Wooster Square Tour
St. Andrew the Apostle Society
515 Chapel Street
St. Andrew’s Society Feast leaving St. Michael’s Church, c. 1930s. Courtesy Joe Taylor.
In 1900, Italian male immigrants to New Haven from the town of Amalfi formed the St. Andrew the Apostle Society named after Amalfi’s patron saint. The society provided members with a forum to gather and to share memories about their heritage, and it also sponsored a mutual aid program to cover the misfortunes of illness and death. As members assimilated in their new homeland, the society’s role broadened to include civic and community responsibility. The society made substantial contributions to St. Michael’s, the mother church of Connecticut Italians. They also supported charities in New Haven and Italy, beginning with a major contribution to victims of the 1908 Calabrian-Sicilian earthquake. A plaque on the historic Wooster Square Green, near the society’s headquarters, attests to those who served during war time and lost their lives fighting for America.
Since its inception the St. Andrew Society has celebrated the liturgical feast day of St. Andrew with an annual open-air festival at the end of June. Over the years, the celebration has grown to attract thousands of people of many ethnic backgrounds. The society also spearheaded a “sister city” relationship between New Haven and Amalfi, which conducts annual student, cultural and sports exchanges. Meetings are held in the former St. Louis Church Rectory.
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