A Taste of Italy at Farrell

Written on 02/14/2024
Adrian Apreza '26

The Italian Club, moderated by Ms. Maniscalco, has grown into a recognizable presence at Farrell.

Ms. Maniscalco, the faculty moderator for the Italian Club, teaches Italian to freshmen and sophomores.  Here, she poses for a photo with students as the Italian Club prepares cannoli to sell during the 2023 Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Monsignor Farrell.

Author Steve Berry once said, "A concerted effort to preserve our heritage is a vital link to our cultural, educational, aesthetic, inspirational, and economic legacies - all of the things that quite literally make us who we are."

At Monsignor Farrell, many clubs exist that plan and act on events. A specific club at Monsignor Farrell that has been shining is the Italian Club.

The Italian Club is a community that students join, where they can express and learn about Italian heritage. It was founded in September 2022 by Ms. Maniscalco. 

Ms. Maniscalco, who graduated from Saint John’s University with a bachelor’s in education and a master’s in business administration, had a leadership role in the university's Italian Club. She didn’t leave St. John’s just with her degrees but with an expanded Italian pride in her blood. 

Now, she uses those experiences as influences to moderate the Italian Club at Monsignor Farrell and expose Farrell students to a more in-depth look into their Italian heritage. 

Her mission to spread this knowledge and passion of culture extends beyond Farrell. She founded an educational digital community called Young Italians of America. In her community, she shares Italian recipes, documentaries, history, traditions, and more to express the rich history of Italy. The Winter 2024 issue of Italian America Magazine featured Ms. Maniscalco and the Young Italians of America. 

The Italian Club is growing every year, with juniors Jon Paul Cassese serving as club president and Nico Giudice serving as vice president. Ms. Maniscalco considers the two to be amazing role models for the younger students, and with more students joining, especially current freshmen, more events can happen! 

In fact, Ms. Maniscalco hints at another cooking class in the spring – based on the success of the one from this fall – and other charity work to be announced.

The Italian Club spends time with US Air Force Major Vincent J. Maligno and other veterans.


The club has been a key part of the Monsignor Farrell Christmas Tree Lighting and Nativity Blessing, proudly stepping up by making and selling delicious cannoli to everyone who attended. Selling out 300 cannoli in their first year and even more the year after, they were able to share the taste of an Italian dessert with all who were observing the magical tree lighting. 

Moreover, United States military veterans, including retired US Air Force Major Vincent J. Maligno, have visited the club to discuss their time in service. Ms. Maniscalco uses these experiences as a reminder to students to be thankful for those who fought for our country.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and for the last year-and-a-half, the Italian club has quickly grown into a popular club at Farrell.