Photos of Sacred Heart children

Photos of Sacred Heart children

Jane and Robert Gallagher circa 1935, moved to Sacred Heart approx. 1936.
Kathy, Larry and Jeff Roman-1964
1963 Sometime when I was in the home, but on a visit to my Aunt’s in Allentown. That’s me on the end with the “home haircut”. Flossie
1965 Here I was right after I left the home. In my first foster home which was horrible. I remember that I hid behind the door of the chapel because I didn’t want to go there. Turned out my gut feeling was right on. The home was better. I was Flossie Schwertfeger then. Does anyone remember me?” Flossie
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The children of Sacred Heart Home & School

It started with 4 nuns and 6 children. The highest number housed in the Sacred Heart Home was 194.

Only about half were catholic. Children came from single parents (they called them half-orphans), orphans, WWII refugees,both parents, neglected  and abandoned children. Some stayed years, some only weeks. Make sure you keep scrolling down to see all the names I’ve found so far.

The Children:

1970-1974

Geranchers, Louie, Stevie, Mary, Julius, Jeannie, and Julie

Szabo, Brian-the early 70’s

Vercusky, Kenneth S.- died in the home 1974.

Vercusky, Diane, Steven, Cliff, Wayne,Larry and William  -1974

1960-1969

Allen, Audrey and brother- late 60s -early 70’s

Brandel, Joseph- late 1960’s

B____?, Curtis

Casamassa, Greg and brother  -1968-1969

Dyas, Debbie -Hunsicker, Bonnie and Ginny-early 1960’s

Jeffery, Linda (1961-1971),Mary, Kathy & Diane, brothers, Michael and Johnny

Kline, Vincent,Steve & Corrine-1960’s

Malatesta, Jaye-early 1960’s

Malinsky, Michael~1965-1972

Merritt, Richie and brother- 1965-1973

Miller, Christine,  ~1960 to 1963

Rios, Daniel~1960-1965

Roberts, Flossie~ 1962-1965

Roman, Kathy Roman (O’Connell), Larry and Jeff  Roman-1964 to 1969

Rooks, Dean and Charlene- mid-late 1960s

Rothermel, Robert 1967

Slaugther-1963Diane,Emma, Eileen, Nancy and brothers Mike and Tony

Timmons, Mary-late 1960’s

Vitek, Theresa- early 1960’s

Wich, Michael-1963-1967

1950-1959

Bonaskiewich, Yvonne (age 14-16), Judy (age 8-10), John (age 5-8), and me (Michael) _1956-1958

Dutko,George

Flatley, Helen-1957

Fenstermaker,Richard

Funk, Larry

Herman, Stanley & Mickey

Hertzog, Lyn and Linda – 1957-1961

Hessinger, Bobby

Lane, Robert-1952 thru 1962

Langston,Nick, 1947 to 1959

Makuski, Rose, Georgetta who was in the baby dorm,Maxine,Georgie.- 1958-1964

Merritt, Dick-1951-1955

Miller, John and Joan

Nocasio, David

Petek,Frank

Rudy– 1939 to 1947

Schaeffer, Larry and Jerry

Sebastian,Raymond

Skrovanek, Eugene and Kathy -1950-1958

Slaughter, Eileen,Diane, Emma, Michael, Nancy, and Tony – 1958-1966

Sullivan,Mary-1954

Tomsic, Michael

Unger, Chuck -1956-1965 Arthur  and Bobby

Weber, 1953-1963 Darleen, Kathy and Richard 

Wich, Kurt -1953-1957

 Zartler, Joep and Frank, Tom and Rosie (Hockenberry)  -1952 thru 1962

1938-1949

Langston, Nick~ 1947 to 1959

Chesterton, Lawrence (Lon) and younger sister Rita(age 4) – Summer of 1947

1940 US  Census

The list of children and caretakers recorded in the 1940 census
Some of the writing on the scan was smeared and blurry and all was handwritten so I may not have always gotten all the names correct.
The Sisters and maybe priest?

Anthony Brzoyouskie,age 48, single male ,completed Grade C-5,born in Pennsylvania

Mary Odelia ,age 53, single female ,completed Grade C-5,born in Germany

Mary Domiana ,age 53, single female ,completed Grade C-5,born in Germany, the Directress of Orphan’s Home

Mary Mauritia ,age 52, single female ,completed Grade C-5,born in Austria

Mary Theodosia ,age 50, single female ,completed Grade C-5,born in Austria

Mary Helen ,age 22, single female ,completed Grade C-4,born in Germany

The 1940 Census Children:Girls

Mary Annette,age 16, female , Grade 8,born in Pennsylvania

Mary McLane,age 16, female , Grade 8,born in Pennsylvania

Rose Petak,age 15, female , Grade 7,born in Pennsylvania

Mary Kerschner,age 14, female , Grade 6,born in Pennsylvania

Gertrude Bruni,age 13, female , Grade 7,born in Pennsylvania

Anna Shalicky,age 13, female , Grade 7,born in Pennsylvania

Annette Epriol?,age 13, female , Grade 6,born in Pennsylvania

Joshephine Donally?,age 13, female , Grade 6,born in Pennsylvania

Lily Maga?,age 13, female , Grade 5,born in Pennsylvania

Jean Dick?,age 12, female , Grade 5,born in Pennsylvania

Doris Gallagher,age 12, female , Grade 5,born in Pennsylvania

Joan Tijerinaage ,age 11, female , Grade 5,born in Pennsylvania

Eva Petata ,age 10, female , Grade 4,born in Pennsylvania

Margaret Shaol  ,age 10, female , Grade 4,born in Pennsylvania

Margaret Spaits ,age 9, female , Grade 2,born in Pennsylvania

Jane (Jean?) Gallagher ,age 8, female , Grade 1,born in Pennsylvania

Avoeen? Shaol,age 8, female , Grade 1,born in Pennsylvania

Margaret Piziest?, age 8, female , Grade 1,born in Pennsylvania

Catherine Spaits ,age 7, female , Grade 1,born in Pennsylvania

Eleanor Dalen ,age 6, female , Grade 1,born in Pennsylvania

Janet Wukiach ,age 5, female , not in school,born in Pennsylvania

Mae gallagher ,age 5, female , not in school,born in Pennsylvania

Josephine Spaits,age 4, female , not in school,born in Pennsylvania

Fay Wukisch,age 4, female , not in school,born in Pennsylvania

Ruth Anne Spaits,age 3, female , not in school,born in Pennsylvania

1940 Census Children: Boys

Richard Kersikner ,age 11, male , Grade 4,born in Pennsylvania

John Bguni,age 10, male , Grade 3,born in Pennsylvania

Euguene McLane,age 10, male , Grade 4,born in Pennsylvania

Frank Petah,age 9, male , Grade 3,born in Pennsylvania

Camillus Mays,age 9, male , Grade 3,born in Pennsylvania

Conrad Wiukitsch,age 8, male , Grade 2,born in Pennsylvania

Richard Zettlemoyer,age 8, male , Grade 2,born in Pennsylvania

James Zettlemoyer,age 7, male , Grade 1,born in Pennsylvania

Edward Yuendt?,age 7, male , Grade 1,born in Pennsylvania

Paul Siegler,age 7, male , Grade 1,born in Pennsylvania

Robert Gallagher,age 7, male , Grade 1,born in Pennsylvania

Frank Spait,age 6, male , not in school,born in Pennsylvania

Jack Ardinger,age 5, male , not in school,born in Pennsylvania

Rudolph Panlie,age 5, male , not in school,born in Pennsylvania

James Siegler,age 4, male , not in school,born in Pennsylvania

Douglas Lloyd,age 4, male , not in school,born in Pennsylvania

Joseph Mandeaux,age 3, male , not in school,born in Pennsylvania

Charles Yorky,age 3, male , not in school,born in Pennsylvania

Joseph Kerschner,age 2, male , not in school,born in Pennsylvania

Unknown time

Arthur Unger

Bobby Unger

Larry Schaeffer

Jerry Schaeffer,

Michael Tomsic,

David Nocasio,

Richard Fenstermaker,

Joep Zartler,

Frank Zartler,

Rosie Zartler Hockenberry

Bobby Hessinger,

John and Joan Miller

Larry Funk,

Kurt Wick

George Dutko

Stanley & Mickey Herman

Cookie Skrovanek,brothers, Gene,Jerry,Joe and Bill.

Debbie Sikler

Jim McCue

Children don’t forget.

Right before my parents split up and my mother dumped all 5 us in Sacred Heart Home. My younger brother Patrick was too young and was put out for adoption right away and the youngest brother, Bobby who had Down's Syndrome was disposed of a few years before in a special home for broken babies.

Right before my parents split up and my mother dumped all 5 us in Sacred Heart Home. My younger brother Patrick was too young and was put out for adoption right away and the youngest brother, Bobby who had Down’s Syndrome was disposed of a few years before in a special home for broken babies.

Children don’t forget

“I was born and bred in the Lehigh Valley. Born at Easton Hospital and raised on the South-side of Easton on Wilkes-Barre Street for most of my childhood years. That was my permanent residence with my grandmother and my father who was going through a bunch of a mess relationally with his marriages and relationships. Most of my actual residence living however, was at the Sacred Heart Home and School for Children in Coopersburg, PA., and a couple of foster homes along the way too. My brother and I spent approximately 8 years in the children’s home until we finally went home for good in 1973 when I was 12 years old.” Richie “Rich” Merritt

“Indeed, I remember that linen closet and the plastic jump rope that was used to administer punishment. I remember a boy by the name of Curtis B., a tough fighter who I remember having a singing voice best described like the sound of a buzz saw when singing in the choir. One day, Curtis did something wrong that warranted him to become a victim of the linen closet. When Curtis emerged from the linen closet, he had welts down the side of his leg that amazingly spelled the word “ball”. As children, we were so amazed by this gruesome anomaly and we all marched Curtis over to the nun who administered the punishment on poor Curtis. The nun (whose name I cannot remember), upon seeing Curtis’s leg and the word ball written in black and blue welts, sternly told Curtis that it meant for him to get on the ball. I think I never really cared for playing jump rope ever since. I also remember acquiring a fond taste for black pepper, as it was also used as a means to punish those of us who had a propensity to offend nuns with unwanted questions and/or statements. I also remember having my arm nearly twisted off in the laundry room by a nun, while my sister Charlene, who was working in the laundry room at the time, stood watching in helpless horror. I received this punishment for throwing a snowball.” Dean Rooks

“I was there from 1947 to 1959. I remember Eugene Scrivanek and his sister, John and Joan Miller, the Dutkos. I remember Stanley ( was my best buddy) & Mickey Herman. I remember the place fondly, though Sr Bonita used to take me to the linen closet so often I had calluses on my rear end. I vaguely remember when their were no brick buildings, just the barns and houses and we built the school and church and dormitories. I remember Sacred Heart fondly but haven’t been back there in quite a while. I remember, “Donation Day”? in the summer every year and the Christmas pagent in Rockne Hall in Allentown every Christmas, using divining rods to find water before digging the pool, the pool was half paved and half mud bottomed. Neat place that Sacred Heart. I do remember the room you are talking about where the kids would go with their parents to pick out candy and maybe a soda from the display on the table. I remember Mother Alfreda used to slip me a candy bar.
That room, was actually in a converted barn that was part of the original residence. That barn also was the original chapel. Of course, it was all torn down to make room for the new dining hall and dormitory.” Nick Langston

“One morning in August 1960, my mother said, “Hey, let’s go for a walk”. After some distance, she stopped and said to me, “Open the door and take your sister Theresa in with you. Tell the nice lady your names. I’ll be back in a little while.” Jaye was five months old then, and came some months later. I did what I was told. The building I walked into was the Catholic Welfare Services. And that night was the first night of the 1,l00 days that I resided at that orphanage. Each day seemed like a week, each week seemed like a month, each month seemed like a year, and each year seemed like a lifetime.” Christine Miller

“My aunt put my cousins in there in the early 70’s and I remember going to visit them there amd they hated it.It looks run down but every time i pass I remember how sad I felt to leave my cousins who were innocent victims of my aunt.” Carol K

“I also took many a trip to the linen closet for knocking off the habits of many of the nuns, by accident of course.” Lyn Hertzog

“I hated that home and was devastated when my dad would come from phila every two weeks for visiting days. sister bonita, sister,petra,sixth grade, sister ernelda. i know that thehome was clean but it was not a home. my family has never healed from the beatings.” Eileen Slaughter

“When I went to the home in 1939, it was only a few years in existence. I was at the Sacred Heart Home from 1939 to 1947,and remember it well, altho I don’t have pictures. The brick building, the ‘Boys’ house was built during that time. We cleaned up the barns and other buildings for the school and church, and I remember serving Mass almost every day. Some names I remember are Flately, Jones, Schadel and the caretaker Mr. Coudriet, His son became an actor in Hollywood. I remember Sister Itwara, Sister Boromeo and a Sister Leonciona, I think was her name. she was in charge of the kitchen. I also remember the boys building being built. Originally the basement had a large play room with a stage on one side and a storage room on the other side. The main floor had the dining room, the skullery and the kitchen and the second floor had two rooms for boys, younger on one side and older on the other. We farmed the fields behind the school all the way to the car tracks.” Rudy

“I remember taking accordin lessons and Larence Welk and his whole tv show came to the home and put on a show in the gym and we played our accordins for them. We all got to meet Larence Welk and the Lennon sisters and there whole show members.what an experience that was. I,ll never forget that.” Rosemarie Makuski

“I also remember there was an individual that used to sleep on his hands and knees and violently rock himself to sleep at night. So much so, that his bed would move 10 to 15 feet from where it started, and one could never be quite sure where you would find him and his bed in the morning. ” Dean Rooks

“Myself and my brother were only there temporarily in 1947, while my parents tried to find a place for us to live after my Dad’s return from WWII. ” Rita

“I was around 6yrs old. I remember mother Alfreda (not sure I spelled that correctly. I remember being sized for socks (does anyone remember how that was done?), the shoe room near the gym, the swimming and fishing pond, playing baseball without bats (using our fists) and a few other things. Does anyone remember the Halloween parades we marched and participated in? Does anyone remember the big meteor that flew past one summer?
I remember some of my occasional charges involved polishing hundreds of shoes, dishwasher duty, cleaning scoff marks off the gym floor (they would line us up in a row and give us a tooth brush & paste balls made of Ajax). I remember drinking black tea and cornbread, and that one had to act quick when the bowls of food arrived and were placed in the middle of the table.
Here is a funny story that I will share…..
As I had mentioned the shoe room earlier, there may be some that don’t remember that it was a room where hundreds of assorted shoes were deposited into a big pile, and one had to go through them to find a matching pair that fit; consequentially, I seldom had shoes that fit. Anyway, next to the home, on the other side of the street was a golf course, and we use to occasionally go over and find golf balls to bring back to the big courtyard and play wall ball (using the big brick walls of the gym)…
On one occasion, a few others and myself had gone over to acquire some golf balls, and in the process of our covert actions we were discovered and chased by big men in a golf cart. We all ran in the direction of the home, and because my shoes never fit, both of them immediately flew off of my feet and high into the air… Never to be seen again. It must have been a hilarious sight (for those who were chasing us), that is, to watching me leap out of my shoes in fright!!! ” Dean Rooks

“I remember the gym, creek, dorms with long rows of beds and a little set of drawers next to each. I remember movie night and those stainless steel pitchers full of drink. I remember being dropped off at the the school in the office, which was just inside the front doors and crying my eyes out. I also remember alot of crying at night in he dorm rooms after lights out, even though one of the Nuns would sit there in a chair for quite awhile until, I guess, we were asleep.” Greg Casamassa

“me and my brother were the only african americans at the home during our stay which was in the late 60’s early 70’s. I remember my introduction to Mother Alfreda and to Sister Ernelda who was in charge of the girls dorm. I know the answer to the person who was asking how we were measured for socks…we had to ball up our fist and the heel of the sock and the top met and that was your fit. does anyone remember the carnival like fair we put on the second sunday of august when the tents went up on the property of the home….i even remember the mans name mr. dematrovoich he had a daughter named marilyn to me she looked like a shirley temple and i mean that in a good way i can still see her.” Audrey Allen

Larence Welk comes to Sacred Heart Home

Larence Welk comes to Sacred Heart Home

Does anyone remember taking accordin lessons and larence welk and his whole tv show came to the home and put on a show in the gym and we played our accordins for them. we all got to meet larence welk and the lennon sisters and there whole show members.what an experience that was. i,ll never forget that.does anyone have a video of that i wonder? rosemarie makuski

Larence Welk

Larence Welk

Kathy W. tells her story.

Kathy W.  tells her story.

Kathy O’Connell drew this little cartoon of Kathy W. after hearing her story.

Today on the Sacred Heart School and Home Facebook page we were told another child’s story about her 9 year stay in the “home”.

Kathy ( not Kathy Roman/ O’Connell) wrote to me and shared her experiences.

Kathy said, “I was there from 1953-1963???  My brother, and sister were there also. But they came there later than me. I remember Sister Enelda who was in charge of the girls dorm and Sister Evara who was the nurse and of course Mother Alfreda. My sister was the most unliked girl there…including by me. She was a tattleteller and often would teach the same class she was in. Her name is Darleene. She was responsible for me and i hated it! She was so mean. lol 
I was the first girl to work in the kitchen, I made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I really liked doing that. It made me feel important. My brother worked in the kitchen too. We got along great! 
I was always sick too. Had all the childhood diseases there as well as Scarlet Fever and RheumaticFever. Hated to be locked up in the infirmary alone – isolated from everyone. I remember one time i had to use the bathroom down by the pool and there were girls in there. Well my sister took me there and the girls in the bathroom were smoking and they wouldn’t let us in (because of my sister) so we were pushing our way in and my thumb got caught in the hinge side of the door and i screamed so loud that Mother Superior came down from the school to see what the matter was. I ended up in the hospital for a very long time. So having a sister like i did was not the best thing being there. My brother smoked and he would do most of his smoking behind the school near the grounds keepers house where the garbage and incinerator was. Anyway, the only reason i was able to leave there was because the school was closing down. My grandparents agreed to take me in.”