News from San Antonio Church – Oct. 10, 2021

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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.   

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