Ten–year old Caroline Patricia “Pat” McCarthy is pictured here. Her smiling face captures the warm legacy of St. Aloysius. Pat and her younger sister, Mary, lived at St. Aloysius for about ten years. The generational tie to St. Aloysius occurred in a way that can only be described as “miraculous”.

St. Al’s played an important part in Pat and Mary’s lives as children. Little did anyone imagine that 50 years later, Pat’s granddaughter, Rachel Siebel–Fessel, would be married in The Chapel at St. Aloysius. How she came to St. Aloysius is best told in Rachel’s own words.

“The best advice given to me prior to my wedding day was to take mental snapshots of important moments throughout the day. I won’t claim to remember every detail but I will never forget my father’s eyes tearing up when he said, ‘You know your grandmother is looking down on us right now and she is so happy.’

“I will never forget walking into The Chapel at St. Aloysius prior to my wedding and, while waiting anxiously for my future husband and our guests to arrive, Dad and I had this profound feeling that my Grandma was there celebrating with us.

“To rewind a bit before that day, unforeseen circumstances required us to change our ceremony location, and we were incredibly lucky to happen upon St. Aloysius when searching for alternative wedding sites online. After I confirmed the date and time of the wedding, my mother and I learned that my Grandma grew up in the orphanage there—what are the odds of that happening?!

“My mother and I knew Grandma had a hand in those ‘unforeseen circumstances,’ and guided us straight to St. Aloysius. St. Al’s reconnected me to my now–deceased grandmother in such a life–changing manner. The person I knew was a beautiful, loving mother of eight, a cook with unparalleled skill and a woman who could forgive her young granddaughter for breaking a cherished teacup. I hadn’t realized how my memories of my grandma had blurred a bit. My wedding brought those memories back with remarkable clarity.

“Celebrating my wedding at St. Al’s, and knowing my Grandma prayed in that very same Chapel gives us a special place to share. Even though she is no longer here, walking down the aisle to get married at St. Aloysius will connect us forever.“

If you have a story that connects you to St. Aloysius, please contact:
Barbara Hoffmeier
bhoffmeier@stalsorphanage.org 513.482.7031

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