Casa Italiana during the past few months, thanks to our active, all-volunteer Board members and other community volunteers. Here’s a brief update on the status of our projects at Casa Italiana.
Italian American Museum of Washington DC (IAMDC)
The dream of Fr. Ezio Marchetto to create a museum devoted to the Italian American community in the nation’s capital is becoming a reality. Installation is underway on exhibits for the Robert A. Facchina Italian American Museum of Washington DC, in three small but beautiful spaces in the new building. Our museum team includes Board Member Liz DiGregorio, and Anna Isgro, together with CISC Chairman Fr. Ezio Marchetto and CEO Francesco Isgro. We will also have two gallery areas on the fourth floor to display and promote local Italian American artists; Liz and Anna have solicited and already received a number of art donations from local artists. READ MORE
CISC Inc. Launches #WeAreOneCommunity Coronavirus Emergency Fund Campaign
As the coronavirus continues to challenge our country medically and financially, Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center, Inc. (CISC) has set up an emergency fund to help members of our Italian and Italian-American community in the Washington, D.C. area who find themselves in financial distress.
These are extraordinary times and even though we are blessed to live in a fairly stable economic area, many in our immediate community lack the financial resources to support themselves and their families during the prolonged lock down.
For this reason, CISC has established the #WeAreOneCommunity Coronavirus Emergency Fund to collect donations through this GoFundMe account. Our Coronavirus Charity Committee (CCC) is establishing specific guidelines for identifying affected individuals and disbursing all the funds directly to the recipients. The guiding principle is to give precedence to community members in the front lines, such as medical workers and first responders.
The CCC is chaired by CISC Board Member Dennis Santoli, Esq. Members of the CCC are currently: Vincenzo (Enzo) Fragomeni, Eileen Parise, Willy Meaux, and Maria Marigliano. The Committee is working with the support of Holy Rosary Church (the national Italian parish) and representatives of our local Italian and Italian-American organizations to help identify individuals in need.
“In this unprecedented time, we hope everyone can donate an amount they feel comfortable with, so that we can provide some relief to those in our community who truly need our support during this pandemic,” said CISC President, Francesco Isgro’.
Thank you in advance for whatever support you can give.
Plans Underway for the Robert Facchina
Italian American Museum of Washington DC (IAMDC)
Plans for conceptualizing and designing the new CISC Italian American Museum of Washington DC (IAMDC) are proceeding smoothly. The opening is tentatively scheduled for later this year but is dependent on the pace of construction on the new building.
Exhibits will eventually occupy the lobby areas in the new building and Casa Italiana. The first floor lobby will be dedicated to the legacy that Italians and Italian Americans have left in the design, construction and beautification of Washington DC. The second floor lobby will recount the lives, struggles and successes of immigrants to the area. The history of Holy Rosary Church and the community around it will be the focus of the third floor lobby, and the fourth floor lobby will be an exhibition area, showing works of art created by local Italians and Italian Americans.
The IAMDC planning team (Fr. Ezio Marchetto, Francesco Isgro, Elizabeth DiGregorio, Anna Isgro, and museum designer David Friedberg), shown below, has engaged the services of DFDesignStudio, which has worked with a number of major museums in DC, to help plan and design the IAMDC spaces and create a consistent branding strategy.
This exquisite mosaic “Madonna con Bambino” was gifted to to the CISC, Inc. Robert A. Facchina Italian American Museum of Washington, DC (IAMDC) by
Brett Rugo, president of Rugo Stone. The mosaic was created by renowned mosaicist Matteo Randi in 2018, and was made using Venetian smalti (glass) and gold. Rugo Stone is a natural stone and mosaic contracting company located in Lorton, Va.
The Marconi project is an effort by the Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center to capture the memories and experiences of Italian immigrants in the greater Washington D.C. area. By sharing their rich history and stories we plan to preserve those memories digitally and make them available for generations to come. Read more
At Casa Italiana Language School, we believe learning the Italian language and culture should be fun. With courses designed to engage our students and let them learn effortlessly, Casa Italiana promises to deliver an experience beyond the basic process of learning. Read more
Casa Italiana Language School/Ente Promotore e` un'organizzazione senza scopo di lucro il cui obiettivo consiste nel promuovere lo studio della lingua e cultura italiana nella circoscrizione consolare di Washington D.C. Read more
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CISC Founders Honored at Reception;
Robert Facchina Announces Donation To Fund Italian American Museum of DC (IAMDC)
A cocktail reception was held on Saturday September 22 honoring donors to the Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center’s Capital Founders Fund. The donors have donated or pledged to donate $5,000 to support ongoing and future operations of Casa Italiana.
Dr. Joseph Lupo, the outgoing President of the Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center (CISC) welcomed the over 70 guests to the reception and thanked the Board members for their work since the CISC was formally established in June 2017. READ MORE
Francesco Isgro and Robert Facchina sign gift agreement