The Faces of Angels

The number of people that responded to my previous post today is astonishing. I never realized how much fun it is to try to remember our childhood friend’s name and face! Frank Mullen wrote and suggested that a picture that he had sent previously and that I had posted in a previous story. GREAT IDEA Frank! Perhaps we can all go on a scanvenger hunt in our memories for names. So here goes.

The picture below must have been taken between 1957 and 1959. Thant’s just a guess however. Even though I was not part of this picture, it is rich with memories for me. The  details are like chards of memories coming together to create a very clear memory for me.

I was not a member of this group, however it must have been the folowing year that I was able to become an altar boy. I remember the graphic wall covering that lined the walls of the Sanctuary, but cannot recall the colors. The 6 tall candles that stood on the altar were the High Mass candles and were lit at the 11 o’clock Sunday Mass. I always hated lighting them since I was short and had a lot of difficulty in reaching them. Inevitably, the wick had been tamped down into the wax somehow, and it was very hard to light. Of course, it didn’t help that I always felt that the eyes of everyone in the pews were upon me. I prefered lighting the small candles that are visable to the right of Frank Mullen in the back row. They were quick and easy and rarely gave me any problem.

Above the crucifix there were  painted golden stars on a sky blue background. It was a beautiful focal point for the altar, and I remember staring at it during mass. I think it was quite a feat to have this entire group of 35 boys to be able to recite their entire portion of the Mass in Latin. I came across my old missal last week as I was looking for old photographs and was rather amazed at the amount of Latin that we were required to memorize. “Et cum spiritu tuo” was just the beginning!

I remember that the altar was usually adorned with flowers. Often they were carry over decorations from a wedding that had been held on Saturday. Virtually every crook and cranny contained an arrangement, and there was usually the lingering scent of gladiolas, chrysanthemums and roses in the sanctuary. The memories are still very vivid for me.

Now, here is the challange for all of you. You need to purge your memory banks and help identify the faces in the photograph below. If you know any of them, just use the comment section and tell us who each of the numbered faces belongs to! Happy memory hunting, and “Dominus vobiscum!”

This entry was posted in Church and School - Holy Name. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to The Faces of Angels

  1. Kathleen Howard Foley says:

    My cousin is #29 – David Halpern and he said that #30 is Thomas Burns and #31 is Elmer Kahler.

    • Frank Mullen says:

      Kathleen, I would love to be able to contact Jerome Halpern. He was a good friend of mine during those years, but the last time I saw him in-person (he went to West Mifflin HS, and I went to DHS) he was planning on becoming a priest and was readying himself for seminary. May I ask you, did he become a priest?
      Frank Mullen

  2. MTHS says:

    It has to be about 1955 0r 1956 cause I have a wrist watch (#13) that I got for Confirmation. Good ‘ole #13 Jim Hartman known as ‘Mr. History’. Guess Sister Ursula put the history bug into me back then.

  3. Patricia Murphy Beddard says:

    JIm, I think #2 if Billy McNamara, #6 is James Ivory, #18 looks like Patrick Murphy and #14 is Billy Petozza. 2,6 and 14 were ’64 graduates.
    What fun to see these pictures. Thanks

  4. Colleen Byrne Travis says:

    It has to be before ’57 because my brother, Tommy graduated from DHS in ’59 and he is the one at Father Shaughnessy’s left.

  5. Colleen Byrne Travis says:

    Number three is my brother Patrick R.I.P. — Number 30 is my brother, Tom. Tom and his wife Kay still attend the mass which is celebrated in Latin every Sunday at Holy Wisdom Church

  6. Colleen Byrne Travis says:

    OMG!!!! That’s my brother, Tommy Byrne, to Father Shaughnessy’s left!

  7. Colleen Byrne Travis says:

    We can always pick out James Hartman. He was a good kid — in my brother Patrick’s class. He had some little brothers. Funny how you remember those things. We need to have an all school reunion. The church hall would be a good place. We had a reception there after my brother Patrick’s funeral mass, before the cemetery ceremony in March’12.

  8. Roseanne Cusick Marshall says:

    #32 is Larry Franovich. he was a year ahead of me. He would have graduated high school 1960. #20 is John Connelly. He was in the same year as I was. He graduated high school in 1961.
    I do enjoy “The Duquesne Hunky.” I went to Holy Name with your cousin Louis Goldman. Iwas also hung around with your cousin Betty Jane Stepetic Peckman during our high school years.

  9. Alan Hartman says:

    Jim, number 13 (how appropriate! LOL) Is my brother, Jim Hartman the wizard who runs the Mifflin Township Historical Society. What a chubby little hunky he was…and still is! Love from his brother Alan here in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

  10. Frank Mullen says:

    If you will permit, Jim, let me share a personal perspective, one with which you may emphathize, about being one of the Altar Boys of Holy Name Church.

    Being an altarboy was one of the crown jewels of my life as a child. I aboslutely loved that service. And that’s saying something because there were many precious jewels of childhood for me, during the 1950’s. For example, I loved being so close to Kennywood Park, living in Duq. Place, able to explore its adventure any time, even during the winter months. I adored my parents and especially enjoyed my father’s Lionel trains, and taking hikes up into “The Woods” by “The Dump,” as well as so many other joys – jewels – of my Duquesne chidhood. Yet, being an altar boy was singular. I felt needed and integral to something much, much larger than myself. When I put on my cassock and surplice, in the altar boys’ room, across the sanctuary from the sacristy, I felt like an extension of the priest’s own vestments, equipped and properly prepared and attired to approach and serve The Lord, clothed with the right solemnity.

    Service at the altar granted me absolute belief in Transubstantiation and belief that there is an afterlife, granted to us through Jesus Christ. When Fr. Shaunessey or Fr. Schoenhart (sp?) raised the Host and we rang the bell, I believed every bit of it. I can still recite every response of the entire Latin Mass. Technically, I never resigned from being an altarboy, so I consider myself still enrolled; however, now, I serve at the altar by being a lector and an Extraordinary Minister of The Eucharist, both of which give my indescribable joy.

    I am a lucky man. I am an altar boy.

    • Jim says:

      You know Frank, I think all of we former altar boys share that same point of view. I guess it really never stops, does it? Thank you for your inspirational words. – Jim

  11. Frank Mullen says:

    I believe I’m right about these: #21 is William Steele; #22 is Martin Regan (sp?); #19 is Jerome Halpern; #29 is Jerome’s brother, David; #25 may be Eddie Cimballa (?) ; #24 may be Richard Boland.

    • Jim says:

      Thanks Frank…… do you know the year this was taken definitively?

      • Frank Mullen says:

        Jim,There is no inscription on the back of the photo dating it, but I believe I am a seventh grader, in that photo, and the taller boys nearest Father were “the big” eighth graders.That would make it 1957. However, I could just as easily be an eighth grader there and the big boys in high school, making the date 1958. Sorry I can’t be more definitive.

    • Doris (Voron) McCreary says:

      #25 is not Eddie Cimbala, who is my cousin. David Halpern was a classmate of mine and we graduated fm Holy Name in 1961, so possibly this pic was taken in 1960 or 1961.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s