The 116th celebration of the MSS Feast, sponsored by the MSS Lodge, will be held Sunday, Aug. 16 in Norristown. Because of safety restrictions necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s feast will be modified but continue as one of the region’s longest-running ethnic festivals.
As in previous years, Mass will be celebrated in Holy Saviour Church, 407 East Main Street in Norristown, on Sunday, Aug. 16 at 11:30 a.m.
Because of social distancing measures this year, following Mass a shortened street procession will take place immediately in front of the church, pending a sufficient number of persons to carry the historic statue that replicates the one in Sciacca.
The abbreviated procession and outdoor veneration will be accompanied by traditional Italian symphonic marches played by the Verdi Band of Norristown.
Italian food will be available for takeout in the outdoor feast area of the Holy Saviour Club on East Main Street from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Participants are urged to participate at a safe distance. Those with compromised health are encouraged to stay home.
The annual feast was started by immigrants from the town of Sciacca, Sicily who settled in the East End of Norristown in the early 20th century. Along with their desire for a new life in America, they brought their religious traditions and simple faith.
Among them was devotion to the Mother of Jesus Christ under the title “Madonna del Soccorso,” which means “Our Lady of Prompt Help.” The citizens of Sciacca believed the Blessed Mother and her intercession ended the famous Black Plague in the town 500 years ago, and their descendants who came to Norristown made a vow never to forget the heavenly assistance their people received.
“Now more than ever, this feast has great meaning,” said Msgr. John C. Marine, spiritual advisor of the MSS Society.
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103