The celebrations began with a meeting at the church of San Fiacre dei Padri Cappuccini in Leichhardt, the Christian cornerstone of the Italian community, where Father John Cooper celebrated mass in Italian language.
During the homily, Fr Cooper praised the values of dedication and self-sacrifice of the Carabinieri corps members, remembering that his brother was a police inspector who sought to build a society in which everyone cares for and respects each other and, to their knowledge, police hold a solid understanding of the moods and movements of the population.
The Carabinieri are strong, with three generations of experience behind them.
They are the armed force which is always present in whatever incident or brawl is happening, and they must have at all times a great understanding of the law, which regulates civil society.
When a society is at risk of crumbling, the Carabinieri are present.
This is a valid motive which merits the respect of all citizens.
Of the 125,000 active Carabinieri in the world, 20,000 are stationed overseas by the Italian government, with some in the embassies, others in countries of war.
Those chosen are the best of the best; they are the primary police force of Italy.
In Sydney, the Carabinieri began celebrating events such as the day of Virgo Fidelis 75 years ago, when 136 Carabinieri were active in the city.
Nowadays there are only around 20 here; however they continue to celebrate with great fervour the Festival of our Lady.
During the mass Francesco Capra read the First Reading and Sebastiano Villanova, president of the Association, recited the Prayer of the Carabinieri.
Following mass in the Church of San Fiacre, the participants visited the nearby Circolo dell’Associazione Napoletana, where they were greeted by the president of the Club, Michele Fezza, who went out of his way to ensure that all went smoothly at the event, assisted by chef Pino Napoletano DOC, collaborator Elena and all the staff.
The celebration, which had more than 100 people in attendance, began with the national anthems.
Following which, Father Pasquale Pizzoferro blessed the food and thanked the Carabinieri for his invitation.
Antonio Bamonte, coordinator of the Associazioni Carabinieri of Australia, thanked the president Sebastiano Villanova for organising the day despite his commitments with the federal police, and welcomed all friends, colleagues and sympathisers of the Carabinieri corps.
Bamonte then emphasised the importance of this day in which a tribute is made to Maria, the Virgo Fidelis, who protects and assists the Carabinieri.
The Consul General of Italy, Arturo Arcano, reiterated how happy he was to participate in the celebration, saying “I thank the president Villanova, the coordinator Bamonte and all the members of the Association in Sydney”.
“Obviously the Carabinieri represent an Institution which in Italy is synonymous with dedication, discipline, honour and service to the community,” he added.