need help unearthing family mysteries!


Moderator: Daniel

need help unearthing family mysteries!

Postby iguana1 » Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:35 am

Hi - wow there is such a wealth of knowledge about Italian heritage on this board, I can only hope that someone out there might be able to help me with something that has been troubling me for some time.
I apologize in advance for the length of this, and for any unnecessary information I put in this post - its all to help the story along.

Where do I start? Okay - I am an Italian citizen, born in the US. My mom grew up in Milano but came to the US as a teenage and got married (which is weird in and of itself if you ask me). I always sensed some weirdness from my mom of her life back in Italy - but sort of ignored it. That is until I got engaged - to girl who is also of an Italian born mother and - gasp- a Catholic!
My mother has not let me have peace since. She is very anti-catholic. In Italy, everyone in her family was Catholic - except for her mom and dad and siblings. This is where the sketchy details come in. My mom claims the family was made fun of, treated poorly for not being Catholic. She has given wavering details, sometimes saying they left the church for the one "true church" (a small denomination called church of Christ). Other times she has said they were excommunicated. She claims they were thrown in jail for not being Catholic? I'm pretty sure this did not really happen because it doesn't sound lawful at all. Any insight if this could be true?
The strange part is - they didnt really talk to any of there other relatives in Italy and even though both of my grandparents come from very well of families - they lived a very poor life in a tiny apartment and my grandfather juggled odd jobs. My mother has always talked about my grandfather like he was the best Christian ever, such a godly and valiant man, always romanticized him. Well - I just recently found out that my grandfather molested my mom throughout her childhood!! This is so disgusting I cannot even fathom it. I am now thinking that my grandfather did something bad to get kicked out of the church and that my mom uses Catholics being mean as a scapegoat for her fathers behavior.
Does anyone know of reasons why someone would be excommunicated in Italy? This is in the 1940's or 1950's in Milano.
Also, the reason I am very interested in this mystery lately is this - I am wondering if it is tied into why my Nonna (who still lives in Italy) is unable to receive full medical benefits. She is in her 90's and cannot take care of herself and has a full time caretaker who is an illegal alien. My mom and aunt are paying the equivalent of 600 dollars a month for this alien's help.
Why not just have my nonna get help from the government? Shouldn't she be entitled? My mom gives sketchy answers to the question. We have volunteered to pay for her flight to Italy to fill out the proper paperwork but she refuses. Is there any reason why an elderly person would be denied ca retaking benefits by the government? Could it be tied into all of this?

I thank you for reading this long post and would be endlessly greatful for any bit of insight at all that any of you might have for me. Thank you!
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Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:45 am

Postby peggymckee » Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:19 pm

Dear Iguana,

ICGS is a great website of dual citizenship issues. But for Italian geneality, history and culture, IMHO a better place is:
I suggest you read a few posts in the various sections to get the "flavor". Good luck, Peggy M
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