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Order Sons of Italy in America


"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity"

  The OSIA Little Italy Lodge #2286, in the heart of Baltimore's century-old Italian neighborhood, welcomes you to its home.      We invite you in - to immerse yourself in the old-world charm and rich cultural heritage of a thriving Italian community, to participate, no matter how far away you may be, in the timeless Italian traditions of hospitality and generosity, to find comfort and joy in discovering that, yes, family and good food and laughter can still be found in a too-often fragmented and melancholy world.    

  Explore our home, drop in often and celebrate life and family with us.


Lucy Mary Pompa

Died: August 19, 2015

The Little Italy Lodge is deeply saddened by the passing of our dear lifetime member, Mrs. Lucy Pompa. The Little Italy Lodge will conduct a memorial service on Saturday, August 22, 2015 at 3pm. The membership is asked to attend. We extend our deepest sympathy and prayers to Ms. Lucy and her family.


On August 19, 2015 Lucy Mary Pompa; beloved wife of the late Vincent J. Pompa, Sr.; devoted mother of Dominic Pompa, Rosanna Pompa and Vincent Pompa, Jr. and his wife Susan; loving grandmother of Max, Vincent, Lucy Jane and Dominic Pompa; dear sister of Rosetta “Fanny” Siminski, Nicholas Palmere and thelate Anthony, Michael, Joseph, John, Phillip and Orlando Palmere.

Friends may call at the family owned Ruck Towson Funeral Home, Inc. 1050 York Road (Beltway Exit 26A) on Saturday, August 22 and Sunday, August 23 from 2-4 and 7-9pm.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Leo the Great Roman Catholic Church on Monday, August 24 at 11am. Interment Gardens of Faith Cemetery. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made in Lucy’s memory to St. Leo the Great Roman Catholic Church 227 S Exeter St, Baltimore, MD 21202.

                              OBITUARY from The Baltimore Sun, August 22, 2015 by Frederick N. Rasmussen

  Lucy M. Pompa, who was known at St. Leo the Great Roman Catholic Church in Little Italy as the “Matriarch of Meatballs, Ravioli and Tomato Sauce” and in the neighborhood as the “Queen of Ravioli,” died of a heart attack Wednesday at the Exeter Street home where she had lived since 1948. She was 96. She was the daughter of immigrants from Foggia, Italy, who met and fell in love aboard a steamer bound for America and later married. Her father was Nicola Palmiere, a contractor, who changed his last name to Palmere, and her mother was Rosa D’Aloia Palmere, a homemaker.
     Lucy Mary Palmere was born at home on Robinson Street in Highlandtown, one of nine children. She later moved with her family to White Avenue in Hamilton. Her education ended in 1932 when her mother died of pneumonia. Over the objections of her teachers at Hamilton Elementary School, her father removed her — his eldest child — from school to care for her siblings.“My mother always preached education and how important it was for her children to complete their schooling,” said a son, Dominic “Chuppers” Pompa of Towson. “She was proudest whenever any one of us graduated from an institution of higher learning.”
     Mrs. Pompa worked as a secretary for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and waited until all of her siblings were raised and married before she married Vincent J. Pompa Sr., who was a city inspector, in 1948. The couple settled into the Exeter Street home where they lived for the remainder of their lives. Mr. Pompa died in 1997.
Beginning in the 1960s, she worked as a teacher’s aide when the Head Start program was initiated at St. Leo’s Parish School, and then worked in a similar capacity at St. Patrick’s School, until retiring in 1983.
      But Mrs. Pompa’s greatest and lasting fame stemmed from the mountains of ravioli, meatballs, pizzelle and vats of tomato sauce (that she called “gravy”), as recounted in a 2007 article in The Baltimore Sun. As senior cook, she presided over the volunteers who helped prepare food for St. Leo’s Church’s biannual spaghetti and ravioli dinner that is served to thousands. It wasn’t uncommon for the workers to make 14,000 pasta squares, 8,000 spiced meatballs, hundreds of gallons of tomato sauce and 3,000 salads. After the meatballs were rolled, they were placed, at her direction, in rows of 10 down and six across on trays and then covered with a thin layer of olive oil. One volunteer told the newspaper that Mrs. Pompa’s meatball instructions were to be followed to the letter, and if in any way they were violated, “Lucy will fire you.”
     “‘Luce,’ as most call her, knows her pasta but has no illusions about her title and stature,” The Sun article said.“It’s because I’m the oldest, they got to respect me, and half of us here are related. … I like being here with these people. We are all good friends and good workers in our church,” she said.
In 2006, Mrs. Pompa told The Sun that when she made pizzelles for the annual Feast of St. Gabriel, the herculean effort that resulted in about 4,000 of the wafer-like cookies required 25 pounds of butter and 300 eggs for the batter. “It’s never enough,” she told the newspaper. “We always run out.”
Last year in an interview with the City Paper, a nephew of Mrs. Pompa’s, Willie Matricciani, told the weekly that his aunt probably made more than a million ravioli during her lifetime.“I don’t think it’s an unrealistic number,” he said. Mrs. Pompa told the weekly, “Oh, my God. I’ve made so many, I see ’em in my sleep.”
She also revealed her recipe for the perfect ravioli.“Good dough, good ricotta,” she said. “And it’s important how you fill them. Just a scoop with [less than] a tablespoon. If you put in too much ricotta, they’ll break open when you cook them.” And then one end is folded over the ricotta and crimped with a fork. “You bend [the tines] of the fork back a little bit so it’s more curved,” she said. “That way you close them up good without the fork tearing the dough.”
     Despite the passing of the years, Mrs. Pompa still cooked at St. Leo’s and for the Feast of St. Gabriel until this year. She was a member of her church’s Sodality and the St. Vincent Pallotti organization. She was the first woman to serve as president of the St. Gabriel Society, which was founded in the 1920s by male immigrants from Abruzzi.
“Miss Lucy was just angelic,” said Gia D. Fracassetti, who had known Mrs. Pompa since she was a child and a student at St. Leo’s. “For years, she was a fixture at all of the festivals and dinners at St. Leo’s. She always led the way with her meatballs and ravioli,” said Ms. Fracassetti. “And during the spring, summer and fall, she sat each evening on a bench with her friend Ann, catty-corner from St. Leo’s.”




Meet Ali Tinelli Sliwka New President of The Little Italy Lodge


The La Famiglia Scholarship Committee is pleased to announce the four recipients of the 2015 competition.

The Mr. Guy Matricciani Senior Scholarship in the amount of $5000.00 was awarded tos
Elizabeth is beginning her junior year at Stevenson University in Stevenson, Maryland. Her Little Italy
Lodge sponsor is Barbara Goodman.

The Doctor Bernard Vondersmith Scholarship in the amount of $3,000.00 was awarded to Nicholas Butta.
Nicholas will be entering his senior year at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland. His
Lodge member sponsor was Victoria Butta his grandmother. Victoria passed away in April of this year.

A Little Italy Lodge Scholarship in the amount of $2,000.00 was awarded to Brooke Lorber. Brooke will begin
her junior year at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Her Lodge member sponsors were Joan and Fred Petrella, her grandparents.

A Little Italy Lodge Scholarship in the amount of $2,000.00 was awarded to Anna Berrettini. Anna will be
beginning her freshman year at Franklin and Marshal University in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Her sponsors
were Lodge members Grace and Leo Otterbein, her grandparents.

The La Famiglia Scholarship program is a benefit for children and grandchildren of Lodge members in good
standing. The 2016 Scholarship competition will begin on January 1, 2016. Information regarding the
2016 competition will be offered in future issues of La Notizia.







Some nights are very busy, some less so at The Lodge Friday Night Dinners. But busy or not, there's plenty of good food and new friends to meet.









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Stiles Street in Little Italy


The Little Italy Lodge
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Baltimore, MD 21202

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