Archbishop Henry J. Mansell waves to spectators as he walks in a procession on July 14 as part of the annual Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Waterbury celebrated the feast with four days of festivities on and around the parish grounds. See more photos by clicking on photo gallery banner at left.
WATERBURY – Parishioners cooked 200 pounds of ground beef, 240 pounds of sausage, 500 pounds of onions, 2,300 pounds of veal hearts and over 4,000 pounds of dough for the75th anniversary of the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel July 11 to July 14 at the parish named in her honor.
The massive undertaking brought out huge crowds despite temperatures in the 90s.
"This is the biggest event of the summer," said Ginny Ciochetti, chair of the cooking committee. She said one of her fondest memories from childhood is of the time her nonnie (grandmother) let her sample a piece of fried dough for free. She recounted her family’s close ties with the church. Both of her grandfathers helped break ground to build Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and her dad was one of the church’s first altar boys.
Jeffery Santopietro, chair of the feast, said that every year the committee tries to think of ways to outdo the previous year’s activities.
"It is a lot of work planning the feast," said Mr. Santopietro. "But I’ve been doing this for five years, and I am always amazed by the number of volunteers, some in their 70s and 80s and 90s, who turn out to help. There are so many people to thank."
Honorary chair John Lombardi noted that not only did his uncle, Louis Massimo, start the celebration 75 years ago, but that his own 75th birthday would be celebrated on July 16, the actual feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Father Frederick M. Aniello, pastor, was joined by Archbishop Henry J. Mansell and a number of other priests from the archdiocese in concelebrating the noon Mass on July 14.
Archbishop Mansell, who later joined the procession through streets line with the Italian flag's colors of green, white and red, spoke in his homily about the inspiration of the Blessed Virgin Mary throughout the world. He also thanked the parishioners for their "wonderful devotion" to the Mother of God.