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Fr. Ron's Blog


Dear Friends,
Sorry. Here we go again, even though I said I wouldn’t. If you look at Breaking Bread, you’ll see the readings for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time. But when you hear the readings for today, you will be hearing readings from the Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. All the parishes around the world will be celebrating the 15th Sunday, but parishes named in honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel are allowed on this Sunday to celebrate the Patronal Feast of the Parish, which we will be doing.

So, I thought it important to say a few words about this feast. Mt. Carmel is a coastal mountain range in northern Israel stretching from the Mediterranean Sea towards the southeast for almost 24 miles. (No – it’s not in Italy). In Old Testament times, it was the place where the prophet Elijah would sometimes reside and it was the place where he challenged the 450 prophets of the pagan god, Baal, to a contest to see who was really more powerful, and, thus, which God should be worshipped and obeyed, the God of Israel or the pagan god, Baal. Guess who won? (For the full story, see 1 Kings 18.)

Sometime in the 12th Century a group of Christian hermits settled on Mount Carmel and built a chapel in the midst of their hermitages dedicated to our Lady, which became known as Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Eventually, a religious community was established there. By the 13th Century, the community became known as the “Brothers of Mount Carmel” and eventually, the Carmelites. The actual “founder” of the community remains known, perhaps only referred to as “Brother B.” By the end of that century, political and religious strife had caused the Carmelites to depart from Mount Carmel and travel to Europe, establishing monasteries as far north as England.

It was in one of those monasteries in England that tradition holds that St. Simon Stock, an early English prior general, was said to have had a vision of the Blessed Virgin and to have received from her the Brown Scapular, as a sign of devotion to Mary. A Vatican document in 1996 puts it this way. “Devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel is bound to the history and spiritual values of the Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel and is expressed through the scapular… The scapular is a Marian habit or garment. It is both a sign and pledge. A sign of belonging to Mary; a pledge of her motherly protection.” The Feast was first celebrated somewhere between 1376 and 1386, in the Carmelite monasteries in England, on July 16, commemorating the date, in 1251, when, according to Carmelite tradition, St. Simon Stock received the scapular. Gradually permission to celebrate the feast was extended to individual countries around the world until, finally, on September 24, 1726, it was extended to the entire Church. It is that feast which we celebrate today, here at Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

A final word about the scapular. As noted from the Vatican document quoted above, the scapular indicates a form of clothing worn by the monks (and religious women) and became a sign of their way of life and their special devotion to Mary and to express trust in her motherly protection, as well as the desire to be like her in her commitment to Christ. The small scapular worn around the neck came to symbolize all that, as well.

Here is the tradition prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel:

O most holy Mary of Mount Carmel, pray for me.
You watch over those who follow the Gospel of your Son with a mother’s loving care.
Look now upon me and cover me with the embrace of your special protection.
Strengthen me when I am weak. Enlighten the darkness of my mind with your wisdom.
Increase in me the virtues of faith, hope and charity.
As you fulfilled all of our hopes and dreams as members of the Church,
Help me now to show forth the love of Jesus in my life.
O Mother of Carmel, comfort and protect me all the days of my life. Amen.

Happy Patronal Feast & God Bless,
Fr. Ron


Mass Schedule

Weekend Liturgies
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m.,
11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m.,
3 p.m. (Spanish), 6:30 p.m.
Weekday Liturgies
Monday thru Friday,
6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m.,
and 12 noon
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. only
Holy Days
Eve: 7:30pm (anticipated)
6:30am, 8:30am, and 12noon 




Click Here for the Video in English and Spanish