News & Culture in Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Points Nearby
January 28, 2021
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News + Views

Sacred March, Carroll Gardens

By Lisa M. Collins
Photos by Joshua Kristal.

Every year, the Italian-American community travels from far and wide to Carroll Gardens for the procession of Our Lady of Sorrows, the patron saint of Mola di Bari, Italy. It’s the only such event in the United States, an Old World vestige in modern Brooklyn.

The march winds through Carroll Gardens for four hours, followed by a fireworks display in front of Sacred Heart St. Stephens Catholic Church (the oldest Italian Catholic church in Brooklyn), located at Summit and Hicks streets (at the end of 1st Place), and a mass in Italian.

The march begins at Sacred Heart on Sunday, Sept. 11, at 4 p.m., and ends there at 8 p.m.

The procession is a mirror of the event that takes place every year in Mola di Bari, Italy, a beautiful coastal town on the Adriatic Sea. Thousands of immigrants came from Mola to Carroll Gardens in the 1960s. The celebration, the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, venerates Maria Adolorata, the patron saint of Mola di Bari, who is in mourning after the death of Jesus.

The film above shows the Good Friday procession in 2011, in Carroll Gardens.

Parade organizers say they are quite pleased that newer community residents have been walking along with as well as watching the parade.

All are welcome, said John Heyer, funeral director at Scotto’s Funeral Home.

“Our Lady of Sorrow is an example of the pain and suffering we feel when we loose someone we love. She shows us that it is appropriate to mourn while at the same time never losing our faith,” Heyer said.

For the route, visit

Related South Brooklyn Post Stories:

Italian Club: Pride, Place, War

Mama Maria: Carroll Gardens



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