Despite the snowy conditions last weekend, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church found great way to kick off its 100th anniversary celebration.
On Saturday, a number of former OLMC Feast chief marshals gathered near the altar inside the church for a group photo, and on Sunday, the annual Epiphany Concert was held, much to the delight of the near-capacity crowd who attended.
"One hundred years ago, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church was founded,” said the Rev. Henry P. Zinno, Jr., pastor. “Our ancestors, Achille Maturi, Pietro Vaccaro, Gaetano Margo, Domenic Palumbo, Salvatore Della Morte, Saverio Ronaldo, Natale Marabello, and so many others, petitioned the bishop for a parish for the Italian immigrants in Bristol. The petition was granted and the first Mass was said on Jan. 7, 1917, by the founding pastor, Fr. Joseph Poya. One hundred years later, we as a parish will celebrate throughout this whole year this wonderful legacy of faith."
The first event, the annual Epiphany Concert, was held on the actual weekend of the anniversary.
“It was a wonderful way to give thanks and praise to God for these 100 years,” Rev. Zinno said. “Our choir, under the direction of Michael Garrepy, and 20 musicians, lifted up our hearts and souls to the Lord. St. Augustine said, ‘He who sings prays twice,’ so this centennial concert gave double honor and glory to God for this century of faith and belief at Our Lady of Mount Carmel.”
Former Bristol residents Richard A. Carlone and his wife, Betty, visiting from Estero, Fla., attended the concert in support of their daughter, OLMC choir member Donna Habershaw.
“It was such a wonderful concert,” said Mr. Carlone, a longtime parishioner and former choir director at the church. “The music was outstanding. I thought everyone did a great job.”
Following the concert, parishioners and friends gathered inside the OLMC Parish Center’s Monsignor John W. Lolio Hall for a ceremonial champagne toast and reception marking the occasion of the founding of the parish.
A number of other special events commemorating the church’s 100th anniversary celebration will be held throughout the course of the year and will be announced in future weeks.
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