News from San Antonio Church – Oct. 17, 2021

We would like to thank everyone who has continued to contribute to the ongoing expenses of San Antonio Church by mailing in their weekly envelopes or by contributing electronically utilizing WeShare . The buttons at the bottom of this post allow you to make online donations directly to the listed account for San Antonio Church.

Weekly Bulletin October 17, 2021

by Terrie Evans

On this Sunday, we  introduce the next  historical San Antonio Parish Family  to be honored on November 7th, the Bonaventure Family.  The Patriarch and Matriarch of this family is Patrizio Nicholas Bonaventura (1880-1943) and Estella Grace (Ventre) (1883-1947).  Patrizio started his life as a foundling taken in and adopted by members of the  Cerrullo Family  who are linked to the Minella, Pagnoto and Sabata Families.  He was given the name  Patrizio Nicolas with his last name, Bonaventura meaning  Good Fortune and came to America with members of the Cerullo Family at age 16.  When he arrived in New York at Ellis Island Patrizio was able to read and write as the Cerullo Family took much time in schooling him.  Estella  came from the large  Ventre  family  also from Felitto and was the sister of Louis, Domenico, Vito, Rosario, Antoinetta, Maria Grazia, Theresa, and Luciano Ventre.  Patrizio and Estella  were married on January 8, 1905.  When they settled in the Little Italy section of South Fairmount, their family consisted of  Marie Bonaventura (1907-1976) who married Nicolas Musselli  (1900-1963); siblings Josephine, Patrick Nicholas, Anthony, Stella Marie and Carmen. 

Caroline “Carly” Bonaventura  (1908-1982) wed Joseph Romelli in 1951  siblings Fern Roberto, Roy and Patrick Romelli.  Herman Carmine “Nuch” Bonaventura (1912-1989) wed Carmella Smeraldo (1915-1984) in 1936 and lived at 2189 High Street and welcomed daughters Mrs. Thomas Ruehl and  Fern Webster.  Anna Rose Bonaventura (1914-1985) came next and then  son Joseph Patrizio Bonaventura (1917-2005) known as an excellent athlete who would train by running up White Street, qualified for the 1936 Olympics in Munich-wrestling team and was a Sgt. During World War II with the Rangers in the European Theatre.  Joe  married  Marie Elsa Cottman (1921-1958) and after her passing, 2nd Florence Jones (1922-2020), siblings Joy Marie Niehaus-Jenkins (1950-2010) and Robin Lee Bonaventura.  Helen Marie Bonaventura (1920-1999) married Christos Dektas, who was President of the San Antonio Men’s Club around the 50th Anniversary of San Antonio Church.  Their children were Tina (1952-2004) and Michael Dektas.  Rosemary  Bonaventura (1923-1996), married Edward Delph (1921-1978)  daughters Barbara Strasser, Teresa Hudson, son Prof. Edward Delp.  Estelle “Jennie” Bonaventura (1925-1993) married Clifford Walkenhorst (1925-1995) their family consisted of John and Steven.  Some of these siblings were part of the 1st Communion, Confirmation and May Crowning’s held at San Antonio Church who were prepared to receive the Sacraments by Sister of Charity, Blandina Segale, Servant of God. 

In the 1930 Census, the Patrizio and Stella Bonaventura Family  resided at 2164 Queen City Avenue.  In the 1940 Census, Patrizio was working on the infrastructure within the city laying sewers while living  at 2144 Queen City Avenue. As their family grew, the Patrizio Bonaventure Family moved to 1911 Biegler Street closer to San Antonio Church where they volunteered  and made many friends. 

Another San Antonio Church Parishioner and neighbor of the Bonaventures was Michael and Barbara  Scorziello.  Michael (1880-1954)  from Roccoadaspiede, Italy  and Barbara( Venice) Scorziello  (1887-1963) from Cirigliano, Italy came solo to America and settled in Peru, Indiana.  Michael Scorziello had family connections and started working for the railroad as a Section Man.  When Barbara Venice arrived with her family, they  married the next year in Peru, Indiana.  They settled in Little Italy at 1907 Biegler Street when Michael worked at the  Lunkenheimer  Company.  Michael Scorziello is on the Santa Maria Welfare Center Dedication Picture with all the men from  San Antonio and is seated between Vito Gramaglia and Angelo Fariello.    Michael  was on the Festival Committee in 1932 while  Barbara was a member of the St. Ann’s Married Ladies Sodality; both worked  at many of the Spaghetti Dinners  during those years.  Barbara is one of the San Antonio Ladies in a photo with Mrs. Josephine (Palmieri) Panaro working at a Spaghetti Dinner in the 1950’s.   

News from San Antonio Church – Oct. 10, 2021

We would like to thank everyone who has continued to contribute to the ongoing expenses of San Antonio Church by mailing in their weekly envelopes or by contributing electronically utilizing WeShare . The buttons at the bottom of this post allow you to make online donations directly to the listed account for San Antonio Church.

Weekly Bulletin October 10, 2021

by Terrie Evans

On November 7th, San Antonio Church will honor the Romelli, Bonaventura, Acito, and  Di Stasi families at a Mass and Reception in our Hall.  The 1st family  to introduce is the Joseph Romelli  (1900-1990) and Caroline Bonaventura (1911-1982) Family.  Joseph was born in 1900  in  Italy and arrived in America as a young boy with his father Rocco.  Joseph’s siblings, Teresa, Grazia, Rocco, Mary, Carmela, Rose Mary from mother  Fortunata and father Rocco’s blended family.  In the 1920 Census, Joseph resided  in Butler County  working for the Railroad as a Section Man.  In 1930, Joseph married  Caroline Bonaventura with daughter Fernadina born in 1931, Roy in 1934, and Patrick in 1940.   On May 23, 1936  Fern  was a Flower Girl in the Wedding of her uncle Carmine Bonaventura to Joseph’s sibling, Carmella Smeraldo at San Antonio Church.  In 1936, Joseph’s mother Fortunata (1874-1936) passed away at  age 62 and in the 1940 census the Joseph  Romelli Family was living at 2164 Queen City Avenue (The St. Peter’s Lick Run Historic District) when Joseph was 39, Caroline was 29, Fern was 8, Roy was 5 and Patrick was 4 with Joseph’s Father, Rocco also living with them.  At that time Joseph was employed as a Coremaker with the  William Powell Company.  The Romelli family has connections to generations of San Antonio Parishioners and worked to promote our church and their Italian Heritage.  At one time, Joseph and daughter, Fern  Roberto took part in the United Nations Harvest Home Festival along with Vito Ventre  and Rose Cerullo performing folk dances of Italy.  Other Romelli  family members are the, Cucinotta, Lingardo, Ricci, Rullo, Scrimizzi and Smeraldo Families.

On April 4, 1951 Fernadina Caroline Romelli (1931-2010)  married a young man from the neighborhood, Louis Roberto (1928-2000) at San Antonio Church.  Louis’s parents were Louise (Di Stasi) (1891-1942) and Pasquale Roberto, (1892-1953) founder of Pasquale’s Pizza.   Louis’ siblings were Angela, Joseph, Rose, Anthony, Patrick, Alexander  and Vito.  While living on Beigler Street, Fern and Lou Roberto’s Family  consisted of LuAnn, Tony, Tina, Vincent and Gina.  Fern’s younger brother  Roy Romelli wed Barbara Lee Spicer (1936-2002) in 1956 and were married 47 years.  Barbara was the Treasurer of the St. Ann’s Married Lady’s Sodality and their family consisted of Angela, Lisa, Maria, Joseph, Louis and Nicole.  Fern and Roy’s  artistic brother, Patrick Romelli, became a commercial artist and illustrator and married Mary Ann Thomas with their family consisting of Jennifer, Caroline, Patrick and Thomas.  

Fern, Roy, Pat and their spouses and families have  served San Antonio Church for many years.  Fern was front and center at all the Spaghetti Dinners, Palm Sunday Bake Sales and all the fundraisers at San Antonio Church.  Fern was President of the St. Ann’s Ladies Sodality when the 1st “Mangia” Cook Book was Published under the direction of then Pastor, Rev. Melvin Holtel  with the 72 pages  of fantastic recipes becoming a big success.  Fern remained as President of the new Men’s and Ladies Club and  revised the cook book  for a new publication of 84 pages from recipes of San Antonio parishioners.  Fern’s brother  Roy Romelli has been a volunteer at San Antonio throughout his life at  every fundraiser and a hands on volunteer who has tackled many tedious jobs and  has probably made one million meatballs for all our  annual Spaghetti Dinners.  He is a regular  at all the Lunch on the House Tuesdays as a part of our dedicated kitchen crew and his expertise as a sheet metal worker has come in handy many times.  Their youngest brother Pat  has used his  talents over the years at San Antonio for the design of the Memorial Brick Garden for our 85th Anniversary on October 7, 2007.  Pat also helped design our new lighted Marquee for master bricklayer from G&G Masonry, the late Pete (Guy) Langenbrunner (1931-2018) and our master iron designer  from Sterling Industries, Dick Linnemann.   At present Pat has designed a beautiful rendering of San Antonio Church  with all proceeds going for the 100th Anniversary Celebration.   

News from San Antonio Church – Oct. 3, 2021

We would like to thank everyone who has continued to contribute to the ongoing expenses of San Antonio Church by mailing in their weekly envelopes or by contributing electronically utilizing WeShare . The buttons at the bottom of this post allow you to make online donations directly to the listed account for San Antonio Church.

Weekly Bulletin October 3, 2021

by Terrie Evans

On this Sunday, October 3rd, San Antonio Church will celebrate and honor the Delseno’s, Di Stefano’s (Stevens), Cerullo and Serraino Families.  These families are part of the history of our church and the settlement of southern Italian Families who came to Cincinnati for a better way of life.  The men from these four families (in the St. Anthony Welfare Center dedication picture) came to the America where they believed  that the streets where paved in gold but, upon their arrival, they found there were no golden streets, the streets were not even paved and many took jobs to pave them.  They worked as laborers; married and raised families while following the American dream so each generation would have a better future.  Angelo and Philomena Delseno , married for over 60 years hoped their children would get an education and move up to better jobs; and they did.  The Delseno siblings went on the have their own families and  achieve more as the son of Nelda Delseno and Edward Ekhardt did.  Dennis Ekhardt  grew up in South Fairmount and paid homage to his grandparents and parents in his  book, “Every Life is a Story and this is Mine”.  He wrote about growing up in the  Little Italy neighborhood of South Fairmount  with his group of friends  Joe (Frog) Stevens, Bob (Butch) Prinzo, Pat (Dubba Doy) Lucia, Wayne (Monk) Serraino,  Lenny (Lout) Lyons and his years in the Navy rising from a Seaman Recruit, to Naval Officer and Retirement.    

The Donato and Louise Di Stefano(Stevens) Family settled here after their arrival in 1906, with their oldest son, Dominic Stevens, born in Italy.  The other siblings became first generation  Americans with their son Noble Louis Stevens and his bride Evelyn Orem the first to wed in the new San Antonio Church  on April 14, 1941.  During the years of World War II many from these Italian Families served our country proudly as their son Dan Stevens did.  He became a POW held by Germans  for almost 3 years  as he conversed in Italian with his captors while working as a shoemaker in the camp.  His parents Donato and Louise (Roberto) Stevens along with  the San Antonio Church community said many prayers for his survival.  Dan did  survive; came home to marry, live a full family life and live to be 78. 

The were 2  Cerullo families who attended San Antonio Church. The  Antonio and Rose ( Stevens) Cerullo  Family along with daughter Marlene (Cerullo) Steers  served our church faithfully  for many years. The other early Cerullo Family, Carmine and Rose (Lingardo) Cerrullo   settled in  Old Forge, Pennsylvania  first where their son Joseph (1923-1924) and daughter Viola was born.  They came to Cincinnati for son Amedeo was born and  where  Carmine’s half-brother  Patrizio Bonaventura (1881-1943)  had settled. 

The  Anthony and Philomena  Serraino Family settled in South Fairmount twice, once for his work on the Western Hills Viaduct and the other was when they   relocated back here from Hartford Connecticut.  They became good friends with Anthony and Rose (Stevens) Cerullo , Godparents to their daughter, Carmella (Cumi) Serraino Berger.  Their son, Rev. Fred Serraino C.S.C. was born in Cincinnati in 1930 and grew up with life-long friends, the late Ralph Minella and Buddy LaRosa.  Rev. Fred Serraino C.S.C.  celebrated the 50th Anniversary of his Ordination into the Holy Cross Order in 2018.   They Delseno, Stevens, Cerullo and Serraino Families brought many traditions with them to their new home country but they never lost the spirit of village closeness known as Campanilismo – their loyalty to those who live within  the sound of the village church bells. The sense of identity, of pride and belonging.   Decades later we still have that devotion to our church and  loyalty to each other.

News from San Antonio Church – Sept. 26, 2021

We would like to thank everyone who has continued to contribute to the ongoing expenses of San Antonio Church by mailing in their weekly envelopes or by contributing electronically utilizing WeShare . The buttons at the bottom of this post allow you to make online donations directly to the listed account for San Antonio Church.

Weekly Bulletin September 26, 2021

by Terrie Evans

The fourth interesting San Antonio Church  family to honor and introduce on Sunday October 3rd,  is the Antonio (Anthony) (1897-1970) and Philomena (Nania) Serraino (1900-1954) Family.  Anthony was a young man when he emigrated from  Filadelfia, (Greek for Philadelphia) located  in the Italian region of Calabria  in 1916.  Philomena Nania journeyed from Savelli, Italy when she was 20 years old.   According to the 1920 census, Anthony  was single and living as a lodger in a boarding house, Mining Camp #2, Brooklyn Road, in Hibbing, Minnesota working in the Iron Range Mines located in the northeastern part of the  state.  Since the 1880’s, mining companies were recruiting immigrants to work at the Mesabi Range Mines that would contribute  about sixty percent of the country’s total iron ore output during the years, 1900-1980.  It was a subsidiary  of United States Steel with the Mesabi iron ore mined both underground and in open pits above the ground.  Because few skills were required, many Finnish, Southern Slav’s and Italian immigrants were prominent as laborers in the logging and mining industries of Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin and these were the most dangerous and lowest paying jobs.  After working a few years  in the mines, Anthony married Philomena Nania  in Hibbing, Minnesota  in 1924. 

The couple had two children born in Minnesota, Louise Ann (Serraino) Jackson (1926-2003) and Frank Serraino (1928-2008).  The Serraino  family left Hibbing and moved across the country to Cincinnati, Ohio so Anthony could take a job constructing  the Western Hills Viaduct when their son, Fred Serraino was born in 1930 during the time he was working here.  Employment during this time was hard to find when the Serraino’s  settled in the growing Italian community of Hartford, Connecticut  where a niece of Anthony’s was living.  Later on, they  welcomed daughters, Rose Serraino (1933-1992), Carmella (Cumi) Serraino Berger in 1936 and son  Wayne Serraino in 1943.  In the mid 1940’s, Anthony  who was then 45, registered with the Draft Board in Cincinnati, Ohio  when  they resided in “Little Italy”, at 2008 then 1930 Queen City Avenue.    

Sadly, Philomena passed away in 1954 when Louise (1926-2003) was 28 years old and married to Robert Anthony Jackson (1918-2005), Frank  (Head) Serraino (1928-2008) was 26,  married Lois Honokomp and were married for 62 years when she died in 2018, Fred Serraino born in 1930 was 24 and on his way to being ordained into the Holy Cross Order, Rose Serraino was 21, Carmella( Serraino) Berger  was 18 and Wayne Serraino born in 1943 was only 11 years old.  

Anthony lived to be 73 years old and witnessed his son Rev.  Fred Serraino C.S.C.  ordained on December 21, 1968 and be present at his Mass of Thanksgiving at San Antonio Church on June 1, 1969.

            The late Louise (Serraino) and Robert Jackson had two children Randall and Douglas.  Frank and Loise (Honokomp) Serraino had Mike, the late Mary Elizabeth, Sally, Amy, Terri  and Jenny Serraino.  Cumi (Serraino) and the late  Bob Berger siblings, Rob and Christy and the Wayne {Monk} Serraino Family consisted of  Andy and Vince. 

Sister Blandina Objects!

Many of the early parishioners of San Antonio Church faced discrimination. Sister Blandina Segale was a proponent of her fellow Italian-Americans and spoke out against the disparate treatment that they received.

Cincinnati Enquirer May 1, 1914

News from San Antonio Church – Sept. 19, 2021

We would like to thank everyone who has continued to contribute to the ongoing expenses of San Antonio Church by mailing in their weekly envelopes or by contributing electronically utilizing WeShare . The buttons at the bottom of this post allow you to make online donations directly to the listed account for San Antonio Church.

Weekly Bulletin September 19, 2021

by Terrie Evans

Our  next family group to be remembered and honored on Sunday, October 3rd  will be the Antonio (Anthony) and Rose Mary (Stevens ) Cerullo Family.  Anthony R. Cerullo arrived from Felitto, Italy alone at the age of 18 years old in 1920 and became good friends with the Raffaele Minella family  on Queen City Avenue. He felt at  home  in the Little Italy section of South Fairmount as there were many residents from Felitto.  Anthony Cerullo (1902-1991) married Rose (Stevens)1908-1992) on June 26, 1926 in Hamilton, Ohio and became part of the Stevens Family with her siblings, Dominic, Noble,  Dan, Angela, Jean, Josephine. Theresa, Louise and Margie welcoming  him.  

Anthony and Rose  settled  in the Lower Lick Run Section of South Fairmount at 1890 Queen City Avenue and welcomed daughters Rosemary (Cerullo) Schneller(1928-1984)  and Marlene (Cerullo) Steers (1933-2020).  They joined San Antonio Church and in 1932, Anthony Cerullo was part of the Festival Committee under the direction of our then  pastor, Rev. Dennis Englehard, O.F.M.  The Cerullo Family were present at the dedication of the new  San Antonio Church on December 1, 1940, when Rosemary was 12 and Marlene was 6.  During the 1940’s  Anthony  served in the United States Army Corps of Engineers  during WWII.  When he came home after his service, the Cerullo’s  became an important part of our church and a big part of the fabric of the Italian Community in South Fairmount.  He was known for his gardening skills, winemaking and the love he had for San Antonio Church. Anthony  worked many hours doing the electrical work needed for the annual festival and handled repairs to the church building while  being a member of the San Antonio Men’s Society.  He retired from the Cincinnati Gas &Electric Company after 28 years and went on to be a Commander of American Legion Post 507,  VFW Post 4962 and a valued member of the South Fairmount Improvement Association. 

Rose (Stevens) Cerullo was also a very dedicated and active parishioner at San Antonio Church as a member of the St. Ann’s Ladies Sodality, St. Angela Ladies Auxiliary #28 Knights of St. John and served on the Committee for the 50th Anniversary of the church in 1972.  Rose also worked as a hostess at Women’s Exchange Restaurant and later on at LaRosa’s Italian Inn.  Their daughters, Rosemary and Marlene also carried on the volunteer work of their parents as young girls.  Rosemary Cerullo  (1928-1984) married Richard Schneller (1929-2016) and welcomed Thomas, Rick, Dan (1959-2016), and Linda Rose.  Rosemary Schneller later became a member of the Madeira-Indian Hill Fire Department.  Even though  Rosemary moved out of the neighborhood, she  always supported our fundraisers. Marlene  (Cerullo) (1933-2020)  married Ronald Steers(1931-1970) stayed on the West Side and  carried on the work of her mom Rose (Stevens)  and dad, Anthony Cerullo at San Antonio  until the last few years of her life.  

Marlene  was a member of the present day Men’s and Ladies Sodality and worked the many fundraisers while working as the 1st Female E.M.T. Fire Fighter with the City of Cheviot.  She became  a widow at 37 when Ronald died suddenly on their anniversary  in 1970.  Marlene was left  with a young family, Diana(Steers) Michels, Donna (Steers) Richards, Debby (Steers) Still and the late Dana (1962-2002), Duane (1962-2006) and Darren Steers (1968-2002) to raise while continuing to support San Antonio Church during those difficult years. 

There was also another Cerullo Family –  Carmine (1919-1990) and spouse Rosa (1924-2015) who once resided at 1730 Harrison Avenue.  They are buried at Fountainhead memorial Park in Palm Bay, Florida.  


You can also look forward to the future stories of another group of Minellas, sisters who made South Fairmount their home: Rosaria Minella Florimonte, Elena Minella Di Stasi, and Antonia Minella Carota.

News from San Antonio Church – Sept. 12, 2021

We would like to thank everyone who has continued to contribute to the ongoing expenses of San Antonio Church by mailing in their weekly envelopes or by contributing electronically utilizing WeShare . The buttons at the bottom of this post allow you to make online donations directly to the listed account for San Antonio Church.

Weekly Bulletin September 12, 2021

by Terrie Evans

Our next Mass and celebration is scheduled for Sunday, October 3rd with San Antonio Church honoring  4 early families.  The 1st will be the  members from the Delseno and  Stevens (DiStefano) Families.   Dating back to those early years, Angelo Michael Delseno  (1877-1964) was born in the Province of Salerno, Campania, Italy  to parents Guiseppe and Rosina Delseno.  Angelo (1877-1964) wed Philomena Paladino (1881-1964)  and  in 1903, they journeyed to America.  A few years later,  Angelo and Philomena bought their home at 1978 Queen City  in the Upper Lick Run area of South Fairmount while he worked for the Cincinnati Gas Company at  4th and Main.  They  welcomed siblings Joseph John Delseno ( 1906-1973) who wed Irene Catherine Mead (1906-1980), Rose (Delseno) Schwartz Luken (1908-1986) 1st married Fred Schwartz (1888-1957 & 2nd  William Bernard Luken 1902-1972), Helen Delseno (1910-1975) who wed Robert Frank Murvine (1912-1981), John Delseno (1912-1981) who wed Josephine Mary Stevens (1913– 1979), Nelda Delseno (1915-1970) who wed Edward Clarence Ekhardt (1917-1968), Frank Delseno (1916-1931), Christine Grace Delseno (1918-2012) who wed Arthur Stath (1919-1991),  and Daniel (Donato) Delseno (1920-2001) who wed Marilyn Elizabeth Hickman (1923-2004).  Philomena and Angelo, known in the neighborhood for their vegetable and flower  gardens, passed away 5 months apart, Philomena (July 22, 1964) and Angelo (December 5, 1964), they were married over 60 years.   At one time their sons, John Delseno owned a restaurant on the West Side and his brother operated “Hobo Joe Delseno Café”.  

The next family to be honored on October 3rd  is the Daniel (Donato) 1883-1961 (Festival Committee 1932)  and Louise (Roberto) 1886-1963  Di Stefano (Stevens) Family.  Married  in Italy around 1902, they  had their first child Dominic( Elmer) Stevens in Italy on September 24, 1904 and around 1906, they arrived in America.  Dominic (Elmer) Stevens (Secretary of Festival Committee in 1932) married Virginia Mary Guerrera (1910-1970).  Dominic (Elmer) Stevens (1904-1987)  other siblings were Rose (Stevens)  Cerullo (1908-1992) who wed Antonio Cerullo (1902-1991) ( San Antonio Festival Committee in 1932).  Angela (Stevens) (1909-1979) employed as a Finisher in a tailor shop  wed Vincent De Luca (1899-1992)  lived at 1964 Queen City Avenue when Vincent was employed at Proctor and Gamble in Ivorydale .  The other siblings were Antoinette “Jean”(Stevens) (1911-1988) married to Phillip Cohen (Cohen Bros. Shoe Store) lived in Las Vegas where Jean worked as a waitress at the Dunes while Phillip held a government job, Josephine (Stevens) (1913-1979) wed to John Delseno (1912-1981), Theresa Mary Stevens (1915-1991)  worked at Kline’s, wed Joseph Gleisinger (1914-1997) ) and lived at 1980 Queen City Avenue when Joseph  worked at  A Topicz Company.     Noble Louis Stevens (1918-1992), who  wed Evelyn Orem (1920-1995) on April 14, 1941, were the 1st couple to marry in our new church.  Daniel N. Stevens Jr. (1920-1998) a POW during WWII Captured by Germans wed  Assunta “Sue”  Carelli (1918-1959) then Lena( Drew ) (1921-1998) in the 1960’s.  Louise Stevens (1923-1994) held jobs  in the restaurant industry and married Beverly Benton (1914-1999)  in 1981.  The oldest sibling, Dominic (Elmer) Stevens  owned  Haynay’s Grocery  Store with his wife, Virginia and their family consisted of Donald Stevens “Snoz” (1931-2008)  who wed Dolores (1932-2015) Joseph “Frog” Stevens (1940-2003) married Mary Ann Kurre (1949-2011) and current parishioner and last surviving sibling, Mary Louise( Stevens) and husband Frank Russo. 


You can also look forward to the future stories of another group of Minellas, sisters who made South Fairmount their home: Rosaria Minella Florimonte, Elena Minella Di Stasi, and Antonia Minella Carota.

News from San Antonio Church – Sept. 5, 2021

We would like to thank everyone who has continued to contribute to the ongoing expenses of San Antonio Church by mailing in their weekly envelopes or by contributing electronically utilizing WeShare . The buttons at the bottom of this post allow you to make online donations directly to the listed account for San Antonio Church.

Weekly Bulletin September 5, 2021

by Terrie Evans

On this Sunday, September 5th San Antonio Church  Parishioners welcome the members of the D’Agostino, Minella and Ventre families who are descendants of the 1st generation of the Italian Colony who settled in South Fairmount and founded our church in 1922.  Those new arrivals of young poor immigrant families  we are honoring went through hardships and  difficult times to come to America for a better life for their families.  Many of the men came first  with almost nothing except for the clothes on their backs,  a few dollars in their pockets,  an address of their final destination their sponsor’s name and a job.  Two brothers, Sabato (1875-1956) and Raffaele Minella (1877-1963) both worked in the coal mines of Pennsylvania before settling in Cincinnati with their families.  They took manual labor jobs at Lunkenheimer’s; Sabato for 40 years and Raffaele until 1912 when he took a job at General Hospital for a $16 a week salary.  Luciano Ventre (1895-1984) came to the United States worked hard as a brick layer for the City of Cincinnati and lived to see his three Ventre  grandsons  Steve, Doug and Greg also work for the City as Cincinnati Police Officers. 

Those early arrivals to America worried over every dollar they made as  they had families to support with some of their monies going to other family members coming to Cincinnati.  The D’Agostino, Minella and Ventre families all  had help getting here, so they assisted  the  next group  of new arrivals from Fellitto, Rocadespeide or other remote little villages around  Southern Italy.  Everyday life was uncertain and a challenge with families losing children in infancy and spouses passing away at a young age.  Sabato and Philomena Minella lost 3 year old Eutimo in 1911 and 15 day old Rosa Antonetta in 1926.   Silvano and Dena Minella lost  10 month old  Lawrence in 1917  with Luciano and Maria (Schiavo) Ventre losing 1 month old daughter Carmines in 1925.  When men became widowers with children to raise, they chose to marry again to keep the family together as Vito Minella did when he lost his wife Maria.  When Vito married again to Palma, she was able to keep the family together and add Silvano, Mary and Brigid as siblings to their big family.  

When  Antonio  D’Agostino (1885-1926) died at the age of 41 years old but, Concetta Agnes Mary (D’Angelo) D’Agostino never  gave up.  Antonio left 8 children and a 37 year old widow with the oldest D’ Agostino sibling,  Josephine at 15 and the youngest, Jean a 1 year old.  Concetta took on the responsibility of raising her family by taking on  jobs of cleaning, cooking and becoming a caregiver and midwife to the women in the neighborhood.  The siblings Josephine, Mary, Carmella, Anna, Johnny, Nick, Russell, and Jean banded together doing whatever was necessary to keep the family together.  They became one of the  many success stories of the Little Italy neighborhood around San Antonio Church.  They stayed close,  celebrated successful marriages, careers, and with each generation, achieved  even more of the American dream. The granddaughter  of Antonio and Concetta D’ Agostino, Connie (Wakeman) McCluskey helped build a successful car dealership  with her late  husband Dan.  They had a plan and never gave up to live in the greatest country full of opportunities for their children and the many generations to follow.  They were proud to call America home.


You can also look forward to the future stories of another group of Minellas, sisters who made South Fairmount their home: Rosaria Minella Florimonte, Elena Minella Di Stasi, and Antonia Minella Carota.