Church of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (Manhattan)
History and museums
The Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a Roman Catholic parish church under the authority of the Archdiocese of New York, located at East Harlem, Manhattan, New York City, United States.
The parish enshrines a vested statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel widely venerated by its devotees. Pope Leo XIII issued a Papal bull granting the image a Canonical Coronation on 12 May 1903. Pope Pius X carried over the Pontifical decree and donated a gemstone for the crown to which the ceremony occurred on 10 July 1904. It is one of the four canonically crowned images authorised by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in the United States of America.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel was the second Italian parish in New York City. The first is St. Anthony of Padua on Sullivan St., founded in 1859 and officially incorporated in 1866 when the neighborhood had a large Italian population. Since the first feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel on 16 July 1881, its annual feast has been a major event in East Harlem, at one time attended by more than 100,000. The church cornerstone was laid on 20 September 1884. A new school and gymnasium were added to the church on 1 September 1965.
The parish shrine of the Virgin Mary was crowned by in the name of the Pope on 10 July 1904.
The parish church enshrines an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary venerated under the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, brought by an Italian immigrant and saloon owner, Antonio Petrucci from Polla, in Salerno, Italy. The statue replaces a poster image used by Italian immigrants devotees who first settled in the area.
The image, garnering devotion was authorised to crown by Pope Leo XIII by a pontifical decree dated 12 May 1903. Pope Pius X approved the Canonical coronation under his pontificate by granting an Emerald gemstone on 10 July 1904 via Archbishop John Murphy Farley. The image is widely venerated by its faithful, who sometimes refer to the image as the Madonna of East Harlem.
Every year on the second weekend of August, the Giglio Society of East Harlem holds an Italian festival on the streets of the Our Lady of Mt Carmel Church. The festival or "feast" includes the Society performing the "Dancing Giglio". The dancing of the Giglio is an Italian tradition which began over 125 years ago on the street of East Harlem.
In 2013, the parish was placed under the care of the Polish Pallottine fathers. The church currently offers masses in English, Italian, Spanish, Haitian French, Polish and Latin.
Since December 2013 the pastor of the parish is Fr. Marian Wierzchowski SAC.