It is increasingly rare to see civic engagement in today’s society, and refreshing to experience when it occurs. This morning Mazzano came together as a community to celebrate Corpus Christi, a Roman Catholic holiday honoring Christ’s instruction to his disciples during the last supper that the bread and wine they ate together represented his body and blood shed on the cross in order to save them. A procession through the city involved men and women, young and old participating in and contributing to the event in a variety of ways. Some decorated the streets, some sang in a choir, some played in the band, and some simply attended.
The town seemed created for this type of public gathering as the small streets and piazzas provided an intimate and comfortable environment for the gathering. Individuals who stayed at home watched from their front doors or balconies, and restaurant patios along the course were full of onlookers slowly drinking their morning coffee. In the end, the festival represents the simple activities, or social capital to use Robert Putnam’s name, that enrich communities around the world. Small towns often thrive or languish as a result of its presence or absence, and it is encouraging to see it providing such pride in Mazzano.