I know readers of my “Sketches from a North Beach Journal” column are eager for an update of the very public squabble between that pugnacious, would-be Mother Superior of Vallejo Street — Angela Alioto — and the good Fathers of the Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi (same street). The fist fight between Church and Angela-State spilled over onto the Op-Ed pages of the Chronicle recently and now the august Chronicle reporter Carl Nolte has weighed in with a recent Sunday piece detailing the beef over who is really in charge of the Shrine’s Porsiuncola, a replica of St. Francis’s chapel in Assisi. Angela says she and her self-created Knights of St. Francis are. But the Capuchin Franciscan Fathers believe they are and say that St. Francis is on their side.
Angela has promised to carry the squabble all the way to the Vatican. She says she will go to Rome to talk to Pope Francis about this. Seems like much ado about very little. My hope is that this doesn’t sidetrack the long-awaited Piazza St. Francis — or Poets Plaza — on that short stretch of Vallejo between Upper Grant Avenue and Columbus envisioned by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
The smart money is on St. Francis and his team. As I postulated in an earlier column, St. Francis probably doesn’t really care what the pedestrian Piazza St. Francis-Poets Plaza is called. Let’s go with Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s Poets Plaza; St. Francis won’t mind.