This was the second year our parish—St. Rita’s Church in Staten Island, NY—celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. I took pictures last year and thought I posted them on the blog, but apparently not. I couldn’t find any post. I took pictures again this year and so I’ll post now.
OurLady of Mount Carmel is the title of our Blessed Mother as patroness of the Carmelite Order. Mount Carmel is the group of mountains in northern Israel where the Carmelite hermits gathered and founded the order shortly after the Crusades had retaken the Holy Land. The Carmelite Order has had a long and glorious tradition all the way to today. July 16th is the feast day, established by the appearance of the Holy Virgin to Carmelite friar, St. Simon Stock on that day in 1251. And so Carmelites, lay and religious, have been celebrating this feast for centuries. This year July 16th fell on a Sunday, and so we celebrated right after the 12:30 PM mass.
Now the celebration of OLMC is basically an Italian feast event, and like many summer time Italian feasts, there is a statue of the saint which is carried out of the church, placed on a large rolling cart or dolly, and paraded through the neighborhood with a marching band.
So here is the statue being carried out of the church.
We had an explosion of confetti once it was out and my camera caught it.
The professionals then placed it on top of the dolly and locked it in.
The statue is beautifully dressed. Here are some close ups.
There are lots of banners and flags in the procession.
Since this is their feast day, here’s one of the Lay Carmelites.
We actually had two Italian marching bands, one in the front and one in the back. Here’s the one in the front.
And the procession went through the neighborhood. Last year we handed out prayer cards and scapulars as we walked. For some reason we didn’t do it this year.
It was a very hot and humid day. We only marched a few blocks and around, maybe amounting to a half mile. Finally we concluded with pizza and cookies and fresh soft drinks at the church auditorium.
The dress’s train are actually ribbons pinned with money that parishioners donated.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.