A grave behind the chapel?
As a Sacristan here at school, I have access to some areas on campus that other students are not permitted to be in. One of these areas is the garden behind President’s Hall and the chapel.
One night around 10 p.m. I was in the garden emptying the chapel’s trashcans when the wind blew and took some tissues for a ride across the lawn. Using my cell phone as a light, I gathered up the tissues and was about to walk back inside when my light swept across something in the ground.
I made my way over to the object and when I was able to see clearly what had caught my attention, I was taken back.There, before my eyes, was what looked like a small gravestone.
Etched into the surface of the stone were the following remarks: “Our Angel, Anton Ciaglia. Nov. 11, 1952- Oct. 17, 1953. Now I lay me down to sleep.”
So many thoughts rushed through my head. Am I standing next to a grave? Why is there a baby buried on a college campus? The cold night’s wind blew the leaves around the stone and I thought I better make my exit, but not before deciding to find out everything I possibly could about the lonely grave.
The next day my search for an explanation began. I started by asking pretty much anyone I knew if they had ever heard about a grave here at Seton Hall, but it seemed to be new information to everyone.
I figured out pretty quickly that getting the answers I wanted was not going to be as easy as I thought.
Nevertheless, I persisted. First I contacted Alan Delozier, Seton Hall’s history archivist and asked if he knew anything about Anton Ciaglia or the grave.
He responded promptly but was sorry to admit that he could not offer much information on the topic.
“I did not come up with much since there is no written documentation that I can find in our collection,” Delozier said, “but if you are set on this subject, you might want to talk to Father James Spera in Campus Ministry. He may know more about your grave.”I Emailed Father Spera immediately and set up a meeting, but in the meantime I continued my search for information.
I spent a great deal of time on the inter-net trying to find anything I could about Anton Ciaglia and his connection to Seton Hall, but nothing was coming up.
In fact, the more I searched, the more questions I wanted answered. For example, why would Seton Hall just have one grave on campus? What made this baby so special? How did he die? Is he a secret? I searched and searched, but found nothing, so I decided to take my investigation elsewhere.
The second part of this series will appear in next week’s issue of The Setonian.
Megan Kelly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.