The Rev. Dominick A. Cassetta 1920-1921, 1936-1950

The Rev Dominick A Cassetta was born in Italy on May 30th 1878. (His name is also spelled Domnick Cascetta in some records). He was the son of Daniel and Teresa Cassetta who came to the United States when he was five years old. His father became a naturalized citizen which allowed Dominick to be recognized as a US citizen as well. He spent most of his life before ordination in Long Island, NY.

Dominick prepared for college at the New York Preparatory School and spent one year in the University of the South (1905-1906) and one year in Trinity College, Hartford Ct (1906-1907). Cassetta entered Columbia University as a Junior to study for ministry and graduated in 1908. He enrolled in General Theological Seminary receiving a graduate’s certificate from General Theological Seminary, New York in 1911 at the age of 33. Dominick married D. Vadah Fillberti Nov 22 1911. She was born June 11th, 1888.

Dominick Cassetta was ordained to the diaconate in July 1911 at the Cathedral, Garden City, R. I., by Bishop Burgess. In fall of 1911 he began as Curate at St. Augustine Chapel, of Trinity Parish NY City serving there until 1916 On December 24, 1911, was ordained to the priesthood of the Episcopal church by Bishop Burgess.

Rev. Dominick Cassetta, who has charge of the Italian work at St. Christopher’s Chapel, of Trinity Parish NY City in 1914. Trinity had several chapels served by several clergy at the time.

The United States had allowed immigrants from both Germany and Italy to become naturalized citizens, which many had done including Dominick’s father. This made his son a citizen as well according to the laws at that time. In 1913 the Department of State advised Americans of Italian birth between the ages of 20 (later revised to 16) and 32 were liable to serve in the Italian Army. Dominick was 33 at the time.

In mid-1914 Rev. Dominick Cassetta went on a trip to Italy. While he was there he was told that the Italian government did not recognize his American citizenship and detained him due to Italy’s compulsory military service requirements. This led to the intervention of his bishop and the American Ambassador to Italy. His case was one of several similar situations including two other clergymen. He was allowed to return to the United States in 1915. (Details from Ambassador Page’s records to be added)

He was a member of Association of Italian Priests of the Episcopal Church and served as Vice President.

In 1916 Rev Cassetta moved to Christ Church, Lynnbrook, NY, where he served until 1918 when he entered the U.S. Army. Commissioned 1st Lt Chaplain in the US Army on Oct 29, 1918 he went to Camp Gordon, Georgia in Nov 1918. Constructed during America’s rush to mobilize for World War I, Camp Gordon was one of 16 temporary training camps. The November 11, 1918 armistice ended “The Great War” and the need for Camp Gordon. Instead of serving troops headed to war, Chaplain Cassetta was assigned to the Camp Gordon Hospital until he left active duty in October 1919.

In January 1920 he traveled to Put-In-Bay where he served as rector until October 1921. The parish records show 62 members during his tenure from 1920 to 1921.

Next, he moved to become rector serving All Saints, Toledo and priest in charge at Holy Spirit Mission until 1928. He served Trinity Parish in Hamilton, Ohio 1928-1933. Rev. Mr. Cassetta was a Mason. He was a member of Hugh L. Bates Lodge 686 when he lived in Hamilton, Ohio.

In 1933 he went to Indiana to serve as Chaplain for the Indiana District Headquarters for the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) established at Fort Benjamin Harrison near Indianapolis 1933-1936.

The Rev. Cassetta returned to St. Paul’s PIB in 1936, this time staying 14 years until his retirement in 1950. The March 1940 Sandusky Register reported he “was injured by a fall on the ice near his home last week, was able, with assistance, to hold morning service in his church, March 17. There will be no service Good Friday evening, but Baptism service, Saturday afternoon and the Easter services, his health permitting, will be as planned.”

The summer of 1957 St. Paul’s received the gift of a used pipe organ. Rev. Cassetta and other volunteers from the Wa-Li-Ro Choir Camp installed it in the church. They had had hopes to have it in place by July 4th 1947, but the work was not complete until August. (Sandusky Register)

In the mid-1940s his twin daughters Gloria and Edla were students at Ohio State University. After College Edla lived in Japan. (Edla’s story is here) Edla returned home from Sendai, Japan, where she had been serving with the armed forces since July 1948. She met Lieut. William (Bill) Sharre of Fontana, Cal. In Japan and the couple returned to Put-in-Bay for the wedding at St. Paul’s on Nov. 13. 1949.

Rev. Cassetta was the Chaplain to American Legion Post 542 of Put-in-Bay from 1938-1950. He had also served as Legion post in Toledo and Hamilton Ohio. When he departed Put-in-Bay in 1950 he moved to Daytona Florida where his son Daniel resided.

The Rev. Allen Roe of St. Andrew’s Church, Youngstown, arrived on Oct, 16 1950 to take up his duties as rector of St. Paul’s.

For the next several years the Cassettas would drive from Florida to Put-in-Bay each summer so Rev. Cassetta could serve as Wa-Li-Ro chaplain as Mrs. Cassetta was the “hostess” in the guest house. As chaplain, Rev. D. A. Cassetta, was in charge of all week day services at St. Paul’s. Rev. Allen Roe, resident rector, held Sunday services. Eventually the Cassettas moved to be near Elda and her family in Pasadena California.

The Cassetta children lived across the United States after their childhood on Put-in-Bay: Dave Cassetta, Daytona Florida, Mrs. Oscar (Eleanor) Ashe, Cincinnati, Mrs. Ollie (Virginia) Young, Cave Junction, Ore., Mrs. William (Elda) Sharre, Pasadena, Calif, Mrs. Joseph (Gloria) Lee, El Paso, Tex. Elda died in December 2013 leaving Gloria as the only living Cassetta child.

The Episcopal Church Annuals 1911-1960
Sewanee New articles (Univ of the South)
The Chronicle: The Magazine of the Protestant Episcopal Church, Volume 15 1914
Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States United States. 1914 Dept. of State, U.S. Government

Printing Office, printed 1922
Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States United States. 1915 Dept. of State, U.S. Government

Printing Office, printed 1926
Trinity College Alumni News 1974
Web sites of other churches he served
Sandusky Ohio Newspaper articles
Hamilton Ohio News Articles
Cassetta family obituaries.
Westpoint bio for Lt Col William Sharre