Every family has Christmas traditions, and the Ostella’s are no different. But their tradition is unique and shared by few.
Around Christmas time, David Ostella’s grandmother will arrange to have a priest conduct a Christmas Mass at her home near Toronto. All of the Ostellas, along with nearly 70 of their closest friends, gather to enjoy the service.
The tradition started after Ostella’s grandmother befriended Father Vito Marziliano, a priest of St. Patrick’s in Brampton, Ontario, while on expedition to the Holy Land. Once back in Canada, she welcomed Father Vito into her home to conduct a special Mass for family and friends.
The service features all the same traditions as any other Catholic Mass. Family and friends join together to sing, pray and take turns presenting different readings.
No Ostella family event would be complete without a big meal. Ostella’s grandmother prepares the meal alongside her husband. Mass first, dinner second, with guests invited to stay well into the night to enjoy the holiday season with company.
The tradition takes place before Christmas so another tradition can be continued, a trip to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. While Canada often enjoys a white Christmas, the Ostella family prefers a sunny, warm holiday near the beach.
“I actually missed the Mass this year because I was with Performance Tech testing,” Ostella said. “It’s really nice to have everyone together, especially before Christmas, and you can catch up with people you haven’t seen in a while. It’s something really different that other families don’t do. I don’t know any other family that has a Mass at their house. It’s just good to have everyone together to share in Mass and then a nice dinner before Christmas.”