Last week, I was fortunate enough to attend a beautiful Missa Cantata of the feast of the Holy Family sung by don Francesco Ramella on the first anniversary of his ordination to the Sacred Priesthood (see NLM coverage here)
The Mass was sung in the Parish and Civic Chapel of Maria Santissima del Rosario, in Trieste, in the far north-est of Italy, whose Administrator, don Stefano Canonico, has been for many years one of the most active and generous supporters of the movement for the restoration of the extraordinary form in its full rights.
The story of this church is pretty unusual for the Italian standard.
Built between 1631 and 1635, it was consecrated in 1651.
In 1784 Emperor Joseph II of Habsburg -known as "the Emperor sacristan" for his bad habit to interfer with ecclesiastical matters- ordered to close down the chapel, as a consequence of his policy of suppressions of religious insititutions and churches.
The church of the Rosary was later sold to the Lutherans of the Augustan Confession to become the lutheran church of the city, which remained until 1869, under the name of "Church of the Most Holy Trinity". After the demolition of the former Civic Chapel, it was bought back by the Comune of Trieste to become the church of the city administration, reconciled to the Catholic worship, and used for all public religious ceremonies (e.g. funerals) commissioned by the civil authorities of the city and of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire.
The seats of the thirteen "Casade", or prominent patrician families of the city, can still be seen near the sanctuary, moved there from the previous Civic Chapel.
In 1949 the church finally became a parish.
In 2005 don Stefano Canonico begun a regular apostolate for the restoration of the Traditional Latin Mass in the city of Trieste, which has since greatly flourished and brought to his appointment as Parochial Administrator in 2009, entrusted to the spiritual care of the communities attached both to the Ordinary and the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, which he's performing with an excellent competence and taste.
The young and lively E.F. liturgical group of the parish runs also an often updated blog
The NLM will follow the developement of this very important Italian apostolate in the next months and years.