Every year during the Festa of the Madonna di Montevergine, especially if you take part in the procession from the Hectorville Church and are present at the mass, you will surely see the Dames of the Madonna di Montevergine. They stand out as they walk in theor long flowing golden robes whilst wearing a stark red sash with golden embroidery. The photo below depicts several Dames, from left they are, Tina Mignone, Maria Rosario de-Angelo, Rosalba Scutella, Maria Mignone and Elena Russo.
Rosalba is continuing in the Dame tradition by following in her mother’s footsteps. A tradition that the Dames have kept alive since 1955, making the hour long journey from the Hectorville Church to the St Francis Assisi Church in Newton, the whole time paying homage to our most gracious lady, the Madonna.
The Dames continue a tradition that originated from the Avelino province of Campania Italy and they are very proud to be a part of the festa and its cultural and religious significance.
As I am writing this post the Festa is less than a month away but the tireless planning of this and every festival begins with the end of the last one. It’s amazing how much time and effort goes into this week long feast. It seems to grow with each year, the last one attracting about 10,000 vistors, including 20 bus-loads of pilgrims from Western Australia, Victoria, Queensland and Canberra.
There are over 85 volunteers that take part in the year long preparation and you may actually bump into one as they come door knocking in the Campbelltown Council and surrounding areas. If you do, please give a donation to support this and following festivals.