Saint Rosalia

Saint Rosalia

Patroness of Those Seeking Comfort, Invoked against Vanity
Feast Day: September 4th

She lived in a cave in Palermo, Italy in the 12th Century. Instead of telling Rosalie’s story, however, I would like to tell  a very personal story I have about Saint Rosalie’s Church:

                 There is a Saint Rosalie’s Church in the hamlet of Hampton Bays, New York. I know this because it is where I  received my First Holy Communion, was taught Catechism by Sarah Cunliffe and was Confirmed with my Grandfather,  Paul “Baba” Clemenz as my proud sponsor. It is also the Church where I stood as “best man” in  my brother Peter’s wedding and where, as a child, I slept through my sister, Mary Ellen’s wedding. But the most meaningful thing I remember about Saint Rosalie’s  Church occurred on Monday, April 30, 1973. I was 13 years old. In the early morning hours, I walked up Fanning Avenue to go to “Thompson’s Foodtown.” There was a shorter way to get there by going over the railroad tracks but I went the long way that day. At the store I met my neighbor and my mother’s best friend, Mrs. Agnes Micari, who lovingly took my order at the deli and surely gave me more food than the sales slip indicated. I then went to Saint Rosalie’s, entered the “old part” of the Church, lit a candle and prayed. Father Flynn came along, saw me with a very  large bag and asked “What are you doing?” and “Why aren’t you in school?” I then told him my mother died the night before. He held me tight and cried with me. I remember not understanding why he was so upset, but of course, I understand his feelings now, all too well. There are also so many happy memories in my heart about Saint Rosalie’s, but they are not all about the momentous occasions described above. The greatest thing about Saint Rosalie’s, to me and, I think to my Mom too, was... Bingo! As a boy, if I pleaded hard enough, my mother, a true Bingo fan, would let me come along and play. But I would always insist on playing too many Bingo boards, eating too many hot dogs, drinking too many sodas and eventually, wound up sleeping before the final game. So, my Mom and Mr.  Stephen Micari would  agree, “Robert is never coming to Bingo again!” That was not really true though and the pattern repeated itself endlessly it seems. I spent so many happy Monday nights at Saint Rosalie’s with my mom and the Micaris’ playing Bingo. It may sound odd but I could never fairly describe how much those memories mean to me. Sarah Cunliffe still selflessly devotes her time at Saint Rosalie’s and I am proud to say my sister-in-law, Kathleen Clemenz, was a dedicated Eucharistic Minister there. Saint Rosalie’s has grown and expanded but in my heart it is simply the place where my mother took me to play Bingo and the place where a kind Priest held a young boy in need of comfort when his mother died. Attend Saint Rosalie’s Church  and you too will find comfort. © 1998

5866 General Diaz Street
New Orleans, LA 70124
504.482.2467 & 504.239.3143
Wear this medal and then
share it with someone you love
Each SfS medal is imported from Italy,
painted by hand in New Orleans, Louisiana, and is
one of a kind original
“The Saints are the Sinners who keep on trying”
-Robert Louis Stevenson

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