Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletFebruary 24, 2018

Sisters' Stories

Sister Katherine Hanley's Immigration Story


Daniel DeLany, my grandfather's father, came to this country from County Cork at the age of fifteen. So far as we know, he came alone. Dan had been apprenticed as a stonecutter but, like many Irish, he also played musical instruments.

When Dan arrived, the War between the States was winding down but somehow he found out that there was a need for men or boys who played the flute. The tunes carried signals to the ragtag troops, telling them where or when to move. Dan wasn't much on the flute but he played the tin whistle and other reed instruments so he cajoled his way into the service. It wasn't long; the war ended.

Because of his war service, however brief, Dan was granted both honorable discharge and automatic citizenship. He didn't have any money but he had his trade. Eventually he made his way to Syracuse where, among the large Irish immigrant population, he found work.

Dan had a few minor jobs but his first real job, which he always recounted with great pride, was cutting and shaping the cornerstone for St. Lucy's Church in Syracuse.

Years later we would be taken to St. Lucy's Church to see Grandpa's stone. It  has always seemed fitting to me that St. Lucy's, which has welcomed so many immigrant populations over the years, has a cornerstone made by a boy who came to manhood, married Kitty Keogh, and left his mark on our family.