July 26, 2016

A Look at the 5th Annual Traditional Pilgrimage at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in East Harlem

The coronated statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Photos by Stuart Chessman and New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli
Scores of pilgrims from around the tri-state area gathered at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in East Harlem, New York on Saturday, July 23rd for the 5th Annual Traditional Pilgrimage. In reverence and humility, many of the participants entered the church on their knees and discalced. Some presented altar flowers to the glory of God. 
Warmly welcomed by Pastor Fr. Marian Wierzchowski, festivities began with an edifying talk about the Blessed Mother by Fr. James Miara, pastor of the Church of the Holy Innocents. Confession was also made available.
Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary form was celebrated by Canon Matthew Talarico, provincial superior of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.  Fr. Christopher Salvatori was the deacon and Fr. Richard Cipolla, pastor of St. Mary RC Church, Norwalk was the sub deacon. The service concluded with a procession around the church interior.
Members of the congregation were then given the opportunity to venerate the relics of Saint Vincent Pallotti and Saint Elena di Laurino.
Afterward, in a private ceremony in the sacristy, our very own Cav. John Napoli and good friend Cav. Charles Sant’Elia, president of the Comitati Due Sicilie USA, were invested with the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The postulants stood abreast as Fr. Marian conducted the sacred rite. Blessing the scapulars and performing the Aspersion, Fr. Marian awarded the men small wool devotionals. Following the prayers, the devotees embraced and congratulated one another. It was the perfect ending to our pilgrimage.
Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
Taking our leave, a few of us decided to continue the celebration a little closer to home. Making our way to Little Italy we stopped by bustling Mulberry Street Bar for a few cocktails. Rehashing the day’s highlights, we discussed upcoming events and future projects. Vivian, the historic watering hole's gregarious barkeep, stopped by our table to chat for a bit and generously bought us a round. Naturally, we drank to her health and toasted her beloved patron, San Gennaro.
Getting hungry, we eventually moved on to Margherita NYC, a lively little joint specializing in traditional Neapolitan pizza and pasta dishes. For dinner we enjoyed a delicious dish of cavatelli alla Sorrentina
In these dark times, when one is constantly inundated with bad news and subjected daily to the cultural and moral decline that comes with the breakdown of civil society, opportunities of fellowship and religiosity like this are becoming increasingly more meaningful and invaluable to our community. I cannot thank the organizers and parish staff enough for giving us this spectacular opportunity to come together and celebrate our faith and culture. Special thanks to the U.S. Delegation of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George for their hard work and continued support in these endeavors. The warmth and sincerity of the participants was truly heartening. I pray for the Traditional Pilgrimage's continued success and look forward to coming back again. 
Decked out in their blue mantles, the Knights of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George partook in the entrance procession
Solemn High Mass celebrated by Canon Mathew Talarico
During Mass, the flag of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was displayed next to the altar, beneath the revered statue of the Madonna del Carmine
(L) Relic of Saint Vincent Pallotti and (R) Fr. Richard Cipolla with the relic of Sant'Elena di Laurino
Honor Guard stands sentinel by the Sant'Elena di Laurino bye-altar 
Celebrants gather around the bye-altar to venerate the saint
Sant'Elena di Laurino
Praying by the bye-altar 
Back in the sacristy, John, Anthony, Andrew and Charles pose with our gracious host pastor Fr. Marian Wierzchowski
Our new friends Antoinette and Pam in the church gift shop
For additional coverage visit sthughofcluny.org