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  829: Regina Pacis, Brooklyn, New York, USA

Read this report | Other comments

13 September 2007

I was searching for info on the Regina Pacis Opera Company for a co-worker. When the Mystery Worshipper article regarding Regina Pacis came up and I began to read the info regarding the church and the neighborhood, I was appalled.

I am an Italian-American and devout Roman Catholic, and to read the neighborhood had residents who belong to a small group of undesirables and how overly decorated their houses are... what about the statues of Our Lady or St Anthony? The Italians that live there are hard working people who take care of their homes and their neighborhood. There is more to the Italian people and the Italian neighborhood in Bensonhurst than the undesirables.

Barbara DeSalvo

4 January 2006

I am not a practicing Catholic, however, the inaccuracy of your report on Regina Pacis, Brooklyn, New York, forced me to write. First of all, I would hardly call Bensonhurst a "poor to working class neighborhood that is home to the mafia". This is an insult to Italian Americans and is simply not accurate. In fact, I dare you to even find a home in Bensonhurst that sells for less than a half a million dollars. And that is pushing it, as the average home sells for between $800,000 - $1,000,000.

As for it being home to the mob, I can tell you as the daughter of an educated Italian immigrant that myself is quite educated, the Italians in this neighborhood contribute way more than the "mafia" to society, and it is disgusting that your "mystery worship" person found only this to comment on. I think that she has watched one too many episodes of the Sopranos and is quite ignorant. Please don't tell me that she dares call herself a Christian with such a limited and biased account of humanity.

Kind regards

An educated Italian American who is not trashy nor poor

Our Mystery Worshipper responds...

5 January 2006

I myself am an Italian American and live in the Bensonhurst neighborhood. The phrase "poor to working class neighborhood" can be found on several websites and other sources where Bensonhurst is described. At any rate, the economic makeup of the neighborhood speaks for itself and needs no comment from me.

It is true that there are many elegant homes in Bensonhurst that are worth millions of dollars, but the majority of homes are older multi-family brick townhouses and apartment buildings that are squarely middle or working class. Nowhere in my report did I state that the neighborhood was trashy, and indeed it is not. It is clean, well-scrubbed, and glows with the pride its residents undoubtedly feel about themselves and their surroundings.

I meant no ethnic slur by use of the word Mafia. As stated, I am Italian-American and I live in Bensonhurst. Certainly the vast majority of Bensonhurst residents are strictly law-abiding citizens and have nothing to do with organized crime, whatever their ethnic background. However, that the Mafia exists is a well-established fact, and that the Mafia has roots in Bensonhurst is common knowledge among New Yorkers.

If the author of the comment was offended by my remarks, then I sincerely apologize. I meant my description of Bensonhurst, especially the story regarding the theft of the chalice from Regina Pacis (which is a well-established urban legend that can be found in many sources), to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek, to be savored for its entertainment value. But anyone can visit Bensonhurst for themselves and draw their own conclusions.

Amanda B. Reckondwythe
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