St. Agnes Alumni WebNews
House Kids @ Home

WebNews #33; Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 27, 2008

(Music: "Colors of the Wind")


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
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"The History of Thanksgiving": "The First Thanksgiving: Get the history of the 1621 meal now known as The First Thanksgiving. Find out what they ate, and what they didn't. See the menu. ...." (More)

Message From: John Antonacci
Subject: Adopt a Sister send her a 2008 Christmas Card

Let's make this suggestion an annual Christmas pledge. Let's show our appreciation by adopting a sister and sending her a Christmas card. Some of you may want to take the list to your church members or other organization that may want to help. Click on NewsAlert for list of 35 sisters and the address where you can mail your Christmas cards.
John A.

NewsAlert: Adopt A Sister and Send a 2008 Christmas Card

Letter From: Joseph Antonacci
Sent: Monday, November 24, 2008 9:25 PM
Subject: Thanksgiving Blessings

Happy Thanksgiving to All.

With Love from, Joe & Carol

Turn up the sound before clicking on the http.

Joseph Antonnaci (Class 1948)

Joe & Carol Antonacci (55th Anniversary Photo)
Letter From: John J. Antonacci; Sent: Sunday, November 16, 2008 8:43 PM; Subject: TURKEY SHOOT GAME

Just in time for Thanksgiving ............
Southbank - Turkey Shoot
Letter From: ANTHONY MARINO; Sent: Wednesday, November 19, 2008 9:05 PM; Subject: Happy Thanksgiving to you, one and all

Best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving and may you enjoy happiness, family, friends and all of your God's blessings on this bountiful day.

Need a chuckle? Sinatra will give you one! Thought you would like this, I SURE did!

"Appearing here on our shhooowww for the very first time since his death on May 14th 1998, for your listening enjoyment. Ladies, Gentleman and Tommy Salami Aufiero I offer you the intoxicating and romantic voice of Francis Albert Sinatra!!!!"

Turn up the sound, shut-up, sit back, relax and click on my name at left. Do it now Paley! Click here===>
A visit to the Barber is not a normal topic of discussion among Men, especially compared to such topics as the ladies, sports, cars, motorcycles, gaming, and other favorite male subjects. Haircuts are just something “we have to get” from time to time and are otherwise forgotten; talking about them is certainly not on the list of the “Top 100 Exciting Subjects for Men.” And normally that held true for me, regardless of where I’ve lived, until I developed a friendly attachment to my local Barber......(More with Photos)

Letter From: Gerald F. Merna; Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2006 12:12 AM; Subject: Re: Hennessey and Delarosa
Hi Greg: While I certainly remember both Jack Hennessey and Jap Delarosa very well, I have no idea where they are to this day. I will forward this to a couple of others who might. Some of our guys are really great at tracking down former Alumni on the internet. It's also possible that Art Kingsley may have their names on his Newsletter list. ......(More with Photos)

Letter From: Bill Caraballo; Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2008 4:22 AM; Subject: I am one of the boys

Hello; My name is William Caraballo I lived at St Agnes from Feb 14th 1974 until Sept 1974 when I was moved to a group in Staten Island. During my short time there I was given a award called the Sister Rita Anna award. I don't remember what exactly it was for but I remember that it was one of those things that started a chain of events that have continued until today. My story goes on to a time when the good sisters sent me and another boy to a boys camp for the summer. This was the beginning of 5 years of going and learning about other people I'm in the Navy and I've been in now almost 19 years I'm assigned to a stationed in Japan. I found your website today while listening to a story about NY. There is much more that I can write but I have to take my daughter to her swim lessons.

I just wanted to let you know how much St Agnes means to me thanks for saving this kids life. your truly

CSCS (SW) William Caraballo
US Navy

Letter From: Tina Cuccia; Sent: Monday, January 28, 2008 1:48 AM; Subject: Hi...

Hi, My father and his brother were at Sparkill St. Agnes (as "inmates or orphans" however they were referred to) between 1916 to 1920. I found their names listed on your site here:

I wanted to point out that their last name is "Cuccia" not Cucio and my uncle' s name is misspelled. You have: Cucio, Lewis and Cucio, Nicolas

It should be: Cuccia, Louis (not Lewis) and Cuccia, Nicholas

It is true that their parents were from Italy.

The time my father and uncle, now both deceased, were at Sparkill was very painful for them both. My grandmother put them in the orphanage since her husband had died and she had 5 children that needed to be cared for. My grandfather died before my father was born, so he never met his father. She put the 2 boys (she had 2 girls and 3 boys) in the orphanage so she could free herself for a time and learn to be a seamstress so that she could earn a living and care for all of her children. My father told me that the nuns at Sparkill were very cruel to him and his brother (and I am sure other the children there) and he would cry when he remembered back when he was there. We didn’t talk about much ever. He arrived at Sparkill when he was 4 years old and left after 2-3 years, I believe.

I was wondering if you had any information about my father and his brother. I realize this is so long ago, but if there is a photo or any information about their stay there, I would love to see it.

Thank you so much,

Tina Cuccia

Letter From: Joe Pacheco; Sent: Monday, January 28, 2008 4:11 PM; Subject: Re:

Hi Dave, I was at the home from 1934 till 1939 or 40. There is an unbridgeable gap between the my generation and the boys of the fifties and sixties. There is nothing we have in common except for being at St Agatha's.

It's good to keep up with the news of what's happening at the Home. We do get a news letter from St. Agnes. We pay our dues when asked to. We also have Nancy's book about Home Boys.

I am aware of the demise of the Chapel and the saving of the bell tower, the demolition of most of the buildings, the selling off of most of the land for redevelopment and the reunions. We couldn't make the last one because of illness. I am in my eighties, my wife in her mid seventies so it'll be fair to say that we've already had our last look at St. Agatha's when it was whole.

Bless you and thank you for answering my last request.

Joe/Theda Pacheco


01. Kidnappers are not very interested in you.
02. In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first.
03. No one expects you to run--anywhere.
04. People call at 9 PM and ask, Did I wake you????
05. People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.
06. There is nothing left to learn the hard way.
07. Things you buy now won't wear out.
08. You can eat supper at 4 PM.
09. You can live without sex but not your glasses.
10. You get into heated arguments about pension plans.
11. You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge.
12. You quit trying to hold your stomach in no matter who walks into the room.
13. You sing along with elevator music.
14. Your eyes won't get much worse.
15. Your investment in health insurance is finally beginning to pay off.
16. Your joints are more accurate meteorologists than the national weather service.
17. Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can't remember them either.
18. Your supply of brain cells is finally down to manageable size.
19. You can't remember who sent you this list.

And you notice these are all in Big Print for your convenience.


Grandpa, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. He didn't move, just sat with his head down staring at his hands. When I sat down beside him he didn't acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if he was OK. Finally, not really wanting to disturb him but wanting to check on him at the same time, I asked him if he was OK.

He raised his head and looked at me and smiled. Yes, I'm fine, thank you for asking, he said in a clear strong voice.

I didn't mean to disturb you, grandpa, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK I explained to him. Have you ever looked at your hands he asked. I mean really looked at your hands? I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point he was making.

Grandpa smiled and related this story:

Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years.

These hands, though wrinkled, shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life. They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor. They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back. As a child my mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots.

They dried the tears of my children and caressed the love of my life. They held my rifle and wiped my tears when I went off to war. They have been dirty, scraped and raw, swollen and bent. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son.

Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special. They wrote the letters home and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse and walked my daughter down the aisle.

Yet, they were strong and sure when I dug my buddy out of a foxhole and lifted a plow off of my best friends foot. They have held children, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger when I didn't understand. They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day when not much of anything else of me works real well these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer. These hands are the mark of where I've been and the ruggedness of my life.

But more importantly it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when he leads me home. And with my hands He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hands to touch the face of Christ.

I will never look at my hands the same again. But I remember God reached out and took my grandpa's hands and led him home. When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children and wife I think grandpa. I know he has been stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God. I, too, want to touch the face of God and feel his hands upon my face.

House Kids: 4 more names added to "House Kids List": Joe Pacheco (1934-1939 or 40 ), (brothers) Nicholas & Louis Cuccia (1916-1920), William Caraballo (1974)

Item Title: Fort Comfort Inn Resort
Created/Published c1908; Copyright claimant’s address: Ernst F. Walter; January 20, 1908, Hoboken, NJ;
Medium: 1 photographic print : gelatin silver ; 6.5 x 36.5 in.; Call Number: PAN US GEOG - New York no. 30;
Special Terms of Use: No known restrictions on publication.
Part of: Panoramic photographs (Library of Congress);
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540;
Copyright deposit; Ernst F. Walter; January 20, 1908; DLC/PP-1908:43395.

Photos: Submitted by Jerry Merna - Historic Shot - Fort Comfort Inn Resort.

Photo: Submitted by Jerry Merna; Tappan Zee HS, Piermont, N.Y.

Photos: Keeping it in Perspective When a Soldier comes home from war, he finds it hard…(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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