Growing up in southern Italy, in the Catania region, my grandmother--Anna Francis Zocco--was raised in a household of Roman Catholics. She had a good life in Sicily, yet her parents were unsatisfied there. In a time when immigration was on the rise, like many others, they wanted to fulfill the ‘American Dream.’ Even before they had left Sicily in 1949, my grandmother had always relied on her faith in order to help her through difficult times. In this case, she was really going to need her faith to keep her spirits high, and help her understand the point of this excursion to America. As the Zocco family made their way to America, my grandmother used her rosary beads every day. She would first pray, and then do the ‘Hail Mary’ to finish off her now daily ritual. As they arrived, she continued this tradition, making her faith, and her experience in America all the better.
– Jacqueline Stevens