62nd Annual All Carmelite Souls Mass

Middletown, NY. – On Saturday, November 5, 2022, the 62nd Annual All Carmelite Souls Mass was celebrated at 11:00AM at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Middletown, New York. It was a perfect Autumn day, with clear skies and many of the trees surrounding the Shrine showing off their beautiful Fall colors.

This annual celebration honors all of the deceased Carmelite Friars, Sisters and members of the Carmelite family. This year’s celebration was especially poignant, as four friars who passed away in 2022 were especially remembered – Fathers Philip Marani, Guy Fiano, Paul Feeley and James Sidoti, O.Carm.

Father Mario Esposito, O.Carm., Prior Provincial of the Carmelites of the St. Elias Province, was the main celebrant. Rev. Brother Von Erick Maria Sandoval, O.Carm. served as Deacon and Brother Gregg J. Durham, O.Carm. was the Master of Ceremonies. Mrs. Rose Mary Lancellotti, TOC was the Reader of the Word and Father Frank Dixon, O.Carm. and Father Raymond Maher, O.Carm. read the Prayer of the Faithful.

The Mass was well-attended by Carmelite Friars, Carmelite Sisters, Lay Carmelites and many family members and friends of deceased Carmelites. The beautiful music was provided by Ms. Maxine Martin, Music Director and choir, consisting of Carmelite Brothers and friends of the Carmelites. The Entrance Hymn was “God we praise you,” the Communion hymn was “Saints and Beloved of God.”

During the Mass, seven candles were lit by Brother Joseph Trung Do, O.Carm., Carmelite Novice. The names of over 100 deceased Carmelites were read out and after each name was spoken, a soft bell was sounded. This is perhaps the most solemn part of the Mass, as everyone sits in reverent silence, remembering friends and loved ones.

Following Mass, everyone processed to the Carmelite cemetery across the street from the National Shrine. Flowers had been placed on each grave by the Carmelite Novices. Father Mario, assisted by the Deacon, blessed every grave with Holy Water.

After final prayers and the singing of “Flos Carmeli,” friars, family members and other invited guests walked back to Pilgrim Hall where a lovely luncheon was enjoyed by all.

News and Photos: North American Province of Saint Elias

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