Our Lady of Mount Carmel Tid-Bits

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

The feast of our Lady of Mount Carmel was celebrated yesterday with much pomp in the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, in East One Hundred and Fifteenth street, near Pleasant avenue. The solemn high mass at 10 a.m. was celebrated by the Rev. Pasquale de Niscoi, of the Church of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, in Brooklyn, assisted by the Rev. F.J. Cahill as deacon and the Rev. Michael Griof as subdeacon. The panegyric was delivered by the Rev. Dominic Marzetti, of St. Joseph's Church, Hoboken, N.J. There were also present the Rector, the Rev. Dr. Kirner, Father Rowland, of Castle Garden, and Father Ansennal, of St. Colombo's church. In the music the regular choir was assisted by a band of 12 pieces. After vespers last evening there was a procession of the children and 150 Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, with their banners and regalias, which, preceded by a band of music, marched through some of the streets of Harlem. A display of fireworks closed the day's festivities.(1)

The New Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Blessed

The new Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, for the Italians, on East One Hundred and Fifteenth-street, was solemnly blessed by Archbishop Corrigan at 10:30 o'clock yesterday morning. The Archbishop was attended by the Rev. James W. Power, Rector of All Saints Church, and by the Rev. Joseph Byron, Rector of the Church of the Holy Rosary. During the ceremony the Archbishop sprinkled the walls of the edifice with holy water and sung the prescribed prayer. The solemn high mass followed, with the Rev. John Edwards, of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, as celebrant, attended by the Rev. Thomas F. Lynch, of the Church of the Transfiguration, as deacon; the Rev. C.B. O'Reilly, of the Church of St. Cecilia, as sub-deacon, and the Rev. James W. Kelly, of St. Patrick's Cathedral, as master of ceremonies. The sermon was delivered by the Rev. John Philip, C.P., in Italian, ad after the communion the Archbishop made some remarks in English and then in Italian. The Passionist Fathers, the brothers Baudinelli, commenced a two weeks' mission in the church last night. The attendance was large, and the mission promises to be a great success.

The Rev. F.J. Colonel, C. SS. R., celebrated the solemn high mass in the Church of St. Alphonsus, on South Fifth-avenue at 5 o'clock yesterday morning. At the mass the devotion of the forty-hour exposition of the blessed sacrament was commenced, and there was the usual procession and chanting of the Litany of All Saints. The large church was completely filled. Last night the Rector, the Rev. Frederick William Woyrich, C. SS. R., delivered the sermon on the holy Eucharist. The devotion will be closed with a procession on tomorrow evening.

At St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth avenue yesterday morning the Most Rev. Archbishop Corrigan celebrated the mass for the members of the different conferences, Society of St. Vincent de Paul. At the communion a large number of the members received the holy Eucharist. The Most Rev. Patrick W. Riordan, Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, Cal., said the 7 o'clock mass at the lady altar of this cathedral. The Archbishop has been for a few days the guest of his Eminence Cardinal McCloskey. He left for San Francisco last evening.

The Rev. Andrew J. Clancy celebrated the high mass in St. Ann's Church on Twelfth street, and Mgr. Preston commenced his sermons in proof of the divinity of the church. A very large number of persons was present, and at the sermon last evening the church was crowded. The course will be continued on next Sunday. A collection for the parochial school was taken up.

The Women's Mission was closed in the Church of the Holy Innocents in West Thirty-seventh street at 3:30 o'clock P.M. Their confessions numbered over 3,500. The sermon was delivered by Father Langcake, S.J., and the impressive ceremony included the papal benediction and the benediction of the blessed sacrament. Last evening the church was crowded with men, and their mission will last all this week. The Rev. Francis Z. McCarthy, S.J., will deliver the sermon in this church on Christmas Day.

In St. Stephen's Church, in East Twenty-eighth street, the solemn high mass was sung by the Rev. Charles H. Colton, attended by the Rev. Dr. James T. Curran and the Rev. R.J. O'Callaghan. The preacher was the Rev. Thomas McLoughlin, whose subject was the "Virtue of Humility." The Rector of this church, the Rev. Dr. Edward McGlynn, delivered a lecture in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, corner of Leonard and Mauer streets, Brooklyn, last evening, his subject being "The Philosophy and Poetry of the Confessional."

At St. Leo's Church, in East Twenty-eighth street, yesterday the high mass was celebrated by the Rev. William H. Tole and the Rector, the Rev. Thomas F. Ducey, delivered the third of his series of sermons appropriate to the season of Advent.

The recent envelope collection at St. Joseph's Church, on Sixth avenue, amounted to $2,700. Four thousand dollars was the result of the envelope collection at the Church of the Holy Cross, in West Forty second street. This has paid off the balance of the church debt, a mortgage held by the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank. The Rector, the Rev. Charles McCready, and his parishioners may well feel proud of their work, for in seven years they have raised $92,000 to free their church from debt.(2)

10,000 In Bare Feet Are Pilgrims Here

Ten thousand Italian men, women and children, all bare-footed, made their way on Friday and yesterday, many of them having left their homes the evening before, to the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 449 East 115th Street, on their annual pilgrimage in celebration of Our Lady of Mary's Day.

The pilgrims made the journey from all parts of the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn and many points in North Jersey and Long island, to worship before a statue of the Blessed Virgin in the basement of the church, which is a landmark in Little Italy.

The clergy, under the direction of the Rev. Anthony Mueller, the pastor, endeavored to arrange the hours for masses and other devotions so that all could attend. The other members of the Fathers of the Pious Society of Missions, in charge of the church, are the Rev. Scipio Tofini, the Rev. Henry Mezzatesta and the Rev. Hector Messena.

Masses began at 4 o'clock in the morning and were offered each hour up to noon, on both days.

Hundreds of the pilgrims, here overnight, slept in Jefferson Park. Others rested in stores and shops of the neighborhood, practically all of which kept open. The pilgrims traveled bare-footed to expiate sins committed during the year.

Although all Italian business was suspended, chairs and tables were supplied and the stores kept open for visitors from a distance. Thursday and Friday nights Jefferson Park contained about 5,000 Italians, and five blocks in First and Second Avenues were crowded with men and women waiting their turn to get into the old church.

The majority of pilgrims carried wax reproductions of various parts of the human body, representing parts afflicted with disease or disfiguration. The bearers laid the pieces of wax in the church in the belief that the Blessed Virgin would obliterate the physical defects. Many of the pilgrims also carried huge wax candles ornamented with religious pictures and symbols. They brought gifts of money also to express their thanks for the blessings of the year. (3)

Archbishop Crowns A Miracle Statue (Thousands of Italians See Ceremony in Thomas Jefferson Park)

The "miracle statue" of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, from the church of that name, in One Hundred and Fifteenth Street, near First Avenue, was crowned yesterday in Thomas Jefferson Park, One hundred and Fourteenth Street, by Archbishop Farley, by special permission from the Pope. Such an event is of rare occurrence, and it was celebrated with elaborate ceremonies by the Italians who comprise the majority of the population in the district. The function marked the end of a novena, or nine days' season of prayer. The police estimate that 50,000 persons were in and around the park.

A solemn high Pontifical mass was celebrated yesterday morning in the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Auxilliary Bishop Cusak being the celebrant. The sermon was preached by the Rev. Thomas J. Campbell, S.J., and among the assisting clergymen was the Rev. Father Whitmead of the Pius Society Missions, who came from Rome, Italy, for the special purpose of participating in the ceremony. At the conclusion of the mass the members of the congregation gathered in front of the church, completely blocking the street and sidewalks on both sides from First Avenue to the river. At 8 P.M. the start was made for Jefferson Park, the people marching two abreast, bearing the flags belonging to the various societies of which they were members. When the park was reached each two divided so as to make a lane through which Archbishop Farley and the altar boys and priests marched, and the statue of the Madonna, with the infant Jesus in her arms, was carried to the centre of the pavilion.

From the time the procession reached the park, which was densely packed with people, until the statue was placed on the platform, a fusillade of bombs was being fired into the air. Then there was a special song service by the choir. The two crowns, one for the head of the Madonna and due for the infant Jesus, were carried to the Archbishop by two priests, and he blessed them. A letter from the Pope, written in Italian, giving permission to Archbishop Farley to crown the statue, was ready by Father Ferranta. The candles surrounding the statue were lighted, the choir rendered a chant, and Archbishop Farley descended from the throne and approached the statue. He then placed the smaller of the two crowns on the head of the infant Jesus and the larger on the head of the Madonna. An address was delivered by Bishop Castermania, a missionary Bishop of South America, and he was followed by Archbishop Farley, who said in his address:

"In granting permission for this function his Holiness shows the great interest and love which he feels in the Italians in the United States. In addition to permitting the coronation of the Madonna, his Holiness took a magnificent gem from his finger and it was placed in the crown which today I have placed upon the brow of the Madonna."

The larger of the crowns is six inches wide and eighteen inches in height, the smaller one being about one-third that size. Both are studded with gems, all gifts from members of the congregation. On the larger crowns under the cross is a large diamond, and below is set a magnificent emerald, surrounded by diamonds, the gift of the Pope. Just above the circlet is an emerald in a hoop of pearls, the gift of Archbishop Farley. The crowns are worth $30,000. (4)

Little Italy Celebrates

The entire Italian colony south of Second Avenue and 116th Street was on fete yesterday in honor of the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua. Children did not go to school. No one went to work. Housework was abandoned, and every gay frock, frill, flower, and feather usually brought out only on Sundays made a brave showing in the street.

At daybreak the entire colony flocked to the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel at 115th Street and First Avenue to attend early mass. The altars were draped in crimson and gold. As the day advanced the streets became almost impassable, except for parades.

Last night the entire district was illuminated, and there was a band concert and fireworks in Jefferson Park, 113th Street and the Harlem River. At 9 o'clock it was estimated that there were fully 30,000 Italians celebrating.(5)


Website: The History Box.com
Article Name: Our Lady of Mount Carmel Tid-Bits
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


(1) The New York Times July 17, 1886; (2) The New York Times December 15, 1884; (3)The New York Times July 18, 1920 Page: 30; (4) The New York Times July 18, 1920 Page: 30; (5) The New York Times June 14, 1907
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