Casa Colombo Book: Six Who Made a Difference in Jersey City
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"Contentment lies not in the enjoyment of ease - a life of luxury - but comes only to him that labors and overcomes - to him that performs the task in hand and reaps the satisfaction of work well done."
This Oscar Wilde quote aptly captures the spirit of this project, and especially of the people you learn more about through this collection of profiles. Some are Italian immigrants who arrived in the early 20th century; others are children or grandchildren of Italian immigrants who arrived earlier. Their pursuits vary: family physician, social worker, judge, business owner, Catholic bishop, arts leader. Yet the common thread across these different expression of humanitarian and civic work is that each directed their interests and passions toward supporting the people of Hudson County and beyond.
As you read, you'll pick up on recurring themes: A willingness to challenge the status quo, and to take calculated risks; to rebuild outdated or dysfunctional structures. A push toward including vs. excluding. An impulse to serve the common good. You will detect parallels you may not have thought possible across worlds of law, medicine, immigrant and refugee work, human and social services, and arts and culture. We hope that this volume can help the reader reflect upon their own power to deploy skills and talents to drive positive change.
This project was made possible through the support of Hudson County Partnership Program (HCHPP) sponsored by the Office of Culture & Heritage Affairs, and would not have been fully realized without the time, knowledge, and recollections contributed by a generous community. We acknowledge with gratitude: Anita Apruzzese, John Beekman, Albert Capo, Guy Catrillo, Carmine Colasurdo, Maureen Crowley, John DiGenio, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, William and Suzanne La Rosa, Michael Ricciardone, Yolanda Keahey, Joanne Weiss, and Arthur Zampella.
While researching this project, we heard about other unsung heroes who do not appear on these pages. We thank each of them for their contributions, and each of you, who is working to build a stronger, more resilient Jersey City for all. Thank you, and enjoy!
President of IECC and Chairman of the Board
Italian Educational & Cultural Center at Casa Colombo