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Weekly Bulletin January 2, 2022
by Terrie Evans
Happy New Year to everyone! On this Sunday we celebrate 3 more historic South Fairmount families who date back to the early days of our church. The LaRosa, Fariello, and La Scalea/Scalia families who were with San Antonio National Italian Parish from the beginning in 1922. This group of families along with the others we have honored since August are the numerous squares of the fabric that formed the neighborhood of Little Italy. We appreciate their stories of sacrifice and dedication t and our church and each other; and we are very thankful to have their descendants visit us for Mass and a Reception on this morning.
The 1st Family is the Sebastiano and Angela LaRosa Family who came to Cincinnati around 1905. Their son Anthony LaRosa wed Mary Helena Panaro, and their marriage produced son Donald “Buddy” LaRosa who after marrying “Jo-Jo” Augustine at San Antonio Church never forgot the church on Queen City and White Streets. Buddy knew how much the church meant to his Grandmother Josephine (Palmieri) Panaro who was one of the ladies who showed up on Fridays, many years ago, with his Aunt Dena (Panaro) Minella to clean the church. In honor of them, Buddy continued to offer any assistance that would be needed to keep the church up and running. He never refused the many requests directed his way and we appreciate Buddy and his sons Mike and Mark for their continued support.
The next is the Rosario and Josephine “Giosina” Fariello family who some of our parishioners still remember. Rosario was known for his garden in his yard on Biegler Street and Josephine was known for her baking skills; especially being the person who would be called on to make the popular wedding cookies for the neighborhood brides. Their son, John and spouse, Mary Ellen “Mel” Fariello continued to be a presence at San Antonio Church during those many uncertain years. John served at Mass while Mel set up the Altar, made the announcements and was a member of the Bereavement Team. As a couple they both were members of the Men’s and Ladies Club and attended every 1st Friday of the month meeting. John Fariello held the record for selling more ad spots than any other volunteer for our Spaghetti Dinner Placemat. He covered a lot of miles to approach the many contacts he had from the local auto parts businesses. They were dedicated to San Antonio Church and when their young Grandson Roman became required a special treatment at St. Jude’s Hospital all their friends from church held a benefit to defray the costs. They devoted many years for the good of our church and we will never forget them.
The 3rd Family are the two branches of the Scalia/ La Scalea family who lived in the Lick Run Area of South Fairmount since the turn of the Century when Antoinette Di Nardi and Nobile Scalea moved to the area and operated two grocery stores to serve the area. They attended Mass and supported our church until the time Alvina Scalea sold the store and moved out of the area. Generations of Little Italy families have many good memories of Alvina Scalea when the neighborhood grocery was a welcoming place to shop.
The other branch of the Scalia family is the Nicola and Antoinette (Ventre) Scalia. Oldest daughter Antoinette(Scalia) Brockmeyer was so inspired by Sr. Blandina, Servant of God, that her stories about the Sister of Charity inspired her daughter, Carol Brockmeyer to join the Order and become Sr. Anthony Brockmeyer who celebrated 65 years of service in 2019. Sr, Anthony started the Vine Street Neighborhood Service 27 years ago to serve the poor and assist them in meeting the basic needs of daily life. Sr. Anthony would pick up donations from different organizations and those generous individuals to deliver to the center. She is now retired but those she served will never forget her compassion and generous spirit. Another Scalia relative is Pete Scalia, one-time WLWT-TV traffic reporter who is now part of the WCPO-TV’s Cincy Lifestyle Team. Pete Scalia is the son of musician Tony Scalia who played at all the Felitto Club events and his grandfather was the late Pete “The Pirate” Scalia (as Mussie Minella called him) from the old neighborhood.