Church of Saint Joseph, Middletown NY

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Mt. Carmel Society Celebrates Annual Feast in Middletown

An Italian Catholic Tradition Continues at The Church of St. Joseph

Sunday, July 15, 2012. Middletown, New York.

Rain did not stop the dedicated members of the Mt. Carmel Society of St. Joseph's Parish and the parishioners who celebrated their annual procession through the streets of Middletown on Sunday, July 15, 2012.

The celebration began with a solemn Mass celebrated by the Rev. Dennis A. Nikolic, pastor of the Church of St. Joseph. Newly ordained Deacon Alexander Gapay of Middletown, assisted Father Nikolic with Mr. Peter Georges as Master of Ceremonies and Mr. Carl Williams, Jr., Mr. Sean Williams, (all from Middletown) and Mr. David Kwiatkowski from Scotchtown who served as Assistant Masters of Ceremonies with a dozen altar servers from the parish.

Mr. Dominick (Nick) Ligotti, a parishioner of St. Joseph's Parish represented the Lay Dominican Order and the Middletown Knights of Columbus from John Paul the Great Council # 486. Other members of the Knights of Columbus helped to prepare refreshments that were served after the procession.

The parish choir led by Mr. Joseph Bertolozzi of Beacon, sang a beautiful rendition of Hail Mary, Gentle Woman. A special treat was a meditation instrumental performed by Bertolozzi on the pipe organ and a young college musician, Mr. David Turkin on the Tuba.

A little over a hundred people attended the celebration of Mass and most joined the procession with the statue of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, an Italian marching band and flag bearers carrying the Italian flag, the Papal flag and the society's banner alongside the stars and stripes.

The celebration in Middletown dates back to about seventy years ago, when Italian immigrants founded the Mt. Carmel Society at the Church of St. Joseph because they wanted to promote the Feast of Mary, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel as it was celebrated in Italy and throughout Europe.

Mr. Frank Sorice, coordinator of the society today was assisted by Mr. Nick Damiano, Dr. Franco Rossi, Jr., Mr. Joseph Cantoli, Mr. Gino Scirripa, Mr. Mario Levato, Mr. Mario Fratto and other society members in making all of the arrangements for the event. This year, as in recent years, the celebration was multi-cultural with the Rev. Francisco Tejada, parochial vicar for Hispanic Affairs, leading a group of Latinos who marched in the procession behind the statue of Mary. Participants included African Americans, Haitians, Filipinos, in addition to the Italian Americans and others of European descent.

In his homily, the Rev. Dennis A. Nikolic reminded all, of the special role that Mary has as Mother of Jesus, Mother of the Universal Church and Mother of us all - no matter what nationality or race we originate from. “Jesus gave her to us, as our mother, when he was dying on the cross.” Father Nikolic said.

For more information on the Mt. Carmel Society of Middletown, please contact Mr. Frank Sorice at the Church of St. Joseph, Middletown, NY.


At the reception that closed the celebration, a number of young people, who participated in the ceremonies, joined in a friendly game of basketball, while some older folks were enjoying some homemade biscotti, as if they were in Italy.

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