Saturday, November 19, 2016

A walk through Norcia today

My friend Emanuele, the owner of ABC Online, the shop where I got all my internet/computer work done, made this video of Norcia today, from the Porta Ascolana, past the destroyed Sta. Maria Addolorata church, past the destroyed Basilica of San Benedetto, past my beloved Enoteca, into the little piazza where that video was made of me running through the rubble and yellow dust, and down the main strip and out the Porta Romana.

This is my town, and I want to go home.

I'd rather live in a tent in the ruins of Cair Paravel than in the new suburbs of Mordor.


If you can, please consider making a donation to Emanuele to get the shop up and running again in temporary mobile accommodations. He is the author of an initiative to get all of Norcia's businesses - the little mom n' pop places that sell the sausages as well as the farm produce, the shoes, the hardware, the clothes and linens... and all the stuff that makes a town function. He's kind of the communications guy for the town, and he knows that telecommunications are central to getting Norcia functioning as a town once again, and making it possible for all of us displaced by the terremoti to go home.

Donate to ABC Online, via Paypal here.



Anonymous said...

Having visited the city last year I was distressed to see the damage. The fact that the churches seem the worst hit gives one pause for thought.

On Ann Barnhardt's comment that no-one in the city joined the monks in saying the rosary during the earthquake; might it be said in their defence that no-one knew the rosary or how to say it and most people did not even know what it was, and had never had an opportunity to do these things thanks to the local Church?


G. Thomas Fitzpatrick said...

It tears at the heart to see the town so given over to men in hard hats and construction equipment. Even the buildings that don't look too bad are shuttered.
Quomodo sedet sola civitas!

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

Well, I was there, and it is mostly true that the people in the piazza didn't join in for the most part. But there are a few qualifying remarks to make:

FIrst and most important, it is not possible to see into another person's heart and know what his interior relationship with the Lord really is. It is easy to be deceived by appearances, and it is easy to use your own personal standards to judge another. That is a serious trap to fall into, especially for people who are more regular in their practice of the Church's devotional life.

Second, there were people praying who did not come and kneel down. I walked around a bit listening to people in the piazza and they were praying, so Ann's interlocutor might have missed this, esp. if he or she was kneeling down and praying. People can pray on the inside too. And it's true that modern Catholics often don't know the standard devotional prayers that traditional Catholics kind of take for granted.

Third, the piazza was mostly full of people who had been in the hotels. The inner part of the city wasn't heavily populated any more since the quakes had driven many people out. A lot of the people who were with us (for about five hours until the firemen cleared the rubble from the main road so we could walk out) were not locals. We met many many more of our local friends outside the walls where there is a large park next to the Porta Romana.

Fourth, Italians like to talk. Talking to their friends, even lamenting and wailing a bit and saying, "Mamma Mia!" makes them feel better. I know it's not much, but the Faith really does still live, at least as a little pilot light, in many if not most Italian souls, and especially with the older people. There is Faith in Norcia. It needs to be fanned into life and it isn't something that happens on a dime, even a big loud scary dime.

At the risk of sounding too much like a certain prelate in white, I'd recommend a little moderate mercy. This is n't a good time to be flogging people for their weaknesses.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

... Also, it being 7:40 in the morning on a Sunday, many of the local people who would have been in the piazza later - shop and bar and tabacchi owners, weren't there yet. And the vigili del fuoco closed the city really quickly.

- also-also, when the Rosary is finished, you talk. you walk around and chat, and drink bottled water and eat the buns the hotel brought you, and you try your best to cheer each other up. You make a few lame jokes, you tell each other encouraging things. And you call your friends and relatives to tell them you're OK. These things are natural and human, and blameless.