Skip to main content


Today marks the centennial of our family's arrival in the United States from Sicily.

Little Grandma with her two-year old daughter arrived at Ellis Island on July 1, 1909 after a long and difficult twelve-day journey. They departed Sicily via Naples on the Duca di Genova, June 19, 1909 leaving behind Little Grandma's parents and three sisters. Her husband had arrived in Houston sixteen months earlier, joining his Uncle.
Photo taken in Houston after arrival, possibly to send to family in Italy. Little Grandma's trip didn't end with her arrival at Ellis Island. She and the baby were detained for two weeks, unable to continue to Houston. The reason listed on the Detained Passenger List was rather common for the time: L.P.C. (Likely to become a public charge) – a young woman with little money traveling with a child and no one to meet her at the port. Little Grandpa had to take a ship from Galveston to New York to claim his wife and child. They were released on July 14, 1909 at 2:45 p.m. following a Special Inquiry Hearing.

Little Grandma & Little Grandpa had a total of 11 children; nine survived into adulthood. Our grandfather was the baby. All are gone now except for Aunt J., who is a regular attendee of our family reunions. Two of Little Grandma's sisters and their husbands also emigrated to Houston a few years later. One sister remained in Sicily.

Photo from FBI Alien Registration card, 1942

I often think about the challenges they faced in the United States. What prejudices did they encounter? Did she ever learn the language? Did she understand what it meant when she had to register with the FBI as an Alien of Enemy Nationality during World War II after 31 years in the United States? How does her experience compare with immigrants today.

Today is a special day to remember and reflect on that journey.
Little Grandma holding Lisa, Grandpa holding Shelly, and Mom. Photo taken at Lisa's baptism.

Receive New Blog Posts by Email

* indicates required

Connect on Social

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Popular posts from this blog

Don’t Leave Facebook for Lent – Take it Over!

  So many Christians leave Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media channels for their Lenten devotion or fast.  With the purpose of Lent being to rededicate our lives to God and grow in holiness, I understand why so many fast from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more for Lent.  Our social media feeds these days are full of darkness, sadness, and temptation.  They are far from the original purpose of the platforms to bring community together. Pope Benedict said in his message for World Communications Day 2013, “Believers are increasingly aware that, unless the Good News is made known also in the digital world, it may be absent in the experience of many people for whom this existential space is important.”  He continued. “Social networks… also reshape the dynamics of communication which builds relationships.”  This is part of the reason why I dedicate my time to sharing the Good News online.  I believe in my call as a Christian to go and make disciples of ALL NATIONS – eve

Prayer to End the School Year

Another school year is coming to an end.  And what a year the 2017-2018 school year was..... The events of the last 9 months have made me not only thankful to see it end but needing to get on my knees to Thank God for many things.  This school year began with Hurricane Harvey hitting our area and ended with the devastating school shooting at nearby Santa Fe High School. In the middle of the crisis around us there were so many beautiful things, events and people that touched and changed our community and family for the better.  Let's just start with the teachers and administrators who have interacted with my kids this year...  A special social studies teacher that made a fast friend out of my geography obsessed daughter, an ELA teacher who slowly won my oldest daughter over with her love of the written word, a soccer trainer who pushed my son harder than he thought he could handle, and then helped him recognize how that hard work paid off.  What about a school nurse who repeated

12 Quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta

St. Teresa of Calcutta made a deep impression on me as a young girl as I watched her on tv and in news. Who doesn't remember the iconic picture of Mother Teresa with Princess Diana splashed across all magazines, newspapers and news shows?  To me, Saints were people who lived a long time ago, but here she was, a saint in the making.  Mother Teresa was a role model of how to become a Saint in our modern world, by giving her life to God through her dedication to the poor. On her feast day, I want to share with you a few of my favorite quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta.   Her words are seemingly simple and straightforward but packed with meaning.  My selection comes out of a new favorite book I picked up called, Mother Teresa: Her Essential Wisdom by Carol Kelly-Gangi.  This little book contains hundreds of quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta centered around specific themes as well as a summary of her biography and quotes about her from others.  "God does not demand that