Photos of Little Italy procession to bless tuna fleet.

A colorful religious procession makes its way through San Diego's historic Little Italy neighborhood.
A colorful religious procession makes its way through San Diego’s culturally rich Little Italy neighborhood.

Early this afternoon, the historic Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Little Italy celebrated Catholic Mass then held a grand procession. Parishioners marched from State Street in front of their church down to San Diego’s Embarcadero, where a fishing boat representing the local tuna fleet was blessed. I witnessed the procession a few years ago, but took no photos. So today I decided to walk along the sidewalk with my camera.

Forgive me for not knowing the details of the religious procession. I do know a large host of the faithful, in all manner of dress, many of Italian descent, and many carrying images of Jesus and Virgin Mary, marched joyfully north up India Street, then turned west down Hawthorn Street until they reached Harbor Drive. At the Hornblower dock, the fishing boat Patty Jo, which is a common sight out on San Diego Bay, was blessed by the priests of Our Lady of the Rosary. It’s a unique San Diego tradition that dates from the early 50s. At the completion of the religious ceremony, which was not open to the public, fireworks resounded in the overcast October sky!

In the early afternoon few were near the front entrance of the Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Little Italy. That would soon change.
In the early afternoon few were near the front entrance of the Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Little Italy. That would soon change.
Plaque on Our Lady of the Rosary Church. Historical monument dedicated December 20, 1925.
Plaque on Our Lady of the Rosary Church. Historical monument dedicated December 20, 1925.
Banner declares Sunday, October 4 is Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church's much anticipated Festa 2015.
Banner declares Sunday, October 4 is Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church’s much anticipated Festa 2015.
Mass was celebrated at noon in a large outside tent in nearby Amici Park.
Mass was celebrated at noon in a large outside tent in nearby Amici Park.

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The procession slowly assembles after Mass in front of the church.
The procession slowly assembles after Mass in front of the church.
An elegant canopy emerges from the Catholic Church.
An elegant canopy emerges from the Catholic Church.
The unique religious procession, led by a youthful band, is ready to begin.
The colorful religious procession, led by a youthful band, is ready to begin.

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The procession is now heading north up India Street.
The procession is now heading north up India Street.

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Approaching a banner announcing that next Sunday is Little Italy's popular neighborhood Festa.
Approaching a banner announcing that next Sunday is Little Italy’s popular neighborhood Festa.
Passing under the landmark Little Italy sign on India Street.
Passing under the landmark Little Italy sign on India Street.

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I caught an airplane coming over Bankers Hill preparing to land at Lindbergh Field.
I caught an airplane coming over Bankers Hill preparing to land at Lindbergh Field.
Now proceeding down Hawthorn. The threatened rain held off for the event!
Now proceeding down Hawthorn. The threatened rain held off for the event!
You can see that hundreds participated in this truly grand spectacle.
You can see that hundreds participated in this truly grand spectacle.

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Finally arriving at San Diego Bay.
Finally arriving at San Diego Bay.
A Harbor Patrol boat gives a water cannon salute for the occasion.
A Harbor Patrol boat gives a water cannon salute for the occasion.
Priests and those instrumental in blessing the tuna boats head onto the Hornblower dock at Grape Street.
Priests and those instrumental in blessing the tuna boats head onto the Hornblower dock at Grape Street.
My camera could just catch a glimpse of the elaborate Catholic ritual beside the Patty Jo fishing boat.
My camera could just catch a glimpse of the elaborate Catholic ritual beside the Patty Jo fishing boat.
Fireworks launched from a nearby pier burst loudly in the air like exultant sparks.
Fireworks launched from a nearby pier burst loudly in the air like exultant sparks.
Little puffs of smoke hover in the heavens after the fireworks.
Little puffs of smoke hover in the heavens after the fireworks.
The Patty Jo now confidently heads off across the gray water, hoping for safe ocean journeys and bountiful catches.
The Patty Jo now confidently heads off across the gray water, hoping for safe ocean journeys and bountiful catches.

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Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

9 thoughts on “Photos of Little Italy procession to bless tuna fleet.”

  1. Really great captures. It is really amazing how different people, cultures show their beliefs. Such a procession!! You must have a blast going to all the different events in SD. It looks like you are very busy. How do you do it? Cheers…Chris

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, I know this is an old post, but it came up as I was reading the one about the Amici House where I am the Facilities Director. I am also an active member of Our Lady of the Rosary Italian Catholic Church there in Little Italy, in fact you can see me in many of these photos! If you can make it this year and would like to post an updated story about it I’d be happy to tell you more about it and to show you around the Mass and procession in order to get more photos. Feel free to contact me. I can private message you my contact info if you prefer. Thanks again! Or I should say, Mille Grazie!

    -Chris Forte, Facilities Director, the Amici House,
    a Heritage component f the Convivio Society,
    and Usher at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church,
    Heritage Chairman of the Italian Catholic Federation Branch #230-Our Lady of the Rosary,
    and Advocate, Knights of Columbus-Our Lady of the Rosary Council #16175

    Liked by 1 person

      1. This big procession is in October: From: https://www.olrsd.org/calendar : Procession in Little Italy
        When
        Sun, October 6, 2019, 1:30pm – 2:30pm
        Where
        1629 COLUMBIA ST., SAN DIEGO, CA 92101 (Little Italy) (map)
        Description
        Facility Name: Little Italy

        After the Mass: Festa Mass in Amici Park
        When
        Sun, October 6, 2019, 12pm – 1pm
        Where
        1629 COLUMBIA ST., SAN DIEGO, CA 92101 (Amici Park) (map)
        Description
        Facility Name: Amici Park

        Hope to see you there!

        -Chris Forte

        Liked by 1 person

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