Wether you were being good or up-to-no-good, it seemed that somebody was always watching your every move. And when there was not a single nun or prefect in sight you looked around just to be sure and right there was a stature stairing down at you from its pedistal. As a child perhaps this was a scary reminder that you were being watched every moment. In fact the nuns made certain you always new that God was watching, Jesus was watching, Mary was watching, and Joseph was watching.

There were statues everywhere. Today we might suspect that the nuns have small video camera hidden in the eyes of these statues and a room full of security monitors hidden deep within in the convent.

Statue of St. Joseph the Worker
St. Joseph the Worker

The following text and the above copied picture appeared on a card given to us by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace.

Labor Day, 1959, was anticipated in a festive manner at Rockleigh, New Jersey, where our beloved Archbishop Boland, surrounded by a large assembly of Sisters, clergy, friends, and the children of St. Joseph's Village, solemnly blessed an outdoor shrine of St. Joseph the Worker. It is hoped that with eccleiastical approval this shrine will later become a meeting place for pilgrims devoted to our holy patron.

The day, as if ordered from heaven, centered all its attractions on the new-found kingdom of Rockleigh. Against a background of pine woods and azure skies, its lawns became a stage that resounded with prayers, the music and the choral praise of its citizens. While the secular world around it indulged in Labor Day activities, St. Joseph's Village paid tribute to the Model of all Laborers and elevated him to a new place of honor near its entrance. In a flag-raising ceremony its boys and girls indicated a need of a heavenly sponsor to guide the destiny of the American laborer, the backbone of its leadership.

The family at Rockleigh has already reached its capacity and its care will necessitate the dedicated love of every member on the staff. But in the name of St. Joseph the Worker, they will serve in their respective workshops for the honor of God's Mother and the foster brothers and sisters of his his little Christ Child.

You were never alone. If you had a strong belief in your religion, perhaps these statues prvoded comfort and solice, especially in times when the real people were cruel.

Has anyone ever counted all the statues? Upon entering the complex, there was a stone grotto with a statue of Joseph the Worker. (Pictured at left) What remains of the area where the ststue once stood can be seen here. It was said that, "This shrine will later become a meeting place for pilgrims devoted to our holy patron." For some of the older boys it bacame a meeting place to get kiss with a girl, out of sight from the nuns — but not from St. Joseph.

There was a large statue of the Blessed Mother Mary in front of the chapel and of course several statues within the chapel. In each cottage there was a statue at the end of the corridor in the vestibule for the outside door.

Of course there were many more and if you can remember where they were and anything about them, please let us know so we can expand on this article. Write or post a message on "Village Memories" on Facebook