Daniele A. Scalabrella, O.S.A.

1877 – 1918 (October 15)

Daniele Antonio Scalabrella, the son of Sante Scalabrella, was born at Onani in the diocese of Aquapendente, Italy, on September 27, 1876. He entered the Order on July 15, 1894 as a member of the Roman Province and was ordained on December 21, 1901. 

The following year he was sent to the United States and was assigned to Our Mother of Good Counsel Parish in South Philadelphia on August 5th. At the laying of the cornerstone of the new church of Saint Rita on October 27, 1907, he was invited to give the address in Italian. He became pastor of Good Counsel in 1912 after a very active period of 10 years in the parish, but resigned in 1914 when he was affiliated to the Villanova Province on October 11th. That same year he was sent to Mechanicville, New York, where he ministered to a colony of some 500 Italian residents there in the parish of Saint Paul. Persuaded that in order to form a vibrant Catholic community among the Italian people, it would be necessary for them to have a church of their own, he purchased the Houlihan Estate for this purpose with the approval of the bishop. Before he could carry out his building plans, however, he became a victim of the deadly Spanish flu pandemic which afflicted some 300 people in Mechanicville. 

On Saturday, October 13, 1918, Father Scalabrella returned from retreat at Villanova. He fell ill the following afternoon, entered St. Mary’s Hospital in Troy that evening, and died the following morning, Monday, October 15, 1918. He was 41 years old, and was one of three local Catholic priests and three members of the Province, who died in the epidemic. Father Serafino Aurigemma, who both preceded and followed Father Scalabrella in ministering to the Italians in Mechanicville, preached the funeral eulogy in English, and described his confrere as “a zealous and saintly priest, (whom) we all deeply mourned.” At the funeral Mass, which took place in St. Paul’s Church, Father Ottaviano of Gloversville
was invited to preach the eulogy in Italian. Father Scalabrella was buried in St. Augustine Cemetery, Troy, on October 18, 1918.