150th Anniversary Celebration of Historic St. Agnes Cemetery & Book Release

Posted on August 11, 2017 by Jennifer Mele under Historic St. Agnes Cemetery, Special Event

Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Historic St. Agnes Cemetery and “These Sacred Grounds” book release!

These Sacred Grounds book Celebrating Historic St. Agnes 150th Anniversary Book

A late summer cocktail party was held in celebration of Historic St. Agnes Cemetery’s 150th Anniversary on Sunday, September 17th. The celebration featured fine foods, select wines and beer, a string trio, silent auction and historic cemetery trolley tours. Guests from all over the country attended. The event began at 2 PM with a blessing by Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger.

It was also the premier of the beautiful 160 page coffee table book “These Sacred Grounds: 150 Years of St. Agnes Cemetery“.  The book takes the reader on a journey from the Victorian era into modernity and brings to life captains of industry, war veterans, artists, a famous movie star, politicians, tragic deaths and so much more.

In the Victorian era, lot owners of all socio-economic means took great pride in creating sacred grave spaces. Over the years, burial practices have changed and the landscape of St. Agnes Cemetery reflects those changes in its funerary art and architecture that fill its 114 acres. Large, ornate family grave lots with neo-classically designed mausoleums and memorials gave way to smaller lots with respectable monuments more uniform in size and bronze markers in shrine sections.  Additionally two beautiful Community mausoleums bathe thousands of individual crypts and cremation niches in natural light while protecting the remains of those entombed or inurned within the polished marble walls.

The wealthiest citizens gave us much to admire with their stately burial lots but the ordinary citizens and the poor played an important part in the shaping of history and their modest graves tell their own story.  Sometimes these stories are sad stories of high infant mortality; tragic workplace accidents; ravaging infectious diseases; and some are stories of triumph, inspiration, perseverance and success.  Today each memorial provides us with a lesson in art and in history that we explore within the book.

The Honorable John (Jack) McEneny, a well-known public figure and local historian, contributed a feature story for the book.  The descendants of prominent families, Dr. Kathleen Quinn, Vincent J. Forte, Jr., and Dr. Joseph Meany also wrote very insightful pieces about their ancestors.

Photographs by Mick Hales, Jennifer Mele, Chuck Miller, Jeannie Keefe, along with community members who participated in the St. Agnes Photography Contest, 2009-2013, provide a splendid pictorial narrative.  Images rich in color and detail are featured on nearly every page of the book highlighting the history, art and landscape of beautifully sculptured memorials large and small, stained glass, and neo-classical to contemporary architecture memorializing people resting in these sacred grounds.

Author and Historian Kelly Grimaldi signed books at the event and attendees received a book with a special commemorative 150th Anniversary bookmark.

Since its opening in 1867, St. Agnes Cemetery located in Menands, New York has served its community with compassion and love following closely the doctrine of the Catholic faith and customs surrounding the death and burial of the faithful.  In this present day the Cemetery continues its ministry to pray for the dead and provide comfort for mourners in service to hundreds of families every year.

Proceeds from the event and book directly benefit the cemetery and help ensure Historic St. Agnes Cemetery will remain well kept and safe for future generations.

To order book(s), click here to download our book order form.

Read an article that The Times Union published about the 150th Anniversary.

Read an article that The Evangelist published about the 150th Anniversary.


14 thoughts on “150th Anniversary Celebration of Historic St. Agnes Cemetery & Book Release

  1. Laura La Duke says:

    Hi – I’m the gal who found Barney’s photo and which I hear will be included in the new book. I would love to receive an invitation with details to the anniversary celebration event in September.

    1. Jennifer Mele says:

      Absolutely, you are on our invitation list. Look for an invitation in the mail later this summer!

  2. William George Preston says:

    Hello: I am very much interested in an invitation. Many of my direct relatives are buried in Founders Hill in the Preston plot. I met with Kelly in 2016 and we discussed the family. Wonderful that this celebration is coming to fruition.

    1. Jennifer Mele says:

      Great! I’ll e-mail you to get your mailing address for the invitation.

  3. Patti Kopach says:

    I would like to attend the special anniversary celebration and book release. My mother, Nicolina Santalucia Campagna’s story about her cousin Sammy Severino is included in the book.
    Thank you.

    1. Jennifer Mele says:

      Wonderful, i’ll have Kelly Grimaldi get in tough with you!

  4. Margaret King says:

    This promises to be a wonderful event! I’d love to get all the particulars- especially about the book!


    1. Jennifer Mele says:

      Hi Margaret, we would love for you and Steve to join us for our celebration. We will send your invitation out sometime in mid-August

      1. Margaret King says:


  5. Lori Salvador says:

    I would love to attend this! I visit the cemetery often with my camera.

  6. Thomas Wilkey says:

    Please send me information as I plan toattend

    1. Jennifer Mele says:

      Wonderful! We would be happy to mail you an invitation if you e-mail us your mailing address ([email protected]), or you can call and pay for tickets over the phone at 518-350-7679.

  7. Dee says:

    I living out of town but would love to buy a copy of the book. Is that possible?

    1. Jennifer Mele says:

      You can give us a call to order a book 518-350-7679.
      Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *