St. Agnes Alumni WebNews
House Kids @ Home

WebNews #30; Independence Day, Wednesday; July 4, 2007

(Music: John Wayne - America The Good" )


When profiling is “reasonable,” injustice becomes excusable 7/24/13

NewsAlert: *** ST. AGNES ALUMNI 71st ANNUAL PICNIC, AUGUST 19, 2017; MARK ON YOUR CALENDAR *** 4/27/17
*** In Loving Memory of Pastor "Pat" Feliciano *** 3/8/14 *** Peter Feliciano Needs Your Prayers *** 12/14/15
Fr. Ray Masterson Obit 3/19/14 Fr. Ray Masterson Remembrance Letter 3/19/14 Fr. Ray Masterson Remembrance 3/19/14
The boys of St Agnes, a video by Sr Margaret Palliser 3/20/14 Augusta DiMarino; Mother of 4 Maltese "House Kids" 11/10/15
George Favre, 82, Sparkill, A House Kid, Biography 5/24/14 View Sacred Heart Chapel Video 2/24/14
Alumni Newsletter, Spring 2015 5/11/15 In Memory of Hugh J. “MAC” McAvinue, By Gerald F. Merna 2/22/15

Independence Day"In the United States, Independence Day (commonly known as "the Fourth of July", "July Fourth" or "America Day") is a federal holiday celebrating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain."


Jerry Merna has written an outstanding story about one family experience, from a personal point of view, about the NYPD Anchor Club and the outings they sponsored on behave of us kids.

You can view and download the letter (at left):
GFM May 6, 2007 letter to K. Lyons NYPDAC

You can view and download Jerry's great story at:

NYPD Anchor Club, is looking for everyones stories and memories of these times gone by..... i am sure they would appreciate our stories, etc, i am sure we all have a number of tales to tell.... they will have their last annual outing for the Anchor Club at Coney Island on July 10, 2007......


The annual St. Agnes Alumni Assoc. picnic will be held on 08/18/07. For more info, including time and place, click here: Alumni 61 Annual Picnic 08-18-07

Sent: Tuesday, November 21, 2006 1:57 PM
Subject: St Agnes Alumni


I was one of the boys from Saint Agnes who would have graduated From Tappan Zee High School with the class of 1956. You will find me in the 1953 year book as a sophomore. I was on the Tappan Zee football team (played 1st string right guard and nose guard) and had been selected for the 1st string all county football team in 1953. Mary Ann Rechtorovic and I were dating.

Unfortunately, my Father obtained a court order in December, 1953 to have my brother Peter and I released from Saint Agnes into his custody. He took us to New York City to live. Later that month, I ran away from home and subsequently went to live at Saint Vincent’s Home for Boys in Brooklyn.

I enlisted in the Army in October, 1956, having never finished High School. I went through basic training at Fort Dix, NJ, combat engineer training at Fort Leonard Wood, MO and was assigned to an engineer unit in Georgia. In August, 1957, I was transferred to an engineer unit in Germany where I served until February, 1961. Returning to the States, I was assigned to a post in Virginia. In 1962, after having earned a GED, I applied for and was selected to attend Infantry Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Fort Benning, Georgia.

After receiving a commission as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry in early 1963, I was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas, which was destined for a 6 month rotation to Germany for training as a Platoon Leader. We left for Germany in June of 1963 expecting to be home by Christmas of the same year. When President Kennedy was assassinated in November, 1963, my unit was deployed on the East German border in anticipation of an attack by the Warsaw Pact and we did not get home until February, 1964.

By 1965, I was a 1st Lieutenant and was reassigned to the 1st Cavalry Division in Korea as an Infantry Battalion Logistics Officer. Retuning to Fort Riley, I was assigned to the newly activated 9th Infantry Division as a Company Commander. By this time I had been promoted to Captain. We trained from April, 1966 to December 1966 when we left for Vietnam. I stayed with the company until May, 1966 than went on to be a staff officer.

Leaving Vietnam in December, 1967, I was sent to the Infantry Officer Advanced Course at Fort Benning and than to the Dominican Republic as an Infantry Brigade Advisor to the Dominican Army. While in the Dominican Republic, I was promoted to Major and once again, was assigned to Vietnam as a Regimental Advisor to the Vietnamese Army.

While in Vietnam, I applied for and was accepted for a Boot Strap program which allowed me to attend college full time for up to a year to obtain a degree. I started taking college courses before I was Commissioned and continued to do so when I could so I only had 6 months to go when I applied for the program. I attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha and earned a degree in Military Science and Business in 1973.

From school, I was assigned to be the Executive Officer at the Army Recruiting District at Fort Hamilton, New York. Mary Ann and I got back together again in 1974 while I was stationed in New York and we were married in August, 1975. We were transferred to Fort Sheridan, IL where I earned my Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Management. We finished our military service at Fort Sheridan, Illinois and moved back to New York where we started our own business as small business consultants. Later, I was recruited to be a Vice President for the franchisor and we moved from New York to Maryland.

In 1994, Mary Ann and I moved to our newly built home in Spring Hill, Florida and have lived here ever since. I have 3 children from a previous marriage and Mary Ann and I have a daughter. We have also been blessed with three granddaughters.

My military awards include the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Bronze Star with three oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 4 oak leaf clusters and various other awards for service in Korea and Vietnam.

From: Sean McGrath
Sent: Saturday, April 14, 2007 5:02 PM
Subject: Joseph P. McGrath, Class of 1942...deceased March 15th,2007

My name is Sean P. McGrath, and I'd really like to know if you could send me any photos or information in regards to my father Joseph P. McGrath, he didn't tell me alot about his past and now that he has past, I would like to learn more about him. Until recently I didn't even know that he was in the United States Coast Guard for 20 years. and he worked for the U.S.Gov. for 38 years until he was forced to retire in 1995. Serving and Working were his life! But he was a really good man, and my dad, and I want to know him better, and I want people to know him as well.... Thank you for your time!

Sincerely yours
Sean P. McGrath

P.S. when I am able, I will send a donation in my fathers name.

From: Chip Cipolla;
Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2007;
Subject: Re: - WebNews #29 - Memorial Day Edition

Thanks for keeping the website current. I want you to know how much I appreciate your time and efforts. Hope to see you in August.

Chip Cipolla

From: John Mogelnicki
Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2007 12:26 AM

I don't know who to address this to. Please help me. My brothers and I were sent to St. Agnes when we were children back in mid 1940's. We were the Mogelnicki brothers listed on the House Kid's List. We were very poor and had to leave Brooklyn because my mother could not afford to keep us. I would like to talk with someone about our time there. Please call or email me, so we can talk. I have wondered for many many years where I was as a child.I remember snow, the pool called the cheesebox, Sunday morning sugar corn flakes ladled out of big pots, rhubarb pie and pudding, a big storm that blew over a big tree that I played on and that impaled me through my knee, the single bed dormortory, the hills,nightmares, and more. I wonder if there are any pictures of the home as it was during the years we were there. Looking foward to hearing from you.

John Richard (Corky) Mogelnicki

From: Joseph R. Stanaitis
Subject: Walter Rooney
Date: Sat, 02 Jun 2007

Gloria Kingsley just called to tell me that Walter Rooney has passed away. there will be a 10 Am funeral mass at St.Anns in NYack this thursday. there will not be a viewing. as soon as the obit is published in the Nyack newspaper, i will send it out to you all with all the pertinent information..
To: Joseph R. Stanaitis
Sent: Saturday, June 02, 2007 5:32 PM
Subject: RE: Walter Rooney

Thanks, Joe.

Gloria also called us (and probably called half if not all the folks on this email as well, God Bless her). This is the second death notice of friends in as many days. I'm going to a wake for an old friend in Alexandria tomorrow and his burial at Arlington on Monday.

I just spoke to "Red" last week (I called him that much more than “Walt”) and John Antonacci and I talked about him two days ago.

If there is one term that aptly describes Red it is "self-effacing," as he was someone who never wanted to draw attention to himself; and was also very reluctant to want to talk about himself—he’d far rather tell those around him how great they were, and what they had accomplished with their lives. he was an unusually modest man, especially considering all he accomplished in his life, which was considerable. I’m certain his Obituary will highlight a few of those accomplishments.

Indeed, he was an even more private person when it came to discussing his health, and imminent demise. I remember some time ago when I learned of his health situation I called him to express my concern. His first words were to the effect, “How did you find out, I haven’t told anybody.” More knew it than even he realized. In an even earlier call he told me he gave up all his medications because they were not doing any good but were affecting the time he had remaining, and he wanted to be conscious of it all, and enjoy each day that came along. How many of us could have done that?

We all have many stories to tell about Walt/Red, and we will tell them. But right now, we pray for him and his family. We have lost yet another wonderful guy, and another “House’s Kid.” I just moved his email address from my "active" file to a place I use in my address book for special people I can't write to anymore. Very sad.

Please everybody, STAY HEALTHY. And as John Antonacci always says, “God Bless.”

Jerry Merna

From: Jocelyn Cardoza
To: G.F. Merna Subject: question for you Sir concerning St Agnes Convent Date: Mon, 04 Jun 2007 Greetings from Tulsa, OK!

My name is Jocelyn Cardoza and I am originally from Levittown, Long Island. My father and his brother were placed in St. Dominic's in Aug 1925. They both graduated and were placed in St. Agnes in June 1937.

My father's name was Carlos Thomas Cardoza (aka Bob) and my uncle Joseph Payne Cardoza. There were many spellings/alias of the last father was enrolled as Carlos Robert Cardozzi.

I am writing because my brother and I are doing family research on my father's family and I was hoping you could tell me about St Agnes. My dad only spoke of St Dominic's. We just recently found out that he also lived at St Agnes. I do remember him saying that he never finished high school as he and several of his friends from the home joined the army.

Maybe you can provide me with some links about the home. I was hoping to get copies of his records from St Agnes. I recently received copies of his file from St Dominics and it answered a lot of questions we (my siblings and I) had concerning his family. He did not speak much about his childhood, it was painful for him. I hope to hear back from you soon.

Thank you for listening.
Jocelyn Cardoza

To: Jocelyn Cardoza
Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2007 5:01 PM
Subject: RE: question for you Sir concerning St Agnes Convent

Well greetings back to you, Ms. Cardoza, from Potomac Falls, VA (near Leesburg). It is nice hearing from you.

Both your Dad and your Brother were at St. Dominic's several years before the six Merna siblings arrived their in January 1942. I was the first of the six to leave after graduating from 8th grade in 1944 and went to St. Agnes for high school at Tappan Zee H.S. in Piermont. Each year thereafter another Merna would graduate, and most of them, except for our Sister of course, also went to St. Agnes.

You asked how you could get copies and/or records of your Dad and Brother's time at St. Agnes. One of my colleagues from the St. Agnes Alumni Association recommends this approach: call the archivist, Sr. Catherine Tahaney, 845-359-6400 X218, then follow-up with a formal letter of request to Sr. Catherine Tahanney, Dominican Convent, 175 Route 340 Sparkill, NY 10976-1047. It's worth a try at least.

Also, if you haven't already, get on our web site ( look it over carefully, then "post" any questions by signing our "Guest Book" ( as those in your email to me on the site, and just perhaps someone may have some information to share with you. This is the very best "link about the Home" as you put it, that you'll find.

Also, drop a note to Art Kingsley, President, St. Agnes Alumni Association, 9 Glen Road, Highland Falls, NY 10928-1503. He and his wife Gloria put out a Newsletter (by mail) three or four times a year. Send them a copy of this email since it has all you are asking. He would be happy to put a note in one of his future issues for you.

While the last "dinner-type reunion" we had was for the 50th Anniversary of the St. Agnes Alumni Assn. in 1996 (see:, we do have an annual picnic reunion every year at the Pavilion on the Piermont Pier. Perhaps some year when you find yourself on the East Coast you might be able to attend; this year it is scheduled for Aug. 18.

I hope this is of some assistance to you; as you progress, if I can be of further assistance to you, please don't hesitate to ask.

I will send a copy of this to our Web Master, David Feliciano, and other St. Agnes Alumni, as well as a couple of St. Dominic's Alumni I know. I'm sure if any of them have any knowledge of what you ask, they will let you know.

Be sure you write to Art Kingsley.

House Kids: 4 more names added to "House Kids List": Ralph Padilla (1964 - 1973), Tom Ramirez (1949 - 1953), Carlos Thomas Cardoza (aka Bob, 1937), Joseph Payne Cardoza

2 New GuestBook Entry:

I was their 1949 till 1953 was an experince.
Tom Ramirez
Oceanside, NY USA - Tuesday, June 26, 2007 at 16:38:50 (PDT)

I was there 64-73
Ralph Padilla
oro grande, ca USA - Wednesday, June 13, 2007 at 16:39:26 (PDT)

Photos: Keeping it in Perspective (Forwarded by James F. Shea & Jerry Merna)

Gaspar Cipolla Ricardo C. Colon Harry Connors
Caesar Feliciano Carlos Feliciano David T. Feliciano Pastor (Pat) Feliciano Peter (Pedro) Feliciano
Stephen J. Fromholz, Sr. Louis A. Lopez George Charles Merna Gerald F. Merna Thomes G. Merna
Robert F. Pulliza Frank Jacob Rosenstine Joseph R. Stanaitis Joseph (Joe) Wiska

Raymond (Ramon) Adames John J. Antonacci Joseph Antonacci Dennis Bailey Lorenzo Calderon
Robert Coyle William Doherty Benjamin Feliciano Bob Keane James Lawson
James Merna Richard Merna Robert Merna John (Sammy) Tolins
WebNews Archive: All past WebNews are available for viewing in the WebNews Archive.
NewsAlert Archive: All past NewsAlerts are available for viewing in the NewsAlert Archive.

“Home Kids: The Story of St. Agatha Home for Children,” By Nancy Canfield: "Book Recounts Author's Life in Orphanage:"
By Pat Sherman UNION-TRIBUNE COMMUNITY NEWS WRITER, March 10, 2006. "Nancy Canfield knows how a single, immutable event can forever alter a child's life. In her recently published book, “Home Kids: The Story of St. Agatha Home for Children,” Canfield recounts the years she and four siblings spent at a Catholic orphanage in New York."  (More....)

'Home Kids' By Nancy Canfield: The story of St. Agatha Home for Children:
"We're going to take you kids,"
he pointed to each of us sitting on the couch and said our names in a sing-song voice "Jackie... Tommy... Hellen... David and Nancy," pausing between each name as if to prove he knew them, "to see a school tomorrow, a boarding school, see how you like it." He said this in a voice that implied it was temporary, like we'd have a choice about attending. With those words the Canfield siblings began a journey that profoundly shaped their formative years. Home Kids is Nancy Canfield's courageous retelling of her family's dramatic story and the inspirational story of St. Agatha Home for Children.  (More....)

Letters: 'Home Kids' By Nancy Canfield: The Story of St. Agatha Home for Children: Sent: 01/19/2006
Photos: St. Agatha Home Keepsake Photograph.

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