A journey back to St. Joseph's Village, Rockleigh, NJ


The village holds different memories for different people. Through a collection of articles and interviews, former children and staff are featured here as they recall their wide range of experiences at St. Joseph's Village.

There are surely thousands of stories to be told. These are just a few that hae been submitted to us to share with you. In the green box to the right of the page or at the bottom on mobile devices, is how you can submit your story to us.
  • Memory Bites

    Are your memories in bits and pieces. Here is a huge and growing list of bits and pieces of memories to help you recall many more memories. We focus here on the better times and the lighter side of the not so good times. [read]
  • It Was a Part of My Whole Life

    Mary Garip, then Mary Catherine Anderson, remembers a childhood of playtime at St. Joseph's as she and her husband visit the site recently with a video camera. [see story and video]
  • A Girl's Best Friend

    There were many "cottage dogs" but the story of Prince was special. Cathy McFarlane tells the story about the tragic loss of Princess and how Prince came into the lives of the girls of the senior cottage and brought some much needed unconditional love. [read]
  • Night Vision

    Patricia Lynn Reilly tells how her imagination and dreams at night provide an excape from the troubles of the day. She makes abstract references to many people, places, and things at the Village through her poetic verse in "Night Vision," a poem from her book Words Made Flesh. See if you can pick out references to things you remember at the Village in every stanza. [read]
  • Lessons Learned

    Every child in St. Joseph's Village dreamed of a better life — to live as other kids outside did, to have a day of fun away from the chores of the orphanage. Cathy McFarlane tells the story about how she snuck out one Sunday after breakfast to begin her plan that become the best day of fun she could ever remember. But her adventures got here in loads of trouble. By an act of kindness and love, Sr. Marie Jose taught her a lesson that reached inside her heart. [read]
  • First Steps in SJV

    Imagine being the first kid to take that first step into St. Joseph's Village months before it was scheduled to take in its first child. John O'Connor had a secret, he was let to roam the buildings alone and explore... [read]
  • The Village Helped Shape My Life

    n this Village autobiography by Cathy McFallane, the story is told how the joys and pains of growing up in the Village has helped Cathy face the many challenges in her later life. [read]
  • A Little Girl and Her Doll

    The doll on her bedspread will always remind Loriann of a special Village memory. [read]
  • One Givernaud Child's Memory

    An interview with a former Barbara Givernaud Cottage child. [read]


  • On this page we feature memories by former residents and staff accounting. Please contact the publisher if you wish to present your memory bit or a story.

    Send your submissions to: jimbrown@optisonics.com


The stainless steel food trucks that plugged in to keep the food warm over steam while it was transported to other places throughout the complex like the Barbara Givernaud Cottage and the convent.

Milk in single serving containers was delivered to the cottages on a modified toy wagon. The wagon was loaded from a walk in refrigerator located near the main kitchen. Cottages usually got 24 milks and the Givernaud cottage 48. How's that for being the milk boy some 50+ years ago! -Jim Brown