July 2023: On July 13, 2023 Mrs. Patrizia Berardi kindly invited the Supreme Council representatives to her home to discuss a second lodge in Rome. With the help of Carmelo Cutuli, the two are building a Catholic-based lodge of young professionals and entrepreneurs based in Vatican City.
This became more than a visit, but rather, a beginning to a significant relationship. All who attended bacame the first to sign the charter for this new lodge, creating both a historic experience and the first time in the Order's history that Americans signed a charter for a new lodge in Italy.
August 2023 National Convention Florida
New presidents Carmelo, Tiberio and Patricia and many Italian lodge members joined us by zoom and all shared a little bit and Carmelo said this:
Thank you for the warm welcome and for giving me the opportunity to give my address to this biennial convention of the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America. It is an honor to stand before you today as a proud member of our Order.
First and foremost, I want to express my deep gratitude for the trust granted me by my fellow brethren and leadership. It is with great pride and commitment that I stand here today as I worked so hard to introduce OSDIA in Italy for the very first time in over a century of its existence. This endeavor has been a personal commitment for me, and I am thrilled to see the progress we have made so far.
I am delighted to announce that we currently have three lodges in Italy, with a total of about 90 members. You can see us, finally, as the Italian branch of your family. This asset is consolidating, and soon we will expand our presence even further into Northern Italy. Achieving these results has not been an easy task, but I am immensely proud of what we have accomplished together.
I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the new line of Italian leadership that is emerging within OSDIA. Among them, I want to particularly acknowledge my old good friend Tiberio, President of the Palermo Lodge, and Patrizia, the President-elect of the new "Pantheon" Lodge in Rome. Their dedication and commitment have contributed to our current success and represents a strong guarantee for our future growth!
As you may know, my recent book on Sellaro and the Sons of Italy has been published. Some of you may also recall my efforts in promoting the donation of Sellaro's portrait to our national headquarters and organizing various meetings in the Italian Parliament to raise awareness of his legacy. As a Sicilian, albeit transplanted to Rome, I take great pride in upholding this tradition. I really hope that my contribution in reestablishing ties with our motherland, following in the path traced by founder Sellaro, has been valuable for the Italian American community at large. For sure, I humbly pledge to continue my efforts to further consolidate OSDIA's operations in Italy.
Together, we will continue building bridges, fostering cultural exchange, and strengthening the bonds between Italy and the United States. Our shared heritage and common values unite us, and through OSDIA, we can make a lasting impact on both sides of the Atlantic.
Thank you all for your support and for being part of this incredible journey that is letting us move forward with determination and unity as we pave the way for a vibrant OSDIA experience in Italy.
Thank you, and long live the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America!