A Search for Faith, Family, and Miracles
by Justin Calanoso

Posts Tagged ‘Brazil’

First anniversary

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

One year ago today, My Cousin the Saint was released across the United States and in Canada. It was a pretty thrilling day, and has been a very gratifying year. I’ve had the opportunity to give more than three dozen radio and newspaper interviews, had an op-ed published in the Los Angeles Times, stories published in Catholic and Italian-American magazines and have made more than 60 book talks to groups in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts and in New York City.

And through this web site, I’ve received heartwarming notes from readers across the country (and a few farther than that). The book has even connected me with Catanoso relatives I had never met before in the United States, Argentina and Brazil (Thiago Catanoso of Sao Paolo even visited me in NC last summer!). I am enormously pleased that my story of faith, family and miracles has resonated with so many people.

With the paperback due out in about a month, I am hopeful it reaches even more. Thank you all for reading and being in touch.

Bigger family, smaller world

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

Last night, we hosted a special guest at our home – Thiago Catanoso, a 29-year-old computer expert for an America-based software company who lives in Sao Paolo, Brazil. In that South American country, there are scores of Catanosos who, like the Catanosos in America, trace their roots back a few generations to Calabria in the toe of the boot of Italy.

Thiago CatanosoThiago’s great-great grandparents emigrated from Chorio in 1903, a year before my grandfather left the same tiny Calabrian village (also the birthplace of the future saint to whom we all share a common bloodline). One of his Brazilian uncles, Jose Carlos Catanoso, returned to Reggio di Calabria several years ago to meet his Italian relatives for the first time, and learn also about Padre Gaetano. Jose Carlos and his wife, Maria, returned, as we did, to attend the canonization in St. Peter’s Square in October 2005.

Last evening, we had a wonderful visit with Thiago, who was at the end of a business trip for his employer that took him first to Miami (we “met” online earlier this year when he contacted me by email). We shared family stories and family photos and spoke about our lives in America and Brazil. His father and wife called during the visit to say hello from the southern hemisphere. To our knowledge, this is the first time that American and Brazilian branches of the Catanoso family have ever met.

The world feels like a smaller place today, but I know now that I have a bigger family.