A Letter of Dispute

Angela Muise writes:

In the last paragraph in the 10/27/17 article which appeared in the Worcester Telegram about Mount Carmel Church, it stated “Monsignor F. Stephen Pedone, pastor of the merged Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish at Our Lady of Loreto Church and a noted canon lawyer who serves as the Worcester Diocese’s judicial vicar, did not return messages seeking comment.”

Could it be because in his heart he knows that the demolition of this historic, architectural gem will be a great loss to the Italian Community in Worcester and all the Italian parishioners that were a part of it, including himself! He grew up in an Italian family as a member of the parish and perhaps was encouraged to become a priest as a member of Mt. Carmel Church.

As a former member, priest, pastor and leader of the parish he failed by not doing more to save the parish and the beautiful church. “Thanks for the memories” doesn’t cut it and is not enough! Dwindling parishioners (as is happening in all Catholic Churches) isn’t enough, and dwindling collections (as is happening in all Catholic Churches) isn’t justification.

The Diocese planned to close this church years before Msgr. Pedone arrived as it’s last pastor. He seems apparent he was assigned to Mt. Carmel to close it and he succeeded.

Mt. Carmel parish was merged with Loretto parish, which also has dwindling parishioners and dwindling collections. A great majority of Mt. Carmel parishioners did not go to Loretto, and most are in limbo, heartbroken and losing faith due to the possibility of the destruction of their Church, in the way the closing was handled. Many parishioners have become active members of the Mount Carmel Preservation Society, whose goal is to save the Church from being demolished and save their Italian heritage.

It is the responsibility of the Diocese led be the Bishop to serve their parishioners who support their church and over the years Mt. Carmel was financially supported by their parishioners past and present and up to it’s closing remained among the top ten parishes for their monetary collections.

We were mislead when told the Church was not safe and abruptly closed and locked. The Church was ordered by the City with influence by the Historical Society to be made safe to be structurally sound, and that was accomplished. Any evaluation of the inside has been rejected. The City of Worcester engineer stated before a City Council Meeting that the Church does not need to be demolished. Whatever inside work that needs repair, i.e. ceiling rosettes could have been completed and any other repairs made over a period of time. That’s the plan the Diocese could have taken and kept the parish active and performed weekly Mass in the adjacent Mt. Carmel Recreation Center until knition repairs made. The reverse merger should have been made with Loretto coming to Mt. Carmel and that church closed.

With proper planing, proper leadership and fundraising Mt. Carmel parish did not have to be merged with Loretto, but the long term plan of the Diocese was their determination to sell Mt. Carmel Church and surrounding campus to enhance their coffers by Millions. This is their plan, as shown in an elaborate marketing brochure created by their real estate representative.

The long range plan of the Mount Carmel Preservation Society seeks to save the Church from demolition and do any and all that can be done via Cannon law and any other means, the save the Church as a Shrine to Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Keep the structure a scared place, and have celebratory Masses, weddings, funerals from time to time and reach out to all neighbors to work with us for their benefit. The Mount Carmel Preservation Society will aim to maintain the Shrine and sustain it for sacred usage by any and all who wish to be a part of it. We pray for the blessings of the Msgr. and Bishop to attain this status. It could happen! It should happen! Sell the balance of the campus, but retain the Church as a Shrine to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

Upcoming fundraisers and Mount Carmel events

  • We are hosting an Italian Music and Dinner Show at Mechanics Hall this Saturday, June 17. For tickets contact Nancy Iagallo at nancei888@msn.com.
  • We will be celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel with a procession July 17. For procession information (or tickets to the optional luncheon that day) contact Nancy Iagallo at nancei888@msn.com.
  • We’re holding a 50/50 raffle fundraiser; for more info contact Pat DeSantis at pdesantis@charter.net or at 508- 340-3796.

“Mount Carmel preservationists building momentum before church closure anniversary”

Worcester Magazine:

The crux of MPS members’ complaints is that the church does not have a revenue problem, as church pastor Stephen Pedone and others have claimed, but instead a fiscal management problem, complaining of things ranging from a lack of initiative to make money off a nearby recreation center to a failure to seek insurance money for problems in the past. Under better management, they argue, the church could thrive, pointing to 2015 donation numbers that are above many other area parishes.

Press conference planned for Monday, April 24

Monday, April 24, 2017 6:30PM
24 Mulberry St., Worcester, MA


The church was neglected by the Diocese of Worcester who had a fiduciary responsibility to assure its maintenance, knowing that viable solutions to repair and sustain it are available and at hand. It is scheduled for demolition in May, 2017.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church is a community anchor, an iconic, irreplaceable historically significant cultural center as well as a centerpiece for Worcester’s large Italian American population. It was also awarded the distinction as one of the top seven historic resources in Massachusetts.

The Mount Carmel Preservation Society is working diligently to save Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. It is unjust to see this historical treasure demolished unnecessarily.

Please take a minute to watch our video:

Your support in any way, be it in-kind service or donation would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You!

Mauro DePasquale


Mount Carmel Preservation Society contact@preserveourladyofmountcarmel.org

“Massachusetts Parishioners Fighting to Save Historic Church”

Church Militant: Massachusetts Parishioners Fighting to Save Historic Church:

Parishioners concede Our Lady is in need of repairs but only because the diocese has neglected to undertake basic repairs. For instance, the diocese neglected to file an insurance claim when the church began showing signs of water damage. And the repairs are not so severe that the building needed be torn down. The city building inspector said in a recent public hearing that there was no need for the church to be knocked down.

Advocates believe Mount Carmel has a bright future. The parish was one of the top revenue-drawing parishes in 2015, and parishoners claim it can continue receiving tithes and donations. The church has been nominated to the National Register of Historic Buildings.

“At vigil, Mount Carmel faithful pray church will rise again”

Worcester Telegram & Gazette: At vigil, Mount Carmel faithful pray church will rise again:

WORCESTER – Parishioners hoping to save Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church from the wrecking ball are praying for a miracle this Easter season.

Opponents of the planned demolition of the historic Italian Catholic church held a prayer vigil Thursday in front of the shuttered landmark.

About 20 longtime members of the parish said the rosary in front of the chain-link fence barricading the front of the church on Mulberry Street, steps from Interstate 290.

“You gotta believe,” said Anna Gentile, 80, of Worcester, rosary beads in hand. “You’ve got to have faith. With God, everything’s possible, correct?”

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church parishioner Royce Rodriguez, 4, of Worcester places a lily on the doorstep of the church Thursday. [Photo/Paul Connors]

Editorial Update: Worcester’s Historic Commission votes against saving one of the top seven most endangered historic resources in Massachusetts.

It’s amazing how the narrative in a recent T&G editorial is so biased with regard to Our Lady Of Mount Carmel. Readers know it was the intention of the Diocese to knock the church down from the beginning until the petition for Historic District study came to light. The demolition permit scheduled for May was never formally revoked and while no promise was made to actually ensure the church would be reopened at anytime, everyone knew the time limitation a Historic District study imposed therefor the consensus to move forward was the only real hope for preservation. Even with a study in progress the Bishop knew we were still opened for discussion toward finding an assured solution to save the church. And we still are. So now what is the new narrative from the Editor of the T&G? A group of parishioners tried to save and reopen our church and for doing so now they are getting punished for their passion and assertiveness via a wrecking ball.

We feel like it was rigged. ?????

I look to see my editorial posted I present the real reason the petition didn’t move forward, in my opinion. Sent btw, on January 23, 2017 and as of this post it has not been published.

To the Editor

Mount Carmel an iconic historical resource

The Historic Commission’s vote (on 1/19/17) not to move forward with the Historic
District study for a Mount Carmel Historic District has placed one of Massachusetts’
top seven most endanger historic resources at greater risk to the wrecking ball.
The issues and concerns raised by one commission member (Ms Conroy) were irrelevant to the matter at hand, and that matter was to address a motion to accept a request for a feasibility study for a possible Historic District. Issues such as “precedent”
or “impact” were not part of the petition. The petition was essentially a request to
have a proper study conducted to determine the feasibility of a Historical District,
along with any consequential impact. The actions of that single member, along with
two others to join in voting in opposition, essentially denied our request for a
study, which citizens have a right to request, in recognition of the Commissions
role to undertake such a legitimate request. In this case there was also plenty of
assistance offered to alleviate the amount of work a study would entail.
Furthermore, the study would have been the appropriate venue to address any of her
concerns with due diligence. It can be argued the reasons of her opposition to the
petition, with no discussion to include suggestions of recourse given during that
meeting, appears, in my opinion, an obstruction to process, a conflict, and negligence
to the role and duty of the Historic Commission.

Mauro DePasquale, Parishioner of Our Lady Mount Carmel/St. Ann Parish

Op-ed: “Notre Dame, Mount Carmel and Martin Luther King”

David O’Brien:

On this Martin Luther King holiday, local Catholics depressed by the impending demolition of two of Worcester’s landmark churches might find in King’s legacy some ideas for renewing the mission and hopefulness of their community.

Right now the rapidly approaching doom of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, long home for the city’s Italian Americans, and the beautiful center-city Notre Dame des Canadiens Church, built by Worcester French Canadians provide the latest, and perhaps most dramatic, signs of not-for-the-better change for the city’s Catholics.