Fr. John Papallo Lodge #2684

Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America (OSDIA)

Enrico J. Annichiarico

President

 

                                                                                                                        March 29, 2020          

                                                                                                                    

Brothers and Sisters, 

            I hope that you and your family are healthy and safe as we face this difficult time.  Indeed this crisis presents challenges that not only threaten our physical health but also test our ability to cope with the fear, anxiety and sense of isolation and depression that it invokes. 

             Without question, this new reality that now confronts us requires us to make adjustments that run counter to our common social practices.  We are an ethnic group that enjoys family gatherings, visiting and sharing good food and good times with friends.  We place importance on showing respect for our elders and we hug and kiss relatives and friends, old and new, when we meet them.  But for now, all that has changed.  We can no longer visit or welcome visitors into our homes or dine out with family or friends and we have to maintain social distance wherever we go.  For some, it could even mean quarantine from one’s immediate family. 

             Granted, these adjustments might make us feel awkward and uncomfortable.  However, they are proven methods to protect ourselves, our families and each other from serious consequences and must be observed.  But take heart, this too will pass.  On the bright side, this period of adversity is an opportunity for us to engage in activities that are therapeutic and relaxing.  They also provide a diversion from the constant barrage of negative news coverage on the Coronavirus pandemic.

             Certainly, the news reporting on the issue is important and educational but we need to take some time to smell the roses and enjoy some of the simple things in life.  I am sure that our members have thought of many positive ideas on how to pass the time.  I think that it is important to remember that our mental and emotional health is just as important as our physical health, especially during this trying period. 

             As you are aware, the NYS Grand Lodge has suspended all meetings and events of any kind that are under the auspices of OSDIA until further notice.  Also, it was necessary to change the date of the New York State Convention to September 17 thru 20, 2020.  I will provide you with periodic updates as they become available. 

             Though our meetings have been suspended, the business of the Lodge continues.  We are now accepting applications for the Fr. John Papallo Lodge Scholarships.  Please note that the submission deadline posted on our Lodge Website has been extended to April 30th, however, we will allow some flexibility since school closings have made it difficult for applicants to contact teachers for letters of support and to obtain school transcripts.  Please mail the applications to: Rick Annichiarico, 159 Old Willets Path, Smithtown, NY 11787.  They will be forwarded to the Scholarship Committee.

             For your information, the deadline for the OSDIA NYS Grand Lodge Scholarships also has been extended to April 30th.  Please check Website for the Application and mailing information.

            I am now looking into the possibility of conducting our Lodge Council Meetings by telephone conference.  I hope that it will not be too long before we are able to conduct lodge business in person and to enjoy lodge activities together.  Until then, we must try to navigate this crisis as best we can.  

            The Roman Philosopher Seneca once said: “The good things of prosperity are to be wished, but the good things that belong to adversity are to be admired.”  Indeed, there is much to be admired in the efforts of the scientific and medical community to halt the spread of the Coronavirus.  And let us not forget the military, first responders, police officers, nurses and hospital workers, home care-givers, public works employees, food service workers, truck drivers, tradespeople, essential service workers and many other groups, organizations and individuals who are contributing to the welfare and safety of our citizens.

             I have no doubt that many members of our Lodge are giving of themselves to help individuals and families to endure this crisis. One example is the attached e-mail that I received from our new 1st Vice-President, Josette Villano.  Josette was a member of the Fr. John Papallo Lodge for a number of years.  She was an active member who served on several Lodge committees.  Josette took a hiatus to spend more time with her family as a single working Mom.  She recently was reinstated and has come forward to take the position of 1st Vice President of the Lodge.

             As you read Josette’s message, you will appreciate how fortunate we are to have her on the Council.  She is upbeat, positive, giving and she is anxious to prepare herself for the opportunity to become a future Lodge President.  Also, I would like to thank our Lodge member Barbara Iannuzzi- Prass for accepting the position of 2nd Vice-President,  Barbara brings organizational experience to the position and is an excellent candidate to assume eventual leadership of the Lodge.

             I mention these two competent women because by assuming their new roles they have helped to secure the future of our lodge, which faced possible suspension because of our inability to fill the positions of President and Vice-President.  As a Charter Member and Past President of this Lodge, I could not allow that to happen.

             Therefore, one of my primary objectives as Lodge President was to fill the Vice-President   positions with candidates who would commit to accepting the position of leadership of the Lodge when my term of office is completed.  Given unforeseen circumstances, I am confident that Josette and Barbara will honor their commitment to accept a nomination for Lodge President in the future. 

 

            I extend my congratulations and appreciation to all our Council members who will do their part to advance our Lodge goals to promote the Italian language and Culture, provide scholarships to deserving students and to support our charitable endeavors and civic initiatives.  I am humbled by the Council’s unanimous pledge to support my administration as we work to achieve these goals.  Together we will continue to make the Fr John Papallo Lodge #2684 a vital entity in OSDIA and the Kings Park Community. 

                       Please continue to practice the health and safety precautions that have been recommended by the medical experts.   My thanks to Ron Roth for e-mailing information about the symptoms and precautions relating to the Coronavirus.   

             Finally, I thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time. Though we still face some challenges, let us take comfort in the knowledge that better times are coming.  

             God bless and protect you.  I look forward to seeing you soon.

                     Fraternally,

             Rick Annichiarico

Lodge President

 

                631-724-3697

           anni@optonline.net