Back in Newark Talk Messages #'s 340, 346,
348, 371, and 373, we had received a message from Ernesto D'Aquila
in Italy asking for any information on his relative Father Ernesto
D'Aquila from Newark. I went to the library this morning and found
his obituary in both the Newark Evening News and the Star Ledger.
Ernesto, your relative Monsignor Ernesto D'Aquila, was a very
well known, and very well respected, person here in Newark for over
He was the pastor of Our Lady Of Mount Carmel Church for 39 years
when he died on May 8, 1933. He was elevated to Monsignor by Pope
Pius XI. At a testimonial dinner where he was praised by Mayor Congleton
and the other City Commissioners, he was decorated with the "Chevalier
Crown Of Italy" by order of the Italian King Victor Emmanuel.
At that time he gave a purse of gold presented him by parishioners
with his personal check for $1,000 to Bishop Walsh for the work
of the Pia Filippina Sisters at Morristown.
He was born in Vinchiatura, Campobasso, Italy. He studied theology
at Boiano and was ordained at San Severno, Italy. He became a professor
in the French College, Cairo, and in Syria, and was professor of
music and French at the theological seminary in Boiano. He came
to America in 1893 and for about a year was assistant at St. Phillp
Neri's church leaving there to become pastor of Our Lady Of Mount
Carmel. He established the school there which had the Fillippins
At his bedside while he was dying were the Sisters who taught
at the school; his nieces Mrs. Ida Pietrangelo, Mrs. Egla Iacontuono,
Mrs. Adelina Pistelli, and Mrs. Gugliemlina Chirico, and his brother
Professor James D'Aquila of Detroit.
King Victor Emmanuel, at the beginning of that year, conferred
the "Cross Of Chevalier of the Crown of Italy" upon Msgr
D'Aquila in recognition of the welfare he carried on among the Italian-Americans
for forty years.
Pope Pius XI elevated him to the rank of Monsignor at the end
of 1932 upon the recommendation of Bishop Thomas Walsh. The promotion
was largely in recognition of his services in the Ironbound section
Msgr. D'Aquila made annual visits to his native town of Vinchitura,
in the Province of Campobosso, where he established an orphanage
for fifty children in honor of his sister Miss Julia D'Aquila.
He became pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in 1893 - three years
after the founding of the parish.
He was a musician and a patron of Italian arts. He had installed
in the church an altar made of Italian marble in memory of his fellow
He came to Newark at the age of only 24.
Sounds like he was quite the man.