| Italian Catholic Federation
celebrates its 90th year
Interested in the gala, convention or in finding a branch near you?
The Italian Catholic Federation, founded 90 years ago to uphold and develop the religious spirit among its members and to spread that spirit throughout the community, celebrates its birthday this month with three gala celebrations.
Closest to home is in San Francisco, where more than 300 people will gather June 22 for Mass at Immaculate Conception Church, where the federation was founded, to be followed by food and fellowship — two hallmarks of the organization — at the Basque Social Hall.
There's already a waiting list for the gala, said Lisa Crudo, ways and means chair. But get on the list.
Crudo, as chair of the event at all three sites, will be attending each one. "I love it," she said. "I love going to different events."
Proceeds from the gala in San Francisco, as well as galas in Los Angeles and Chicago, will benefit the Sir Luigi and Lady Augusta Providenza Seminary Scholarship Fund, which supports the education of seminarians in the districts of the ICF.
"We're hoping the money we raise will support our Providenza Fund," Crudo said.
ICF's devotion to supporting seminarians also shows in the annual burse presented to each bishop. Crudo said the more than two dozen Alameda and Contra Costa branches gave Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, a spiritual bouquet and a seminary burse of $4,500; the ICF central council added $2,500 to that gift. The presentation was made at Our Lady of Grace Church in Castro Valley in early March.
Crudo's parents were among the charter members of the branch at Our Lady of Grace Church. She describes herself as not quite a charter member, joining when she returned to the area after college.
Over the years, she has been active not only in branch activities, but as a member of the central committee.
Among her favorite facets of ICF membership is the charitable outreach the organization conducts, on a local and national level. The ICF nationally supports treatment and research on Cooley's anemia, also known as thalassemia, which affects people of Mediterranean descent. The research is conducted at Children's Hospital in Oakland.
Through Gifts of Love, the ICF assists people with developmental disabilities. ICF branches also offer scholarships to students moving from eighth-grade to high school, as well as high school graduates.
Among the business keeping local branches busy this summer is preparation for hosting the national convention, which will be held Labor Day weekend in Oakland. Six hundred delegates are expected.
The only strict requirement for membership in ICF is that one has to be Catholic, Crudo said.
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