Each year the Columbus Day Celebration Committee selects Man, Woman and Humanitarian of the Year. The honorees have been named due to their outstanding contributions to the Italian American community in Metro Detroit. The weeklong Columbus Day festivities include honoring these individuals at the state capital in Lansing and at the Columbus Day Banquet at the Italian American Cultural Center in Clinton Township.

This year the Man of the year is Tonino Corsetti; Woman of the year is Lia Adelfi; and Humanitarian of the year is Fr. Enzo Addari.  Read all of the honorees’ bios HERE.

Fr. Enzo Addari – Humanitarian of the Year

From Fr. Enzo...Fr. Enzo was born in Corcumello, Abruzzi, Italy November 17, 1950. He came to the United States shortly after his priestly ordination.

He is a member of the Servants of Charity, a Catholic religious congregation founded by St. Louis Guanella in 1908, which is dedicated to the care of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities(I/DD), seniors and parishes in low-income areas.

Fr. Enzo came to Michigan in 1993 after finishing his master’s degree in Education Administration at Villanova University in Pennsylvania. At the time he was appointed as Assistant Administrator of St. Louis Center.

He was a member of the organizing committee for the Jubilee Day for People with I/DD held on December 3, 2000. He also wrote all of the texts used for the Jubilee Celebration.

Fr. Enzo has been the Chief Executive Officer of St. Louis Center, a residential community for persons with I/DD, since 2008. Under his tenure the Center has moved from an institution to a Village where people with I/DD and people without can live in the same campus, creating an integrated Village. He is also involved with many organizations for any person who needs the reassurance that God loves them.

He is a member of the Knights of Columbus, Alhambra International, chaplain of the Manresa Caravan, a member of several Italian clubs: Italian American Club of Livonia, Italian American Club of Lansing, Federazione Abruzzese del Michigan, and serves as chaplain of the Italian American Cultural Center.

His dream is to see the completion of the construction of St. Louis Guanella Village as a new way of providing residential services to people with I/DD who are aging and don’t have anyone to care for them. This for him is the call of the Gospel: to bring hope to many people.

Columbus Day and San Francesco Mass

San Francesco Catholic Church in Clinton Township, MI celebrated the Feast of San Francesco (St. Francis of Assisi) on Sunday, October 2nd. This Mass also includes a Memorial Mass to celebrate Columbus Day. Fr. Enzo Addari was the celebrant. A traditional procession of the St. Francis statue followed Mass.

The Proclamation

The Ramo Salerno Italian Heritage trip to Lansing was held on Tuesday, October 4th at Heritage Hall adjacent to the Capitol building. Part of this trip is to celebrate and honor Italian Americans that have contributed their time and efforts to their communities by way of commemorating them through a proclamation from their legislators. These people and their endeavors are thus recorded in the state archives.

Each honoree was recognized and had the opportunity to speak.

Read more HERE.

The Gala

To close the 2022 Columbus Day events, a Memorial Mass in honor of Christopher Columbus at Holy Family Church in Detroit Sunday, October 9th. Fr. Paul Ward was the celebrant.

Later that day, a gala event was held at the Italian American Cultural Center where 250 people gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of Man, Woman and Humanitarian of the Year. There was a short presentation about Christopher Columbus, a family style traditional Italian meal, awards presentation and plenty of time for dancing and socializing.

Columbus Day Award

Each honoree had the opportunity to speak. Fr. Enzo took the time to talk about the importance of serving persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, especially those who are aging. He said, “This is not an accomplishment that I did by myself, it was possible because of all of you. You have been supporting us, and encouraging us. …This is only the beginning. There is so much more that needs to be done. Serving life is endless, it’s a big commitment.”

After speaking, each honoree was given a special custom made award that is a replica of a ship.


 

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