News from San Antonio Church – Nov. 7, 2021

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Weekly Bulletin November 7, 2021

by Terrie Evans

On this Sunday our church family welcomes the Romelli, Bonaventura, Acito and Di Stasi families as we continue to celebrate the early  founding families of San Antonio Church. We honor the past generations  from all these San Antonio Families  who were part of the early settlers who helped establish our church for the Italian Catholics in the Little Italy section of South Fairmount.  They  were connected not only by family ties, but by the region or town in Italy where they journeyed from.  Many of those families moving to Lick Run in the early 1900’s  lived around the little stone church, St. Peters on Queen City Avenue, built in 1844 when the area was a strong German enclave.  With more Italians coming to America either through  Old Forge or locating from  other cities to find work here  many chose to establish their families in South Fairmount.  During those years in our country’s history, many rules were in place for those risking their lives to make the journey to a new life.  Barely able to speak English, they all knew they would need a sponsor, a local  address where they would establish themselves, and a job when they located to this community; a valley that was close to factories for job opportunities, schools, transportation and a  welcoming tight knit community. 

Their new home  would be a great place to establish themselves and raise families around others  with the same work ethic, drive and values.  Generations later we honor those ancestors and celebrate their families who accomplished the many dreams of those who took a chance and journeyed to a new country to work and make their lives and give all of us a better way of life. 

On this Sunday we remember the Romelli family who established their homestead near the church and went on to volunteer since the church was founded.  Giacomo Romelli was part of  the Festival Committee  in 1932 on the 10th Anniversary of the founding of parish.  The women of the Romelli family went on to be long time  members of the St.  Ann’s Ladies Sodality when Fern Romelli Roberto  was  President and Barbara Romelli  was elected Treasurer.  The Romelli family members dedicated many years to fundraisers, events and working at our monthly  Lunch on the House Program.   

The  Patrizio Bonaventure family were members of our church  for many generations and worked the many  Annual Spaghetti Dinners, festivals and church events.  They resided at 1911 Biegler Street and supported all the societies when Christos Dektas husband of Helen Bonaventure became President of the Men’s Club during the time of the big 50th Anniversary Celebration of San Antonio Church.  They held all their family Baptisms here as well as all their families special events.  On June 26, 2021, San Antonio Church held the  celebration for the 50th   Wedding   Anniversary Mass  of Mike and Linda Dektas, their children and grandchildren.  The  Dominic Acito family established their big family in the area with multiple generations  always supporting San Antonio Church. 

The Acito Family arrived  here in 1903 from Roccadaspide with Patriach, Dominic  working many jobs  as a laborer while raising his family.  Dominic Acito was present for the dedication of the San Anthony  Welfare Center and years later, our pastor, Fr. Aurelian Munch chose his son  Dan Acito and relative, Jerry Ventre to remodel the old sanctuary.  Dan became a renown  muralist who was inspired  by sights throughout Europe while serving  during World War II.  Years later, Peter and  Caroline( Ventre) Acito, along with daughter Pam and son Joe Acito  were members of the San Antonio Church Choir.  They were all members of the Men’s and Ladies Clubs and supported all the Monte Carlo Nights held every March in the Hall at San Antonio.      

The Di Stasi family came here around 1910 from Felitto, Italy  and settled at 1894 Montrose Street.  They have connections to all the families at San Antonio Church who came from the town of Felitto through many Di Stasi family members  marrying into those families. Rosario Di Stasi is in the dedication picture of the St Anthony Welfare Center  along with Tony ( Herman) Di Stasi while other family members  participated in the procession.  They have been with us throughout the years and continue to support us as Dino Di Stasi and his family did by delivering 80 meals  for our Lunch on the House program that helps our parishioners distribute a warm meal to anyone who comes to our Hall.  We appreciate and thank all the members of these families past and present  who have attended  Sunday Mass and celebrated  the Sacraments with us throughout the last 99 years!  We can never thank you enough for being here for us  throughout these uncertain times.

Other news!  During our Sunday celebrations, we will be selling our famous homemade meatballs and sauce after every Mass.  Meatballs are 10 for $10 and  a quart of sauce for $7.00.

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