Appendix E: Fr. Gino Ferraro: Ferraro Family Bulletins – 1954 - 1959
“John Ullian and Linda Ferraro: Roots and Legacy www.Ullian.org March 2018”
[These Bulletins were transcribed from the original typescript copies sent by Fr. Gino to his relatives. Fr. Gino’s words have not been edited. We do not have the first Bulletin.]
Second Publication of the Ferraro Family Bulletin, Nadeau, Mich. June 22, 1954
In 1840 near the town of Breganze, in the province of Vicenza at the foot of the famous Alpi mountains there lived a young man by the name of Tony Ferraro, the writer does not know his parents name and nothing about the place of origin of his ancestors. There is, however, a story that his family emigrated from Castellamare, near Naples three hundred years ago and settled in Breganze.
Tony Ferraro in 1848 left his parents and began a family of his own, I do not know his wife name but I was told she was a beautiful woman and a blonde; Tony was employed by a rich farmer, some say he came from Turkey. Tony Ferraro had a free rent but half of the products of the farm was his and the other half belonged to the landlord. Another fact we know that the Ferraros always were very good people and very devout Catholics, and in all the years of their existence not even one had a criminal record.
Tony Ferraro and this we know for a fact, knew the value of a penny, but he was not stingy, he always gave his boys a weekly allowance every Sunday after holy Mass, and he always paid his dues to his Parish Church, for his son Frank (my father) told me that at harvest time a measure (200 lbs) of grapes, wheat, and fruits were always set aside for church support.
Tony Ferraro in his last years made his home with my father Frank his youngest boy and mother often spoke of him suffering from an infection on the tip of his right hand thumb from which he never recovered. --- I cannot tell you where he is buried most probably in San Georgio di Perlena a few miles north of Breganze, the cemetery is located near the church, if you ever go to Italy please look him up and say a prayer for the repose of his soul.
Tony Ferraro and his wife were blessed by God and became the parents of FIVE CHILDREN. They are:
John, who married a Poletto girl and they emigrated to South America, they became the parents of 14 children --- today they are all prosperous and famous throughout Brasil.
The second is Giovanna, she married one by the name of Miotti she lives in San Georgio not very far from the church. They too became the parents of four children: Pellegrino, Antonio, Maria, and Margaret. The last one used to be my favorite little cousin, real black hair and black eyes I recall.
Next was Peter, the father of Tony, probably the father of the war prisoner and of Maria and two more. Peter married a girl from Titona Family.
Tony Jr, the 4th of the family, he married a girl by the name of Prudence, these are the parents of Joe Ferraro of Rockford, Illinois. Joe, however, was the 4th in his family, Tony, Anna and John came before him, and he has a baby sister by the name of Maria.
The last of Tony Ferraro children was my Father Frank born 1870 he married Catherine Vollanova, the prettiest of all girls in town, he had to fight hard to get her because there were many other suitors. One night to chase one away from going to Fortolongo, where she lived, he wrapped himself in a bed sheet, like a ghost, and he walked over the cemetery walls. They were married in San Georgio Church, he 20 and she 19 years old. God blessed them with 13 children: Virginio, John, Linda, Narciso, Ida, Gino, Sereno, -- six died young: Lino, Catherine, Alfred, Sabina, and Livia. – Linda died May 17, 1929 in Highland Park, she became the wife of John Ullian – and left five children who are now all living in Joliet, Illinois. TO BE CONTINUED – Gino Ferraro.
THE FERRARO FAMILY BULLETIN Easter 1955
Dear Brothers and Relatives:
I did not receive any letter for long time from any of you so I cannot give out news. --- Mr. and Mrs. Narcissus Ferraro went to Italy and visited with Mrs. Della Valle Ida our sister they took pictures of different parts of Italy, I am just dying to see these pictures and hear from them the news of that good sister of ours. The last time I saw her she was tall, brunette, she had a beautiful face with dark sparkling eyes. I remembered the day she married Mr. Dal Dosso, she was only sixteen then, we were over three hundred at the wedding dinner. The night of the wedding on our way home my father shouted "Viva gli Sposi" (Hurrah to the bride and the groom) the horse got scared and we all fell into ditch, fortunately none got hurt. --- Mr. Dal Dosso served in the first world war, and he died shortly after the war. Ida run the farm and she raised her five children then she remarried to Mr. Della Valle, a widower with ten children. – Narciso reports she is still looking young and strong, she is now 56. --- From what I can see, all Ferraros are physically strong and healthy. When brother Verginio underwent an operation the doctor admitted and he found all his vital organs just as fresh as a ten years old boy. These news ought to fill us with joy, and it should encourage us to take good care of our bodies handed down to us through sturdy ancestors.
This year 1955 I celebrate my Silver Jubilee, 25 years as priest. – Here in Nadeau I have a beautiful home, and we have been working on it since November 10 of last year. I want it to be in beautiful shape by October 6th, the day disignated for our celebrations: the 75th anniversary of the parish and my 25th. If any one of you should be free to come on that day I shall be delighted. --- His Excellency Bishop Noa shall celebrate a Pontifical High Mass at 10 o’clock, the priests of the diocese shall also be invited. At noon a banquet shall be held in our parish hall.
Looking back through the years I feel I did not spend my life in vain. I brought joy and peace to thousands of souls; I helped the poor, and in all the places I served I never made an enemy: Savanna, Rockford, Aurora, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Sault Ste Marie Michigan, Bessemer, Atlantic Mine, South Range, Nadeau, in all these places I preached, and I left the sweet aroma of the Ferraro’s kindness. I am not a rich man, but I am happy and satisfied. I have a good health and I enjoy a good name.
On the 20th of this month, I must be in Webster Groves, Mo. a suburb of St. Louis. All my class-mates shall gather together in Kenrick Seminary to celebrate our 25th anniversary of our ordination. I am looking forward to this. I go by train because I must be back home for Sunday Masses the same week. But in July I hope to visit many of you. I must attend also a reunion in Baltimore next fall, so I shall have a chance to visit Mr. Mrs Semler (Emma of brother John).
One regret I have, and never a day passes without feeling a pain in my heart caused by the thought that some members of our family left the church and they are bringing up their little ones out of the church. I hope and pray that they may return I ask everyone to offer special prayers this Easter for them.
I wish to all of you a Happy Easter.
YOURS IN CHRIST
Gino S. Ferraro.
FERRARO FAMILY BULLETIN / NOV. 10, 1959
Mrs Catherine Ferraro mother of John died September 17, 1941 in Rockford, Ill. --- Catherine was an angel in flesh. Twenty three Priests attended her funeral. She was seventy years old when she died. Mr. Tony Celebron, surnamed Tony Dall ‘’Osto, of happy memory, made this remark when he looked at her in the coffin: "Catherine looks the same now as she did when she was sixteen." – Catherine never used face powder or ruge all her life.
October 27, 1959 John Ferraro died. When his soul arrived at the gate of eternity Catherine his mother accompanied by her husband Frank and three other children Livia, Sabina, Alfred who died during the epidemic of 1918. --- Linda, Mrs. John Ullian came also to meet her brother John. John also saw five little angels hovering around. Three of these are two brothers and one sister of his and the two others were and are still his own children who died right after HOLY BAPTISM.
John must have felt at home being in their company. His first words must have been as follows:
"Hello Ma and Dad, I am surely glad to see you again. My life on earth was rough. They gave me a good send off, though: All my friends came to pray for me. The priest annointed me and for two consecutive nights my children, brothers and nephews prayed the Holy Rosary for me. They gave me flowers, I wished they gave me Masses instead, oh well their intentions were good. Fr. Gino offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Monsignor Hilderbrand, my pastor, knelt all during Mass and he too interceded for me before Almighty God, --- Oh, I am so happy all my earthly troubles are now over."
When John was a young man, he never retired without praying the Rosary to the Blessed Virgin Mary: "Hail Mary full of Grace.... pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death." he used to say. His prayers and the Sunday Masses he attended during his youth are to his credit. The Blessed Virgin must have interceded for him when he was judged.
John raised a splendid family. His six children are a credit to the community they live. John never denied his Catholic Faith and he never abandoned Christ’s True Church. All these factors speak in his favor.
John came to Rockford from Italy at the tender age of 16. He was a very happy youngster in those days when Rockford was still young. He sent for his parents and he paid for their transportation. He courtshipped a very beautiful young lady Anna Comperini whom he later married. He also bought a beautiful home 1020 Green St, Rfd, Ill. The people around him were all immigrants like himself and they loved him and they looked upon him as a leader. Sundays John occupied a pew in St. Anthony’s Church which he helped to build.
In 1923 John brought his family to Glencoe, Ill. He began to work seven days a week and like many of his contemporaries who had a materialistic concept of life, he wanted to get rich quick. John never got rich. Still he did not go to heaven EMPTY-HANDED NEITHER. His GOOD WORKS OF HIS YOUTH ACCOMPANIED HIM. May he rest in peace.
Rev. Fr. Gino S. Ferraro. / Brother of the Deceased
Chapter Headings and Appendices