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Mount Loretto, Staten Island, NY


General View of Mount Loretto Staten Island, N.Y., Digital ID 104622, New York Public LibraryThis picture is at Mount Loretto, which was founded as Catholic orphanage on Staten Island in the late 19th century. It is still operating today, but it is not really an orphanage anymore; it is more of a social service agency. They recently built a CYO on its grounds and it has become a community center, with inside basketball courts and meeting rooms.

The church in the picture is still standing, but the buildings on either side are gone. In the early 1970's the exterior of the church was used in a scene from the famous movie The Godfather. There was a fire at the church shortly after the filming; only the facade was still standing. The church was rebuilt and was in operation again a few years later.

Mount Loretto is located about a mile from the Tottenville Library.

For more information, check out these two websites:


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very depressing - from all the people I know from the Mount, no one can relate to your experience. The Mount was a saving grace for me and my brother and we are grateful for the benefits we received there. My brother doesn't relate at all and he was there at the same time you were. You sure have an axe to grind!!!

Hi Walter, my name is Jose. I

Hi Walter, my name is Jose. I entered the mission in October of 1949. Can you tell me if any photos exist that may have been taken there between that date through the end of 1952. I had two sisters that were on the "Girl's Side" during that time. I'm going to see about your book "Autobiography of an American Orphan". I was just looking to see what it was like then, but it's been a long time, & things have changed a lot. It's sort of strange, because my youngest brother had had discussed with me about writing a book too, but God took him before we even got the chance for an attempt to start on it. Anyway, I just happened to see your note of November 26, 2009 at 2:59 AM & decided to send you this one. Hope you had a beautiful Christmas, & may you enjoy a very "Happy New Year" together with your family!

I was also there after one of my adoptive parents died

I was there in there in the early 70's.I was adopted from the angel guardian home in brooklyn. My parents gave me up when I was 1 maybe a little older. I was adoptive at the age 2.My mom was puerto-rican and my dad was jewish. Guess back in the day that was a no no. Still looking for my dad. Anyhow I ended up and the mount as well. I was on the girls side of course. Anyone remember sister helen fox. She was a big lady, who nearly threw me out the window. I lived on the third floor in a dorm setting with many other girls. my experience was not as happy as many say here. I was assaulted by other kids, and people stole the little I had. Sister Helen was the worst. She sat on me, and I thought I would die of sufucation. She made me stand behind doors for hours. I remember saying a bad word, and she grabbed me and choked me, and hung my head out a window.The good memories I do have are those of the beautiful view of the ocean as you came out the entrance. The horse-shoe crabs on the beach were everywhere, and at night you could look up the hill and see the monsignor's house. I use to walk the ocean's edge for miles. I don't really know what I was looking for, but I guess I wanted to be rescued somehow from all of it. I went and lived in a foster care home in Staten Island and went to tottenville high. I lived with a family named the "Flickers" They had a daughter named Gina I recall. A really nice jewish family who wanted to adopt me, and the state being the state said no. I mean why have a family commit to taking care of me. After that they pulled me out of their home, claiming they didn't want them or myself to get too "attached".Imagine that.All I know is growing up and being placed on all these places was horrible. I do have some good memories, not many though. I was happy to finally grow up, and not have people controlling my every move. How ironic I work for the Department of Corrections. Life is good. If anyone has any pictures of the the girls side please email me @ Thank You Mary

mt. loretto

Hi Mary i was in mt. loretto during that time and i also went to the same school you did and my two sisters were in your house as well Frances and Julia if you remember me email me at

Mt Lorretto

No I'm sorry, seems like a billion years ago. I remember a girl named yvette.

DJ Melo Magic!!!

Carmelo, I remember you very clear. We were like brothers!!! It's me Moe, I was always with the twins (Hector and Toni) you were with me in 3rd house! Damn brother I always have wondered about you and the rest!! Email me on my daughters I tried the verizon email you have here but it did not go through. We had many good times!!! Hope you are well. Happy Holidays

This is the Miv Mount Loretto

This is the Miv Mount Loretto Web Site page. will see a lot of pictures and read a lot of stories. I wasn't there that long, however, I do understand how you felt. I was there for about 3 1/2 yrs, but it somehow seemed longer. You must of been a tough cookie for sister Helen to be able to do those things to you. I was so afraid of her. I do remember her being mean to me and how hard it was for me being there as well. I was bullied by all the kids. I had no confidence in myself. I suffered from depression most of my life and now I am taking medicine to control it. I went there at the age of 9, it was 1970 was there till about 75/75, memory is fading, but I could never ever forget that home. All I remember is crying a lot for my mother and just wanting to be home. Althoug I went home early, it wasn't the home I dreamed of. It was always so crazy and disfuntional living with family reletives then moving back with my mom and the man she was living with. She always took his side. I was there with my sister and my brother. Well, I am glad you finally grew up and found yourself. It's great being an adult. Nobody can tell us what to do anymore and we can live our own lives and control what we do. I truly hope you found your happiness. Take care and God bless you.

Hi, i was in the baby group

Hi, i was in the baby group for five years and i have horrible memories. I remember Sister Helen and she was so like a bully, so i understand what you went through. I have no good memories of that place, sorry to all the people who say it was so great. For me it was nightmarish, it seemed there was alot of punishment, control and forced silence going on, and i was scared almost the whole time i was there. If you didn't do exactly what they wanted it seemed every minute you were being punished and if one girl acted up they believed in punishing the whole group and they did. I remember being forced to stand for long hours in the drafty hallway, i remember we had to bend over so they could hit us with a radiator brush, i remember them inspecting our underwear at the end of the day to see if we soiled them. I guess that was open for punishment too. I was so afraid to wear my underwear! I remember having my head shoved into the wall by a nun in the baby group for singing a jingle and then the next day being sent to the hospital with a concussion after i was dizzy and throwing up. I have one good memory of a counselor named Miss Azella, a large women from Cuba in the junior group who used to tell us about her escape from Cuba. She was so nice to us kids. I remember Sister Georgina and her crazy stories in the junior group too.

Sister Helen

Hi, I totally can relate to all you mentioned here about your experiences living in The Mission, My 3 Brothers and Myself was put in this horriable home for 7 years back in 1964 till 1970 I was 8 my older bro 9 and middle bro 7 and littlest one was 4 he went to Saint Michaels till he got of age and came to the Mission, Mean while Living there has really impacted our lives far beyond our control an has effected us all till this day ,Silence, bitterness,unpleasant memories ETC..of that place and to all the NUNS some of which should have never never been a part on such holy grounds, some played a part of the devil Let me start with Sister Helen how can I describe her and all of her actions she was by far the meanist NUN and would pull me out of my bed slam me behind a door for hours of the night nail on clothes pins and stand stright up with my hands/arms behind my back and lock me outside the area and tell me the boyside boys will come and rape me while i was outside the stair well with the firescape over top she had it out for me every night she would pull me out of my bed and beat me and she was a big woman as well, I tried so hard to be fearless when it came to her, I remember one night standing with my hands and arms in back of me telling her I had to pee and I couldn't hold it any longer and I said I was going to pee on the floor she said to me if I did that I would lick it all up! I never hated a person as much as I hated her for bulling me while I was so young and couldn't defend for myself, I also remembering me always running and hiding at the lighthouse at the ocean and she knew where I would be at times and would punish me for going down to the ocean that woman has stressed me so bad and made my life misable and she would strip my bed and my locker said it wasnt neat enough and to do it all over I then beat her with a broom and they had the balls to send me to a shrink for hitting a NUN I ended up with Rehematic fever and St Vitis dance and was put in hospital and later on I was released I was 13 at the time of leaving I too have no good memories of that place, that horriable Nun Sister Helen stopped me from doing anything I would tell Sister Jaunita on her and sister roselie was very nice to me and I would run away down to the bus stop and Sister Georgina would come down there and get me I liked her she had a good heart and A kind soul, That place did NOT teach me anything except I didnt belive in being a Catholic An for what it was supposed to stand for Sister Helen ruined that for me , and the list goes on and on about that place and my experience and I cant speak for my Brothers they too had a horriable time on there side, so the morral to my story is I have no Religion Thanks to Mount Lorretto, and for all of you who said you had a good time there will Im happy for you and I hope your life is good now, and to all that had a horrified experience living there Note to SELF your a good person no matter what they tried to steal from us never give up!!Its a shame that all that bad is intertwined with the good and we have to live with it I do hope life is treating all of you kind and make the best of it, Happy Trails.....

It's true

Can you contact me about those years at the mount? 9174594678 pretty please

Is that you ?


Not a home

There were some who knew they were in control and used that power as a metal baseball bat. You are right about Sister Helen, she was a nightmare for many of us. Some experiences do not go away with age, I am sorry to say, but I hope the decent people we have come in contact with after we left the Mount helped to heal a little of our minds, hearts and spirits. I wish all of you survivors the best.

I remember Sister Helen

Wow!!! I thought I was the only one she tried to do in. She had a nasty habit of jabbing me with those keys of hers. A lot of my years there I have blocked out. Sorry they stopped you from being adopted, but remember, each head meant money from the state. The only Nun I like and who was good to everyone was Sister Winifred Denise. I still mis her. I will pray for you and the others who went through the Mount.


Bernice!!! I remember you, how could I ever forget you girl!! How is one of my sisters doing? It's been a long time since I've been in contact with anyone from MIV, and then I found this site! I live in Albany now. I don't really know many around here. There were many very bad memories in the mount, but we had to make the best of what we could. We really had noone there but eachother, the counselors and stuff were pretty rotten. You use to date my brother Jose Muniz. How are you? I'm Moe. (Moises Mendez) I was there with my brothers Jose and Miguel Muniz, I dont know what happened to my brother Miguel but my brother Jose and I ended up in Albany. Im doing pretty good, had to have heart work done but am doing well. Unfortunately my brother Jose passed away he is buried in Albany in a cemetary near me. Email me sometime if you could

Hello I am trying to discover

Hello I am trying to discover the things my mom went through as she was there with her little brother. She has traumatic memories from the nun cutting her hair off and beating her, this was from around 1945-1950 Her name is Christina and her little brother was Eddy...He has passed away some time ago...

st michaels on auther kill rd s.i. 1965-1973

i would like to read this book we always lost to your home in sports and you guys always took our girlfriends Lol tico Rodriguez

Remember someone

Hi, I am looking for an Angel Reyes, he may have been there in the 50"s did you know him?

I was at Mt. Loretto from

I was at Mt. Loretto from 1973- 1980 , They were the best years of my life. I wouldn t trade them for anything... So many good memories. It s a shame that the mount is nothing like it used to be. I Go back to visit every few years. I miss all the friends that i had while i was there, it would be nice to see them again.





Mt. Loretto

Hi Luis. I remember you and your brothers. Especially Sammy because he and my brother Mark Waldorf were such good friends. I also had another brother there, Larry. I don't know if you remember them. Hope you and your brothers are well. take care Laura



I was in omega. My workers

I was in omega. My workers was cathine, anna fleming and walter moore I think you might know me

Omega House

I was at Omega house when you were

ralph ibarra with brothers,luis and sammy

we came there in july 1973.and we were placed in forth cottage low dorm.sammy left in 1978 when he was 18,and i left in feb.1979 when i was 12.luis left in 1981.i had a lot of good memories there as well,i would give anything to do it over again.i miss a lot of the people that i grew up with and i hope that many of them are doing well. if you do know who i am, please write back.i will be checking.

Ibarra brothers

I was a teacher at MIV from 1964 to 1979 and I am sure I taught Sammy or even Louis.I hope you come to the reunion in Sept., I am planning on coming. I do not teach any more, retired to an administrative position at our Motherhouse in Hastings. Hope I will hear from one of you or anyone else I taught, they were wonderful years and people are tired of hearing how much I loved MIV, Sr. Rose

david perez, nick name mousie

to luis ibarra or anyone who might know the perez brother gilbert perez and david perez we were actually there from 1968 to 1981 my brother left around 1979 he was older than me.i posted some pictures in the mount lorreto home page go check them out and see if anyone reconize us.also pics of willie jones,steven maglio,carlos acevedo and billie c.they were some of the ones in there with us at the nick name was mousie. if anyone would like to contact me please do at or 508-217-1541.

Morreale sisters 60-67

Do you remember any of the Morreale sisters? Darlene, Rosemary, Virginia or Teresa? They're my family who were at MIV.

the mount

hi ibarra brothers i think i know who you are i was there from 73 to 81 me and my brother. my name is david perez they use to call me mousie and my brothers name is gilbert perez i lived in second cottage low dorm and my brother was top dorm of god father was rudy t. who ran the gym and the soccer team and dont forget mrs jones and sister helen from school. dont forget the pool and firemans day. if you remember us please contact me at my email add, i was also a alter boy for father mangan.and last do you remember sliding down mount sr hill when it was snowing.

No good memories of Mt. loretta

I was in Mt. Loretta in the 70's and I have very few good Memories of that place. It was a haven for abuse. Nothing but scars left in my memory.

I remember Luis and Sammy.

I remember Luis and Sammy. Your brother sammy use to go out with my friend Jessica when they were there. I was there with my sister Dorcas and my 2 brother Luis Guzman and Isreal Adorno they use to call him Izzy for short.. I have been searching for Jose Padilla do you remember him. I had a kid from him but I gave the baby up for adoption and found him last year June 20 2010. He would like to know his dad. but anyways. I good to see you guys are still here on


I have dated your sister in 1973, and had my front teeth punched out by Raymond due to jealousy. Anyway, I am on Facebook

Hi luis, I wonder if I know

Hi luis, I wonder if I know you. I use to go over to the boys side all the time to go swimming in the big swimming pool. Do you remember the big diving boards? I use to be the only girl that could do back flips from the highest board. I remember going to the dances over at the boys side.My name then was mary rodriquez. I was kinda of a tomboy, always hanging out with the boys. mary

you can contact me @

you can contact me @ luis i knew you and your late brother sammy

Hi, I was at Mt. Loretto from

Hi, I was at Mt. Loretto from 1974 - 1980. What's your name. I would love to go visit Mt. Loretto but it seems that I never have the money or the time.

Luis...I remember you

Was Sammy your brother



Looking for friend in Omega

I was in mount loretto in omega 1 I remember some memories I am trying get photos of the school it was south richmond. I remember mr. a was my teacher. I remember walter moore, anna and cathine in omega If you remember please write to

100th Reunion of Mission of the Immaculate Virgin, Mount Loretto

Every year, usually the third Saturday in September, we have a Reunion. This year, 2010, will mark a 100th year celebration at the Mount. We hope that "Mission Kids" from all over the country and the world will come back and celebrate our uniqueness. For many of us, the Mount saved us from seriously disfunctional families and abuse. The nuns, the priests and the counselors instilled in us good values. We also enjoyed new experiences that we otherwise would have never been exposed to. I especially remember going to see "The Temptations" and "Oklahoma." I lived in a dormitory with many girls called the Villa. I feel fortunate that I have a second family with brothers and sisters that I feel close to. If you know any Mission Kids, please tell them about the 100th celebration and encourage them to attend. It will be special. Lydia S.

100th reunion

My Father (William W. Hughes)was there from 1930 onward. Can you tell me more about the reunion so that I may pass this info on to him. We live in Florida and may be interested in attending. Thank you Kate hughes

100th Reunion Celebration 9/18/10

You can find more information on the 100th Reunion Celebration at You have to sign in to see the messages/postings. In addition, in the "Files" section, you will see the announcement and who to call for more information on the Reunion. Good luck.

Thank you

My father Domenick Monaco was there 1933> My friends father O'Mara was there about the same time Any info would be helpful to me for my family Tree John

Do I have a Say!!

Well.. my Mother and her younger siblings lived in Mt. Loretta. some loved it and some were the death of it. what story would you like to hear?

I would

I would like to hear of your stories because my grandmother her brother were there in the years between 1932-38 or 39. Her stories were nothing of anyone on this blog. She had run away from the home twice just to get away from the abuse.

Thank you

Same with me Did you get any stories? John

My grandfather was at Mount

My grandfather was at Mount Loretto and Farmerdale Long Island for Boy until he was 17. Even as an older man he had terrible scars all over his body from the beatings he endured at the hands of these people. He had nightmares until he passed away. The abuse he endured had an impact on everyday of life. I loved him so dearly. I do not know how people could be so cruel to others, and children at that.

I agree

My grandmother ran away twice with her brother and sister. She claims they were HORRIBLE. All the other posts are about how wonderful it was. But those posts seem to be after my grandmother was there. Does anyone know how to get records from when my grandmother was there. It was in between census, so she won't show up on one. I am glad someone posted about the negative part of this place.


Hi, I would be interested in knowing if you were ever successful getting records for your Grandmother. I was at Mt. Loretto between 1942 and 1946 and swould like to get my records. Please let me know. Thank you.

Finding our ancestors

My husband's grandfather lost both his mother and father in 1890. He and his siblings were sent to Mount Loretto. Can you imagine the trauma for these children? We would really like to honor the memory of our family. We are compiling a family genealogy and want to include and honor these family members. Is there any accounting of the residents of Mount Loretto in the 1890s? If anyone can steer us in the right direction we would really appreciate it. please reply to Thanks, Mary McDonald

Of course you have a say. It

Of course you have a say. It is impossible to imagine the experience of being an orphan unless you have been there yourself. no mater how well intentioned an "orphanage" could be, there has to be a lasting impact on your life for being left alone in the world.

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