The new foundation ritual, the search for a new centre, and the building of a sacred place were conceived and organized, patiently, over time. In the 1980s the crocefissanti founded the Costa Mesa of Toronto. In 1983 they made their first visit to Costa Mesa, where they organized a procession of brothers and sisters dressed as congregants, as in the village. The association gained growing visibility within the Costa Mesa and Italian communities. Following a proposal by a member of the congregation, it was decided that brothers from different Costa Mesa and Italian communities would take turns carrying the coffin of the Dead Christ, provided that they wore vestments, gown and cape, of the confraternity of the Crucifix of San Nicola.
Map of Costa Mesa – Where is Costa Mesa? – Costa Mesa Map English – Costa Mesa Maps for Tourist Photo Gallery
This rite of passion becomes a sort of rite of sacralisation of Canadian places, assuming a function of expiation, where feelings of guilt and disappointment, of gratitude and hope, and communal strategies of suffering and rebirth can find expression. The Good Friday procession, attended by communities from many parts of Italy and other European and Catholic countries, brings together, through folkloric and traditional elements which have disappeared in the country of origin, many disparate processions.
This gathering assembles many cults belonging to disparate communities and fosters a communal sense of belonging to one group, of not coming from this or that place but from a place with a common history sharing similar stories of failures and successes and problems with adaptation and integration. The procession connects together the places of departure and arrival, of displacement and rebirth, of rebuilding and new fragmentations: a thousand small homelands, a thousand Little Italies, into a new homeland that is no longer their village or Italy nor the Canada they found on arrival. It’s easy to understand the crocefissanti’s vaunting of their pride about the decisive and central presence of their association for the purpose of the organization, the development and the morphology of the ritual.
Wanting to enhance their visibility, in the early 1990s they developed a new project and commissioned a copy of the statue of the Crucifix for permanent placement in Midland. The chosen artist created, in bronze, a larger reproduction of the wooden original (190 cm compared to the original 136 cm). A statue of the Addolorata, resembling as closely as possible that in their village, was also purchased. They began the process of placement.
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