A Search for Faith, Family, and Miracles
by Justin Calanoso

Posts Tagged ‘cousins’

Bigger family, smaller world

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

Last night, we hosted a special guest at our home – Thiago Catanoso, a 29-year-old computer expert for an America-based software company who lives in Sao Paolo, Brazil. In that South American country, there are scores of Catanosos who, like the Catanosos in America, trace their roots back a few generations to Calabria in the toe of the boot of Italy.

Thiago CatanosoThiago’s great-great grandparents emigrated from Chorio in 1903, a year before my grandfather left the same tiny Calabrian village (also the birthplace of the future saint to whom we all share a common bloodline). One of his Brazilian uncles, Jose Carlos Catanoso, returned to Reggio di Calabria several years ago to meet his Italian relatives for the first time, and learn also about Padre Gaetano. Jose Carlos and his wife, Maria, returned, as we did, to attend the canonization in St. Peter’s Square in October 2005.

Last evening, we had a wonderful visit with Thiago, who was at the end of a business trip for his employer that took him first to Miami (we “met” online earlier this year when he contacted me by email). We shared family stories and family photos and spoke about our lives in America and Brazil. His father and wife called during the visit to say hello from the southern hemisphere. To our knowledge, this is the first time that American and Brazilian branches of the Catanoso family have ever met.

The world feels like a smaller place today, but I know now that I have a bigger family.

Sacred relics

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Relics are an important part of the Catholic faith, and an important part of the prayer life of true believers. In this video, shot in Calabria and North Carolina by my friend and filmmaker Michael Frierson, I talk about the relics relating to Padre Gaetano Catanoso. Several sacred relics from the saint were given to me as gifts from my Italian relatives — including one believed to have been involved in a healing miracle in Reggio Calabria