News from San Antonio Church – Sept. 5, 2021

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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.

News from San Antonio Church – August 29, 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 August 29, 2021

by Terrie Evans

Our next celebration on Sunday, September 5th  will be in honor  of early San Antonio Families.  On this Sunday, we introduce  the last D’Agostino (Augustine) family, sister of Rosario (1872-1954) and Antonio (1885-1926), Angela (D’Agostino) Roberto (1878-1952).  Married to Francesco Roberto (1880-1961) in Felitto, Italy, they settled in the Upper Lick Run area of South Fairmount at 2208 Champlain Street and welcomed:  Angela (Roberto) Gramaglia (1906-1984), Joseph Roberto (1908-1992), Mathilda (Roberto) Picadio, Margaret Roberto Bruser  (1914-1998), Antoinette (Roberto) Martin (1914-2007), Louise Francis (Roberto) Berning (1917-1991), and Mary Ann (Roberto) Clift (1921-2003). 

The next Minella Family to recall are the siblings born from the marriage of Vito and Maria (Carricola) Minella.  They were  Mathilda Rosa (Minella) Schiavo (1871-1938) and Sabato Minella (1875-1956).   Mathilda Minella(1871-1938)  born in Felitto, Italy and wed to Nobile Schiavo (1868-1947) before  settling at 1937 Queen City Avenue in the Lower Lick Run area of South Fairmount.  They welcomed 6 children:  Maria Rosaria (Schiavo) Gnazzo (1893-1965), Virginia (Schiavo) Prinzo (1899-1978), Giovanna “Joanna” (Schiavo) Feldkamp (1901-1967), Antoinette “Jean” (Schiavo) Neighbors (1907-1978), Bridget “Patricia” (Schiavo) Swan Bowler (1909-1998), and Vito Frank “Samuel” Schare (1912-1969). 

Another Minella Sibling born of the union of Vito and Maria Minella was Sabato “Sam” Minella (1875-1956) who wed Philomena Sciarti (1884-1950) in Italy.   After his arrival in Cincinnati, Sabato “Sam” Minella founded the Societa Di Contandini  in 1907 to help new arrivals from Italy become citizens.  He retired from Lunkenheimers after 40 hard years.  They welcomed 11 children:  Vito Raffaele Minella (1902-1972), Minot Carmen Minella (1903-1999), Raffaele Joseph Minella (1906-1993), Eutimio Minella (1908-1911), Maria Cecilia (Minella) Kelsch (1910-1995), Alfred Emil Minella (1913-1970), Ruth Ethel (Minella) Jones (1915-1991), Ramon Minella (1918-1949), Florence “Pud” (Minella) Johnson (1921-2015), Esther Dorothy Minella (1923-2008), and  Rosa Antonetta Minella (1926-1926). 

The last two daughters  of Vito and Maria Minella were Theresa (Minella) Guerrera (1864-1955) and Antoinette (Minella) Schiavo ((1864-1948).  Theresa married Giuseppe Guerrera and settled in the Lower Lick Run Section of South Fairmount at 1938 Queen City Avenue with  sons, Carmine and Emil Rosario Guerrera.  Theresa’s sister, Antoinette Minella (1864-1948) married Pasquale Schavio (1861-1946) in Italy and settled at 1990 Queen City Avenue.  The other early parish  families are Great Aunts to Vince Cerchio,  sisters Antonia Minella  (1884-1958) who came to the U.S. in 1910 on the ship Duca Di Genove  and married Augustus Carota (1886-1973).  They  lived at 2168 Tillie Avenue and welcomed Alfred, Anne, Anthony, Carmen, Fred, Julius, Helen, and Joe Carota.  Her younger sister,  Elena Minella (1891-1970)  came to the U.S. on December 16, 1920 to marry Joseph Di Stasi on April 9, 1921.  Joseph died on December 22, 1929. Antonio and Elena’s parents were Angelo and Louisa (Guerrera) Minella who stayed in Felitto, Italy.  Vince’s Grandmother on his mother Helen’s side was also a Minella.  Rosaria Minella (1900-1971) who  wed Joseph Florimonte (1900-1942) and welcomed  siblings Michael, Angelo, Anthony, Joseph, Louise, Helen Cerchio, Antoinette Odenbach, and Anna Sprecker.    

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 – August 22, 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 August 22, 2021

by Terrie Evans

On this Sunday, we introduce members  from the different branches of the D’Agostino (Augustine) and Minella Families in anticipation of our next family celebration on September 5th.  The 2nd  grouping  of the 1st generation of  the Rosario (Russell) D’Agostino (1872-1954) and Giuseppina (Josephine) Rizzo (1874-1925) family who married in Felitto, Italy around 1899.  Rosario’s (Russell’s)  siblings were:  Antonio D’Agostino (1885-1926), and Angela (D’ Agostino) Roberto (1878-1952). Giuseppina’s (Josephine) siblings were:  Angela (Rizzo) Roberto (1861-1935) and brother Giovanni Rizzo.  They couple settled into their homestead at 2028 Queen City Avenue in the Upper Lick Run area of South Fairmount  where  Rosario and Giuseppina welcomed children :  Giuseppe(Joseph)  (1901-1966) born in Felitto, Nicola Rosario (1903-1909) born in Felitto, (1904- 1909), while  Dominic (1908-1969), Lillian ( D’ Agostino) La Casella (1910-1979), and Giovanni (1915-1916) D’Agostino were born in Cincinnati.  Giuseppe (Joseph) D’Agostino wed local girl,  Anna Minella on October 28, 1922 and they had two children;  Russell Frank (1923-2018) and Josephine Ann ( Augustine) La Rosa (1931-2011).  Lillian D’ Agostino married Frank La Casella (1904-1986)  on May 26, 1926 and they had two children Dorothy Marie and Louis La Casella (1933-1933).   

The next group of Minella Family members were the Family of Silvano Minella (1888-1961), son of Vito and  Palma (Cuccio) Minella (1849-1929).  Silvano, a tailor, married the daughter of Mary Josephine( Palmieri) (1881-1973) and Lorenzo Panaro (1874-1940), Bernadina “Dena” Panaro on September 14, 1913.  They  established  their family home at 1933 Montrose Street in the Lower Lick Run section of South Fairmount when White Street was a hilly unpaved road.  Their  large home  built in 1886, became an apartment house  and good residence to local renters once the Minella siblings were married and on their own.  Silvano and Dena welcomed 7 children:  Victor C. Minella (1914-1992), Lawrence Minella (1916-1917), Palma Viola (Minella) Dattilo (1918-2016), Marian Josephine (Minella) Schiesz (1920-2012), Mathilda “Tilda” (Minella) Wegman-Law (1922-2008), Richard “Mussie” Minella (1926-2015), and Ralph Joseph Minella (1928-2020).  Silvano Minella had two younger sisters, both also born in Felitto, Italy, Maria Minella Morra (1882-1955) who wed Domenico Antonio Morra in 1905 and had :  Angelina (Morra) Bonavita (1905-1984), Palma (Morra) Del Vecchio (1907-2001), Joseph Morra (1911-1986) Jean (Morra) Henkenberens (1911-2002), and Rose Morra (1926-1993).  Silvano’s other sister, Brigida (Minella) Tedesco (1882-1970), wed Gaetano “Thomas” Tedesco and had Lucy M. Tedesco (1908-2001) and Carmen Jose Tedesco (1919-1974).  The Tedesco family settled in Hartford, Connecticut and are buried there.  Silvano, Brigida and, Mary  also had siblings from their father, Vito’s 1st marriage to Maria (Caracciola) :  Antoinette (Minella) Schiavo (1864-1948), Theresa (Minella) Guerrera (1866-1955), Mathilda (Minella) Schiavo (1871-1938), Sabato Minella (1875-1956), Raffaele Minella (1877-1963) who will be introduced in next week’s bulletin.

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.

August 2, 1922: The Band Played, the People Sang and Mass was celebrated.

by LuAnn Roberto

One of the best things about working on the San Antonio 100th year anniversary events is reading some of the history! This piece was written and published at the Tenth Year Anniversary in 1922. I learned a few new words like “oscensorium” and that Sacro Cuore Church is Sacred Heart Church. You will recognize some of the names, which I think is my favorite part.

Enjoy the read!

From the “SILVER JUBILEE OF THE SANTA MARIA INSTITUTE (1897-1922).” we cull the following account of the beginnings of our parish:

A colony of Italians is located in Fairmount. Soon after the foundation of the Santa Maria, the Sisters visited the place and recognized the necessity of doing something to attract the Italians to the practice of their religion.
In co-operation with the Franciscan Fathers, a sewing class for girls was opened in one of their school rooms.
A catechetical class was organized for children not attending St. Bonaventura School. These accomplished some good, but, for important reasons, they could not be continued.

Rev. J.B. Balangero, pastor of the Sacro Cuore Church, was invited to say Mass in St. Bonaventura Church and administer the sacraments to his fellow-countrymen; only a few Italians took advantage of the privilege.

When these efforts failed to accomplish the desired objective, the Sisters continued visiting the homes, praying and hoping for means to establish a permanent welfare center.

In the early part of 1922 a donation of $3,400 was received for children’s welfare work. The Sisters decided to use the money for the Fairmount children, estimated in number at two hundred. The intention was to rent a few rooms, open a welfare center, using the donation for its support, but no suitable place could be found for rent. 1946 Queen City Avenue was for sale. As it was admirably suited for the purpose, the Sisters purchased it with the donations on hand, trusting to Divine Providence to send means for the support of the intended Welfare Center.

As soon as this work was known, friends began to send donations. Sister Dominica, S. N. D., in charge of the Tabernacle Society, sent vestments and other articles for the alter, including a beautiful chalice in memory of Miss Amelia Wharum. Rev. Wm. Anthony, Owensville, sent  the altar; Rcv. J. H. Shcngbcr donated a number of articles;

Mt. St. Joseph, Mother House, a beautiful oscensorium; Rev. A. Brockhuis, O.F.M., St. Anthony Shrine; Rev. Timothy Bailey, several useful articles; Miss Mary Metz; benches to seat about one hundred and fifty persons; Mrs. Mastropaolo, Adoring Angels. Other friends made special offerings.

On the Sixth of August, 1922, the St. Anthony Welfare Center was opened with the celebration .of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, by Rev. Antonio Bainotti, assistant pastor of the Sacra Cuore Church. About two hundred Italians assisted at the Holy Sacrifice with the greatest reverence and devotion.

Rev. Father Bainotci preached an eloquent sermon. The Santa Maria girls sang the popular Italian hymns in which many of the congregation joined. It was an inspiring sight to see the revival of the latent faith of the people. Benediction was given after Mass. Mrs. Manuel Cueto presided at the organ. Master Carlo Mastropaolo accompanied with the violin. As there were not enough benches, many people brought their own chairs.

After Mass about forty persons remained for choir practice. In a short time they will all join in congregational singing.

The people showed their lively gratitude in having a place of worship of their own, as many of the older people do not understand English, consequently did not approach the sacraments.

Unsolicited, the Italians took up a collection among themselves and purchased one hundred chairs, statues, carpets and many other articles. The men came every evening after their day’s labor to level the playground, paint walls and woodwork and do all the work necessary.

On Tuesday, August 10th, the sewing classes were opened in charge of Mrs. Sullivan, her sister, Miss Nellie Sturla, and Mrs. George Shays. Fifty girls enrolled in the morning class. The mothers met in the afternoon.

On the Twelfth of August, the men called a meeting. Thirty-two men responded. They organized themselves into the St. Anthony Society.

The members expressed their desire to take part in the next Holy Name parade. On the Eighth of October, sixty-four men represented St. Anthony Welfare Center in the Holy Name Parade! Now there are sixty-nine.

On the Eighth of October, the formal opening of the Welfare Center took place. The large hall used as a chapel made a fine appearance. The alter was a profusion of flowers, candles and electric lights. The statues of the Sacred Heart and St. Anthony occupied conspicuous places, whilst the beautiful adoring angels stood near the tabernacle.

Rev. Antonio Bainotti celebrated the Mass. The chapel was crowded by the Italians of the neighborhood. The Knights of St. John, Covington, composed of Italian young men, manifested their interest by generously giving the service of their band and by receiving Holy Communion in a body.

At half past nine o’clock, the Italian residents, headed by the band and banner bearers, escorted His Grace, the Most Reverend Archbishop, from St. Bonaventura Church to St. Anthony Welfare Center. Queen City Avenue presented a picturesque scene. On arrival at the Center the assembled multitude joined in the popular hymn, “Noi Vogliam Dio.” At its conclusion, His Grace addressed the people and expressed his pleasure at the generous co-operation which manifested their love of the Faith of their fathers bequeathed to. them by the Apostles. Benediction wich che Blessed Sacrament followed, and a hymn of Thanksgiving, in which all joined, completed the impressive ceremony.

In the afternoon an entertainment was given exclusively for the children, arid the hall was nearly filled by them. An entertainer for adults was given in the evening. Miss Anne Maele’s splendid rendition of “Il Trovatore” captivated the audience. Renaco Lombardi sang “Spiricu Gentile” and “Notcurno d’ Amore,” and his magnificent voice elicited encore after encore. Carlo lvfasrropaolo and Miss Alma Cassenelli fairly made the violins sing. Miss Ankenbrock gave a humorous reading which convulsed the audience with laughter.

Miss Severia Contadino sang “Addio Mia Bella Napoli”, which was greeted by great applause.

Rose Contadino and Miss Alice Hamad added pleasure with their beautiful selections.

In the “Unburied Woman” the Misses Angela and Rose Distefano, Miss Greco and Miss Vicario acted their parts to perfection, and in the charming playlet, “The Princess Who Hid Her Shoes”’ the Misses Antoinette and Brigita Schiavo and Miss Virginia Guerrera, in their royal costumes, performed their parts in truly royal manner.

The Missus Antoinette Vicario and F. Marchesano delivered humorous recitations in a very laughable manner. The singing of America, in which all joined proved their loyalty to their adopted country, and this ended a joyous day for the Italian Colony at Fairmount.

The Alumni of Mt. St. Vincent Academy, Cedar Grove and Mt. Saint Joseph Academy, Delhi, have taken St. Anthony Center as their special work of benevolence. The Mesdames Joseph Sturla, Louise Sullivan Shays, the Missus Nellie Sturla, Emma Nassano and Mildred Sullivan are generously devoting their time and their talent to the upbuilding of this Welfare Center.

As Rev. A. Bainotti found it impossible to continue saying Mass at St. Anthony Welfare Center, owing to his other parochial duties, the Rev. A. Ruffing, S. J. celebrated Mass there on Sundays and holidays till the return of the pastor, Rev. J.B. Chiotti, who now officiates.

The above quotation was written towards the end of 1922. It seems that Father Chiotti continued to give divine services until the summer of 1923 when Father Francis Bredestege was given charge of the church. At the end of summer 1924, he was succeeded by Father Dean McFarland, who in the fall of 1925, gave way to Monsignore Giles Allais. Divine services were held ordinarily only on Sundays and Holydays of Obligation. With the advent of Father Vincent Graglia in the summer of 1926, who resided in St. Francis Hospital, services were held every day, Father Gragtia having been sent to work among the Italians of Dayton, Ohio, Father Bredestege  supplied his -place for about two months, when in the summer of 1928, the Most Reverend Archbishop John T. McNicholas placed the parish in charge of the Cincinnati Franciscan Fathers, whose Church of St. Bonaventura is but seven minutes’ walk distant from St. Antonio’s.

A Franciscan Father for the first time functioned in the church on Sunday, September 9th, of this year in place of Father Claude Mindorff, O.F.M., the appointed  pastor, who, however, for weighty reasons could not take over the position permanently, and at the beginning of October, 1928, Father Dennis Engelhard, O.F.M., was appointed pastor.

In 1928 the Committee of Lay Advisers consisted of the following: Anthony Palmire, who served as the efficient treasurer since the beginning of the parish until April, 1931; Joseph Guerrera, Antonino Cupito, Lorenzo Panaro and Paul Wilke. In April, 1931, the following new Board of Lay Advisers was selected: Vito Gramaglia, Michael Scorzello and Dominic DiStefano, secretary. Thanks are due for past generous efforts of the  Men’s Society, which, however, of late has not functioned well. The St.Ann Married Ladies’ Society is doing good work with the following officers: Mrs. Paul Wilke, president; Mrs. Teresa D’ Angelo, secretary, and Mrs. Vincent Deluco, treasurer.

Jacob Wilhelm is working hard to round up the boys in the Catholic Boys Brigade and Blessed Virgin Sodality.


We look forward to seeing, meeting and celebrating with all of you throughout this important 100th year!

News from San Antonio Church – August 15, 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 August 15, 2021

by Terrie Evans

On Sunday, September 5th, San Antonio Church will honor the different branches of the Minella, D’ Agostino (Augustine) and  Ventre  families.  During the month of August, we will introduce the 1st generation of those  newly arrived families who settled in our neighborhood and helped to establish  our church.      

The 1st is  Antonio D’Agostino or Augustine (1885-1926) who married  married Concetta Agnes Mary D’Angelo.  In 1910, their homestead was located  in Lower Lick Runs at 1933 Montrose Street.  Augustine Siblings:  Josephine Rosa (Augustine) La Casella (1911-1984), Russell John Augustine (1913-2001), Mary Carole (Augustine) Wakeman (1915-2005), Nicholas frank Augustine (1916-1997), John Baptist Augustine 1919-2006), Anna Agnes (Augustine) Haney Drahmann Coppola (1921-1962), Jean (Augustine) Bromwell (1923-2015) Carmella (Augustine) Roda (1925-1994).  Antonio D’ Agostino was born in Italy  with  his siblings  Rosario D’ Agostino (1872-1954) and Angela (D’ Agostino) Roberto (1878-1952).  

2nd, The  Minella Family in the Upper Lick Run section at 1986 Queen City Avenue.  Raffaele  “Ralph” Minella, (1877-1963),  son of Vito and  Marie (Carraccio) Minella married Philomena (Perrone) in Italy.  Minella Siblings :  Victor Minella (1899-1985), Marie Anna (Minella) Augustine (1904-1992), Sabato “Sam” Minella (1907-1946), Mathilda Lea (Minella) Macaluso (1909-1981), Antoinette Mae (Minella) Lee (1911-1997), Theresa (Minella) Frye (1912-1997), Rose (Minella) Dattilo (1915-2014), Catherine “Kate” Minella (1918-2011), Herman S. Minella (1920-1993).  At the time of his death, Raffaele lived in the United States for 62 years arriving here in 1901.  His siblings were Antoinette (Minella) Schiavo (1864-1948) Theresa( Minella ) Guerrera  (1866-1955) Mathilda (Minella )Schiavo (1871-1938),  Sabato Minella (1875-1956), Maria (Minella) Morra (1883-1935), and Silvano Minella (1875-1956).  Raffaele and Philomena’s granddaughter was TV personality, Dottie (Macaluso) Williams (1929-2019).   

There were 3 Ventre brothers who came from Felitto, Italy as young men.  They were the sons of Carmine and Caroline (Sabetta) Ventre, The 1st,  Domenico Ventre (1877-1933) and his wife Ermalinda (Salerno)  Ventre (1877-1958) resided at 2330 Quebec Road with children:  Herman, Carmen, Nicola and Caroline.  2nd, Vito Ventre (1880-1965) and  Maria Reviello (1889-1966)  resided at 1825 Forbus Street with children:  Carmen, Herman, Caroline, Philomena, Angela, Anthony.   3rd,  Luciano  (1895-1984) married  Maria (Schiavo) Ventre (1898-1962) settled at 1914 Horton Street with siblings:  Carolyn (Ventre) Acito (1921-2009) (Officer of the Ladies Sodality), Casmineo Ventre (!925-1925) and Joseph Louis Ventre (!926-1998). Carolyn Ventre  married Peter Acito (1916-1993) and both  became valued members of San Antonio Church and members of the Choir.  Carolyn’s brother Joseph Louis Ventre wed Elsie Farson and welcomed Steve, Doug, Greg, Jeff, Karen and Dan (three of the Ventre boys became Cincinnati Policemen).  Other Ventre families:  Nick (1923-2009) and Catherine (Carchedi) (1925-1983) attended Rosary and Mass along with  sisters, Gilda Ventre Meehan (1922-2012) and Mathilda (Ventre) Fischer who were members of the St. Ann’s Ladies Sodality and worked the annual Spaghetti Dinners in years past.

News from San Antonio Church – August 8, 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 August 8, 2021

by Terrie Evans

On August 6, 1922, families from South Fairmount came together to celebrate the founding of the St. Anthony Welfare Center and the start of our church with a Mass presided over by the Assistant Pastor of Sacred Heart, Church, Rev. Antonio Bainotti.  As we look back into the history of San Antonio Church; we must remember how the Italians from the original Sacred Heart of Jesus Church on 5th and Broadway helped pave the way for the residents of South Fairmount.  Before the colony of Little Italy around Queen City Avenue was formed, the 2 Italian born  Sisters of Charity did much work with the Sacred Heart Church Italians.  Those Italian families arrived from a journey that took them  from Calabria, Italy  to New Orleans  and then by boat up the Mississippi River to Cincinnati around 1800.  They too wanted a church to serve their  community and to unite all new arrivals from their home country.  After years of planning and fundraising, the new Sacred Heart  Church was dedicated on August 27, 1893. 

This church was not only for the benefit of their parishioners but, for the whole community as Archbishop William Elder was very concerned about proselytism spreading among the Italian people.  Sacred Heart Church soon became an important cultural and social center as well as a spiritual home for the Italian Catholics of Cincinnati.  At that time, the Sisters of Charity, Blandina and Justina took responsibility for the Italian Children to prepare  them for their First Holy Communion and Confirmation.  Before our church was established, Sacred Heart Church held some Baptisms and  weddings of our South Fairmount Italian families.  Many traveled by carriage on cobble stone streets to attend church or receive the sacraments where they felt welcomed at Sacred Heart.  Some of the early weddings  that were celebrated during those early years  were:  Lorenzo Panaro to Maria Josephine  Palmieri on Sunday, June 16, 1895, by Rev. Lotti, Dena  Panaro to Silvano Minella on Sunday, September 14, 1913, by Rev. John Baptist Balangero, one of the 51 weddings performed that year and the wedding of Sacred Heart Parishioner and well known boxer, Anthony LaRosa to Mary  Elena Panaro on  Wednesday, September 4, 1929, by Rev. Remigio Pigato. 

Srs. Blandina and Justina became acquainted with many of our families through Sacred Heart Church  and realized  the need for a church in their own neighborhood.  They realized how difficult it was for the South Fairmount families to traverse their way to 5th and Broadway.  Even though Sr. Blandina and Justina came from Cicagna, a commune in the City of Genoa, northern Italy, they  knew of the many struggles of the Southern Italians who were mostly peasant farmers.  They did whatever it took to serve the  Italians from Sacred Heart and the colony of the later arrivals from the southern mountain villages of Felitto, a town founded in the 10th Century, Potenza, overlooking the valley of the Basento River in the Apennine Mountains of Lucania, and Roccadaspide near the Cilento National park where prized chestnuts are grown for chestnut flour that is used for sweets and pasta.  For 40 years  the much beloved Sr. Blandina (Servant of God) and Sr. Justina, the Segale Sisters unconditionally served many generations of  grateful Italian families.  We will never forget them.    

News from San Antonio Church – August 1, 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 August 1, 2021

by Terrie Evans

On this 1st Sunday of August, San Antonio Church will welcome all the extended family  members from the Cupito, Marckesano, Palmieri and Panaro Families for the Mass and Reception  to showcase the history of our church.  Many of the members of these families were some of the first settlers who started their families in the Little Italy Section of Lick Run in South Fairmount.  These Patriarch’s and Matriarch’s who arrived in Cincinnati were part of the 10 million people who arrived in the U.S. from 1855 to 1890.  Before Ellis Island; there was Castle Garden Immigration Center, built in 1808  as a circular sandstone fort on a small artificial island offshore.  Castle Garden at one time was used as a  Fort to protect  New York Harbor, a place where Native Americans would fish and where the  first Dutch Settlers built a stone wall with cannons to guard  what was then the city of New Amsterdam.  It was considered  the first American  Immigration Station so, most likely; some of the families from South Fairmount may have been processed there.  It was operated by the state of New York until April 18, 1890 when the U.S. Government took over the processing of immigrants due to unnecessary deaths, and  workers being  involved with cheating and stealing from the new arrivals.

 With Castle Garden closed, the reception center was moved to the U.S. Barge Office  located on the Eastern edge of the Battery Waterfront.  The Federal Government  then  took over of immigration control  at Ellis Island  which opened  on January 2, 1892.  Sadly, many of the immigrant passenger records were destroyed in a fire that consumed some of the structures at Ellis Island on June 15, 1897.  During this time many Italians were making their transatlantic journey which left Naples by way of Gibraltar to New York or other ports such as Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia or New Orleans.  The Captain of each arriving ship would prepare a  handwritten Customs Passenger List and then file it with the collector of customs at the port of arrival.  Many times, those who were transported in steerage  were not even listed, as steerage passenger lists were rare. 

 Those who had a destination of New York, Buffalo or the  Great Lakes may have gone on to Western Pennsylvania, Northern Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan or Minnesota.  Those who arrived in Boston would sometimes go on to the New England States and those arriving at Baltimore or Philadelphia at times went to Pittsburgh and then traveled by boat to cities along the Ohio River.  If families landed in New Orleans many went on by boat up the Mississippi to places such as Missouri or Illinois.  Their journey was a long uncomfortable trip especially for those in steerage that sometimes would accommodate  700 to 800 passengers in only 7  different sleeping apartments.  There were many deaths and  illnesses with some arrivals sent back to their home country for various reasons.  In each history of our families, we cannot forget the risks they endured to come here for a better life for their family.  They had to have a sponsor, a job and a place to live.  More than 100 million Americans  today can trace their family history to this early period of immigration.  Remember, they came here for all of us.

News from San Antonio Church – July 25, 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 July 25, 2021

by Terrie Evans

     San Antonio National Italian Parish was established on the insistence of Sr. Blandina Segale (Servant of God), who lobbied for the immigrant Italians she feared, would lose their Catholic Faith. These Sisters of Charity: Sr. Blandina, Justina, and Euphrasia also knew these families wouldn’t survive unless they received assistance to acclimate to their new surroundings. These three women religious were entrusted to the care of the Italian Population in 1897 by Mother General of the Sisters of Charity, Sr. Mary Blanche. The religious Sisters knew of the 200 children in Fairmount, so they requested funds, especially for children’s welfare work. Another much-needed priority was an Americanization Center in the neighborhood. The Sisters of Charity received $3,400 toward their cause and chose to use it on a building at 1946 Queen City Avenue. They would name the center, The Saint Anthony Welfare Center and use some of the rooms for citizenship classes, as many immigrants failed to pass the examination required to gain naturalization papers.

     They also encouraged those Italian families to attend church, receive the Sacraments, Baptize their children, and enroll them in Catholic Schools; this would become the start of our church. As Rose (Esposito) Campbell would say many years later, “ With Italians, everything centered around the church, it was like that in the old country.” After Sacred Heart Church, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel became the 2nd Italian Catholic Parish in Cincinnati, followed by San Antonio, with a total Italian population of around 5,000. During those early years, families settled close to the church when rent was about $11.00. Their belongings were “three pieces of furniture and a rug,” as Philomena (Marckesano) Schare once said. This founding of what is now San Antonio Church taught many of our ancestors to maintain our Catholic Faith, culture, traditions and come together to form Catholic Social Clubs while acclimating to America.

     With the guidance of Sr. Blandina, Sr. Justina, Sr. Euphrasia, and the Franciscan Fathers, those early immigrants became stable. They found a place in American civic life while giving them pride in being Italian. A milestone event took place in 1923 when the Italian Community in Cincinnati celebrated their 1st Columbus Day Banquet. In 1924, many Italians realized how fortunate they were to be in their new home country when the Johnson Immigration Bill passed and new immigration quotas were enacted. A perplexed Sr. Justina worried that this Bill would work against and cause significant damage to the Italians. When it was passed, Sr. Justina then said, “An Italian discovered America and gave it to the world.” They were given the tools to live and prosper for a life they journeyed more than 5,000 miles for. To quote Sr. Blandina: “Always keep your chin up and your eyes on God! ” and our ancestors took her advice.

News from San Antonio Church – July 18, 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 July 18, 2021

by Terrie Evans

On Sunday August 1, 2021, San Antonio Church will hold a Mass and Reception in our Hall to kick off the celebration for our church’s  100th Anniversary next year.   We will cover the years of 1922-1931 to gather stories of the neighborhood, our church and the families who were part of the fabric of that history.  To start our milestone event, we will introduce four early families who will  bring in their information, documents and pictures to share .  These families were present  when on the 6th of August, 1922  with the opening of the St. Anthony Welfare Center and  were there at the formal opening on October 8th,  1922. 

The 1st Family from that time is the Cupito Family who made their homestead 1897 Montrose Street in the Lower Lick Run area of South Fairmount  when Antonio Cupito became Vice President of the Festival Committee.  The Cupito family consisted of  Antonio ( 1891-1939),  Maria Grazia (Di Stasi) Cupito (1885-1947),  with children,  Joseph (1913-1984), Antonio Jr. (1914-1927), Russell (1916-1995), Victor J. (1919-2021), John (1920-1921), Noble (1920-1991) and Rose Marie (Cupito) Young. 

The 2nd Family is Pasquale and Maddalena (Dalessandro) Marckesano and their family who resided at 1960 Montrose Street in the Upper Lick Run section of South Fairmount.  Their family  members were sons Ralph and James and daughters, Anna, Jeanie, Philomena (Marckesano) Schare, Rose (Marckesano) Panaro,  Nellie (Marckesano) Stath, Louise (Marckesano) Studt, Jenny (Marckesano) Fleming and Mary (Marckesano) Schwartz. 

The 3rd San Antonio Family from those early years were Gennaro Palmire (1851-1929), wife Maria (Schiavo) Palmire (1857-1922), daughter Mary Josephine (Palmire) Panaro (1880-1973), and son  Anthony Joseph Palmire (1892-1960).  They resided at 2149 Queen City Avenue with Anthony  later residing at 2120 Queen City Avenue.  Gennaro, Maria and little Mary Josephine came to America around 1888.  Anthony Joseph was born after they settled here in 1892 and went on to become the Chairman of the 1st San Antonio Festival.  Anthony  married Esther Yost and had 3 daughters Rose Ann, Toni, and Mary Jo.    

The 4th family we are highlighting is the Panaro family, Vincenzo (1847-1910) and Maria (Matturo) Panaro (1844-1941), who came to the United States after son Lorenzo (1873-1940 ) and  daughter Virginia( Panaro) Greico (1870-1931) sent for them in 1900.  Daughter Virginia Panaro wed Anthony Greico  (1867-1949) in Italy  and their family consisted of Maria, Helen, Joseph and Nellie.  Son Lorenzo Panaro married Mary Josephine Palmire on June 16,1895  at Sacred Heart Church and their family consisted of Bernadina (Dena) (1897-1984), Eugene (1899-2003), John (1903-1986), Frank (1904-1974), Anthony (1905-1985), Mary (1908-2002), Larry (1910-1986), and William (1914-1995).  They lived at 2149 Queen City Avenue with the Palmire family for a few years and then  re- located to 1998 Queen City Avenue to accommodate their growing family.