This has been an eventful week for the Order of Mercy in the United States. In Cleveland, our friary at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, recently, celebrated its annual Italian Festival and the Feast of the Title and Patroness, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. It was, indeed, a great privilege for the local community and for the wider parish community to celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, twice. On the actual Feast, July 16th, there was offered a Solemn High Mass, Extraordinary Form. Fr. Michael Donovan, O. de M., who teaches Catholic Doctrine in the parish grade school, was the Celebrant; Fr. Bede, O.S.B, was the Deacon; Bro. David M. Spencer, O. de M., the newest addition to the local community of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, functioned as the subdeacon. The Schola from the neighboring parish of St. Stephen's, sang the Missa Cum Iubilo.
Confiteor Deo omnipotenti....
Credo in unum Deum....
The following day, Sunday, July 17th, the External Solemnity of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, in the Ordinary Form, was celebrated with the utmost grandeur and solemnity. (pictures will hopefully follow)..... Fr. Richard Rasch, O. de M., pastor and Vicar-Provincial of the United States, was the celebrant; Fr. Michael Donovan gave the homily, and other priests of the Order of Mercy were concelebrants. The Brothers and novices joined in the festivities, as well as the Mercedarian Sisters of the Most Blessed Sacrament. After the Mass, as is the custom of the parish, there was a neighborhood 'Procession of the Saints'. The Procession moved from the church winding through the streets of the neighborhood with an Italian band playing in honor of the Holy Virgin. The faithful approached the images of the saints and the Virgin and offered a donation, which was then pinned to a ribbon hanging upon the image. The Rosary was prayed and fireworks were launched, three times, ALL in the honor of our Patroness, the Virgin of Carmel.
(l to r: Bro. Scottston, Bro. David, Fr. Tony, Bro. Daniel)
The Procession on Fr. Caruso Dr.
The Holy Virgin. As she was carried out of the church the Italian Brass band played the National Anthem. As soon as she was placed on the float, the faithful began to pin money to her image.
The heat of the midday sun did not keep the people from honoring the Blessed Mother.
St. Anthony, a favorite devotion amongst the Italian people
Friars and Sisters chatting
At three points along the procession, there were fireworks launched in honor of the Holy Virgin. This was the first stop. Various families compete with one another for the "best" fireworks -- all for Her honor and glory.
In other news, the friars in Philadelphia will soon welcome the new Archbishop of Philadelphia -- the 13th bishop and 9th Archbishop, His Excellency, Charles Chaput, OFM Cap. Our prayers go with him and with the brothers in Philadelphia.
Ecce Sacerdos Magnus, qui in diebus suis, placuit Deo....