St. Agnes Alumni WebNews
House Kids @ Home

WebNews #35; Happy Mother's Day, Sunday; May 10, 2009

(Music: "Mother")


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

Mother's Day History"Spiritual Origin of Mothers Day: The majority of countries that celebrate Mother's Day do so on the second Sunday of May. On this day, it is common for Mothers to be lavished with presents and special attention from their families, friends and loved ones. But it hasn’t always been this way. " (More....)

St. Agatha Home "Bell Tower" Project. Maria Agosto presents a fabulous "Bell Tower" movie. The Bell that faithfully tolled for us Home Kids has been orphaned and now needs our help. Please enjoy this GREAT movie at: The Bell Tower Project To contribute your support, send to: SA Alum Assn, PO Box 272, Nanuet, NY 10954

From: John E. Gonzalez; Sent: Monday, December 29, 2008; Subject: House Kids

Hello, I came across the St. Agnes website by accident. I had no idea there was one dedicated to the House Kids! I would like to add some information if I may.

My brothers Joe and Franklin "Frankie" Gonzalez went to St. Agnes shortly after my mother died in 1947. Joe left St. Agnes approximately in 1950-51. I arrived at St. Agnes approximately in 1954. Frankie and I left St. Agnes in 1957.

Joe passed away in February 1975 and Frankie passed away in November 2007.

I have a lot of memories of my days as a House Kid, from hikes in the mountains, going to the city of Pearl to see the Wizard of Oz to our days going to Coney Island where we were treated to a day of fun at Steeplechase Park. Lot of memories, a lot history.

Thank you,

From: James F. Shea; Sent: Tuesday, January 27, 2009; Subject: FW: A bit of knowledge


**The main difference between http:// and https:// is it’s all about keeping you secure**

HTTP stands for Hypertext Transport Protocol, which is just a fancy way of saying it's a protocol (a language, in a manner of speaking) for information to be passed back and forth between web servers and clients.

The important thing is the letter S which makes the difference between HTTP and HTTPS. The S (big surprise) stands for "Secure".

If you visit a website or webpage, and look at the address in the web browser, it will likely begin with the following: http://.

This means that the website is talking to your browser using the regular 'unsecured language. In other words, it is possible for someone to "eavesdrop" on your computer's conversation with the website. If you fill out a form on the website, someone might see the information you send to that site.

This is why you never ever enter your credit card number in an http website!

But if the web address begins with https://, that basically means your computer is talking to the website in a secure code that no one can eavesdrop on.

You understand why this is so important, right?

If a website ever asks you to enter your credit card information, you should automatically look to see if the web address begins with https://.

If it doesn't, there's no way you're going to enter sensitive information like a credit card number.

From: Vic Prezioso; Sent: Wednesday, January 28, 2009; Subject: St Agnes Home

I am very impressed with the extent of the website. It did indeed bring back a lot of memories. I did not live there, but I was employed there in the Boy's Infirmary for several years in the early to mid 70's. We took care of a lot of boys who were too ill to be in their groups, but not so ill they needed to be in the hospital. If I remember right, there were 11 beds. I'm sure I have some photos somewhere of some of the kids and staff that were there at the time. Is there a section of the website dedicated to former staff? Some of the staff who worked in the Infirmary with me were: Leslie Corke RN, Gail Hennessey LPN, John Marlowe, Cathy Bell RN, and I could probably think of a few others.

Vic Prezioso

From: John J. Antonacci; Sent: Thursday, April 09, 2009 10:28 PM; Subject: David Kee is Back on the Internet

To all my family, friends and House's Kids

David Kee is back on the internet. His computer crashed about 8 months ago.

David is a House's Kid. He retired from the Marine Corp as a gunnery Sgt. after 30 + years and he lives in Fl. His e-mail address is

David graduated from TZHS class 1949 His brother Lou is also a House's Kid who spent 30 + years in the Marine Corp. He is still active with Foreign Counsel and travels all over the world.

They also have a sister KIKI who was raised by the sisters in Nanuet. she is married, lives with her family in Piermont and very active in the ST JOHN PARISH.



From: DL Stone (formerly David L. Perez); Sent: Tuesday, April 21, 2009; Subject: St Agnes Alumni

My name was David L. Perez and along with my older brother Ray and my younger brother Steve we were students there for seven years beginning in 1960. I remember most clearly, Mr. O’Brian. He was the male couch for everything and everybody. It seems that he was involved in everything athletic. From the early morning calisthenics to the boxing matches, he seemed the expert for them all. He taught me how to defend myself honorably in the ring. Disputes, and there were many, were usually settled in the ring. Some of the other things I remember are my friend Clark. He is African American and appeared the be the leader of the group I was in. The name of the group was Little Flower.

Not all was perfect as a resident there. As a child, I dearly missed my family. Visiting day was usually on the weekends. It was surely a joy to hear your name called out that you have a visitor. My mom and dad were divorced at the time and our visit was usually with one or the other. My parent would take us out of the convent to a place were we could be ourselves. Sometimes to a movie or an amusement park and at other times a restaurant, but no matter where it was it sure was nice. The worst part was coming back, for no matter how excited I was to see my folks it hurt even more to have to return. I could not understand why I had to go back to the convent and not stay with my parents.

From: Margaret Cenci Frontera
Sent: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 10:26 PM
Subject: St. Agnes Home - Photo?`

Hi. I am doing family research for a friend whose father, and aunts and uncles were at the home from 1915-1922. Do you know of any old photos that I might be able to find for the book I am making them? Thank you.

Margaret in NJ

To send photos and other articles, please email them to
Margaret Cenci Frontera

From: Margaret Cenci Frontera
Sent: Thursday, May 07, 2009 7:05 AM
Subject: Re: St. Agnes Home - Photo?

David: .... Here they are. The dates I have for them are from Sr. Catherine, the nun in charge of the archives:

Mary "Mamie" Spellman (1915-1919), Lillian Spellman (1915-1921), William Albert Spellman, Jr. (1915-1922), George Francis Spellman (1915-1922).

Thanks, again!

From: GERALD F. MERNA; Sent: Wednesday, April 29, 2009 2:01 AM; Subject: Grandma's Hands (forwarded by G.F. Merna)

GRANDMA'S HANDS...... (photo creator and author unknown)..... must read thru it to the end please!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I was privileged to take a photo of "Five Generations of Women" shortly before my 93 year-old Grandmother passed away last year. The photo, shown below, features the hands of my Grandmother, Mom, Sister, Niece and Great-Niece. While I can't take credit for t he idea, I was so happy to have had the sugge stion & capture this mo ment. It inspired a friend of mine to do something similar, which turned out so beautiful it became a special keepsake, prior to her father's passing.


Grandma, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. She didn't move, just sat with her head down staring at her hands. When I sat down beside her she didn't acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if she was OK

Finally, not really wanting to disturb her but wanting to check on her at the same time, I asked he r if she was OK. She raised her head and looked at me and smiled. "Yes, I'm fine, thank you for asking," she said in a clear voice strong.

"I didn't mean to disturb you, grandma, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK," I explained to her.

"Have you ever looked at your hands," she 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 she was making..

Grandma 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 fo od 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 held my husband and wiped my tears when he 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 my letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse.

"They have held my children and grandchildren, 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 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 grandma's hands and led her home.
When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children and husband I think of grandma. I know she 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.

When you receive this, say a prayer for the person who sent it to you, and watch God's answer to prayer work in your life. Let's continue praying for one another.

Passing this on to anyone you consider a friend will bless you both.

Passing this on to one not yet considered a friend is something Christ would do.
Selection of Photos From Our Website

Joe Stanaitis (1940 and 2002)

Charley McKeathen and Sam Tollins (2004 and 1951)

Reflections of a Mother

I gave you life, but cannot live it for you.
I can teach you things, but I cannot make you learn.
I can give you directions, but I cannot be there to lead you.
I can allow you freedom, but I cannot account for it.
I can take you to church, but I cannot make you believe.
I can teach you right from wrong, but I cannot always decide for you.
I can buy you beautiful clothes, but I cannot make you beautiful inside.
I can offer you advice, but I cannot accept it for you.
I can give you love, but I cannot force it upon you.
I can teach you to share, but I cannot make you unselfish.
I can teach you respect, but I cannot force you to show honor.
I can advise you about friends, but cannot choose them for you.
I can advise you about sex, but I cannot keep you pure.
I can tell you the facts of life, but I can't build your reputation.
I can tell you about drink, but I can't say "no" for you.
I can warn you about drugs but I can't prevent you from using them.
I can tell you about lofty goals, but I can't achieve them for you.
I can teach you about kindness, but I can't force you to be gracious
I can warn you about sins, but I cannot make you moral
I can love you as a child, but I cannot place you in God's family.
I can pray for you, but I cannot make you walk with God.
I can teach you about Jesus, but I cannot make Jesus your Lord.
I can tell you how to live, but I cannot give you eternal life.
I can love you with unconditional love all of my life... and I will!!!
(Author Unknown)

Grandmothers Are Mothers Who Are Grand

"G"randmothers are mothers who are grand,
"R"estoring the sense that our most precious things
"A"re those that do not change much over time.
"N"o love of childhood is more sublime,
"D"emanding little, giving on demand,
"M"ore inclined than most to grant the wings
"O"n which we fly off to enchanted lands.
"T"hough grandmothers must serve as second mothers,
"H"elping out with young and restless hearts,
"E"ach has all the patience wisdom brings,
"R"emembering our passions more than others,
"S"oothing us with old and well-honed arts.
By Turlough O'Carolan..


(Author Unknown)

House Kids: 14 more names added to "House Kids List": John Gonzalez, Joe Gonzalez, Franklin (Frankie) Gonzalez, Larry Parrish, David L. Perez, Steve Perez, Ray Perez, John William Ryan, Marion Constance (Connie) Ryan, Florance Ryan, Mary "Mamie" Spellman (1915-1919), Lillian Spellman (1915-1921), William Albert Spellman, Jr. (1915-1922), George Francis Spellman (1915-1922)

4 New GuestBook Entries:

Message Number: 23 - Tuesday, April 21, 2009 21:30:59 EST

Name: DL Stone (formerly David L. Perez)
Current Hometown: Orlando
Dates at St. Agnes(Sparkill): 1960 - 1967

Please send my anything you have about St Agnes Convent. I would especially appreciate any photo you may have of the old school.

Message Number: 22 - Tuesday, April 7, 2009 22:40:26 EST

Name: Angelo Garcia jr.
Current Hometown: Midalnd Texas
Dates at St. Agnes(Sparkill): farther -1940-1943

Comments: This is to inform all concerned that my father
Angelo Garcia passed away on June 15, 2005. He used to go to the reunions,and told me many stories about St Agnes.His brothers Fred and Alfred were also alumni and now deceased. God bless,

Angelo Garcia jr.

Message Number: 21 - Tuesday, April 7, 2009 22:06:14 EST

Name: Angelo Garcia jr.
Current Hometown: Midland Texas

My father was at Saint Agnes and his brothers Fred and Alfred

Message Number: 20 - Monday, April 6, 2009 23:20:54 EST

Name: rene mercado
Current Hometown: albuquerque nm
Dates at St. Agnes(Sparkill): 55-58

sad to hear the home is gone good and bad memories remember siting on top of stoop by the gym myself tony ecchvaria and roy called "biscuit" perry,butch caranza francisco bentetas

Great Dance Routine: James Cagney and Bob Hope Wassup 2008 Stand By Me
I'm a born again American Take Me Back To The 1960's
9/11 Attack Slideshow BestPhotos2005.pps
Absolutely Fantastic Slideshow (Creator unknown) Whispers (Creator unknown) 4 candles
A Pittance Of Time If I Fall... on The Field of Battle Memorial Day

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.

There are many ways you can help our troops.
Click Here:
Help Our Troops!
Please support our alumni website. click here to
Graphic by:    
General Links:                 Photo Gallery:

Home To Top To WebNews Archive To NewsAlert Archive

Please eMail your Photos, Stories, Anecdotes, Letters, EMail, Biographies, Newsletters, News. Please read (Our Policy)

Official PayPal Seal
Click This Button To

All Voluntary Contributions Greatfully Received
  eMail Web Designers: David T. Feliciano

About Us Our Mission Our Policy Our History
Copyright © 2003-2017 - David T. Feliciano;   
All Rights Reserved.   
Support Our Website

Alumni Website is Sponsored by your Voluntary Contributions
To Contribute, Click on "Contribute" Buttons at Left