July 11, 2015

Opening Night of the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Rosebank, Staten Island

Ave Maria!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli

Heavy rain may have kept the crowds away opening night (July 9th) of the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Rosebank, Staten Island, but it certainly didn’t dampen the spirit of the hard working men and women who organized the celebration. Undaunted by the bad weather, members of the tight-knit community welcomed us with open arms, and to a man expressed confidence that their fortune will improve with the coming sunshine predicted for the weekend. With so much warmth and hospitality—not to mention fun games, live entertainment and delicious food (try their stellar zeppole)—one would be hard-pressed to fault their enthusiasm. 
All those wonderful things aside, the true draw for me, of course, is the grotto. Built with blood, sweat and tears, the magnificent stone structure is a unique expression of southern Italian faith and material culture. Began in 1937, construction continues today with plans of creating an archway, fish pond and a shrine for Saint Rocco. For more on the grotto see our coverage of the 109th Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel from 2012.
Special thanks to Gary DeFilippo, Mike DeCataldo, President Vito Russo and all the members of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Society of Rosebank for their hard work and dedication. It was an honor and a privilege to celebrate the opening of this year’s festivities with you. Evviva Maria!
For more about the society and this year's Feast visit the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Society of Rosebank Staten Island on Facebook,
Kris and Ellen kept everyone cool with their frozen treats
Service with a smile from our new friends Diane and Agnes
Gary DeFilippo was a terrific host
I enjoyed a piping hot ham and ricotta calzone, right out of the fryer
One of the best zeppole ever
Luckily, I was able to visit the grotto before the storm arrived 
The central chapel houses the statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
The left wing
The right wing, with chapel dedicated to St. Ann
Little treasures can be found everywhere 
We can see the beginnings of the new arch to the right of the St. Anthony shrine 
Granite and bronze monument dedicated to Vito Louis Russo
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