WPCNR WATCHTOWER. By John F. Bailey. December 22, 2014:
Saturday morning, a team of four parishioners from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in White Plains, one of the churches the Archiocese of New York plans to close, raised a banner over its classic entrance on Lexington Avenue, it read:
The congregation of 1,000 families who worship at Our Lady is shocked by the Archdiocese suggestion to fold the flock into St. John the Evangelist, down the street.
Richard Strobel of White Plains, one of the banner-raising crew told WPCNR, the church is planning a Prayer Rally at the church January 10 beginning at 10 AM. He said the congregation has started on online petition at www.olmcwp.org to persuade the Archdiocese their church is not one to close.
Strobel told WPCNR the parish is run “in the black,” that is served by missionary priests who do not cost the Archdiocese any money. He also said he could not understand why the Archdiocese would approve the half million expenditure to refurbush the Our Lady belltower, only to close the parish after the tower was begun. He said he did not think the families now members of Our Lady would go to St. John’s if the Our Lady is closed by August, which he said is what is planned.
“I’ve gone to this church all of life. We’re in the black, I don’t understand it (the closing).” He said.
The petition reads:
The Archdiocese of New York has made a proposal to merge our parish church and terminate the celebration of
masses and sacraments at the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, White Plains, New York. Please help us save our parish church which the Archdiocese of New York proposes to close and not allow our parishioners toworship on a regular basis in our church.
We have no debt. We have the Claretian Missionaries as our priests. We have a vibrant and active congregation that serves not only our parish community but also the greater White Plains community. We should not be shut out of our church!
The Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was founded in 1902 and has successfully served the Italian community and greater Catholic community of White Plains and the surrounding area ever since. Our ancestors made many sacrifices to build a beautiful iconic church of Italian architecture that for many many years was the tallest structure in White Plains to famously project our Catholic identity and service.
Our parish church is very successful and could serve as a model for a tradition of working together as a close vibrant diverse parish family for the benefit of parishioners, the Catholic community, the community at large and service to our Lord.
The Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is not only famous for its beautiful architecture, campanile, and rich history, but also “Festa Italiana” and Procession that attracts thousands annually to honor, worship and celebrate Our Lady, a fully-enrolled Religious Education program serving children of diverse ethnicities, masses for the hearing impaired, ministry to local hospitals, service to our neighbors in need, and much much more in the name of our faith.
Accordingly, we, the undersigned parishioners and supporters of the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
respectfully request that the Archdiocese of New York allow the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel to remain
as an independent parish administered by the Claretian Missionaries: