Celebrating St. Patrick the Carmelite Way
Most Catholics celebrate St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of the Archdiocese of New York, only the day named in his honor. Not so for the Carmelites who brought a bit of Ireland with them when they arrived in New York in 1889.
St. Patrick was more than a one-day-a-year saint for the Irish Carmelites. They made certain to provide him with a special place at Our Lady of the Scapular of Mount Carmel (OLS) on 28th Street in Manhattan. When Our Lady of the Scapular of Mount Carmel closed, the Carmelites made sure St. Patrick’s name was forever on the lips of their many Irish parishioners.
His statue might have been removed from OLS, but it later appeared “anew” at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Middletown.
The reverence the Carmelites held for St. Patrick was not lost on the St. Patrick Day Parade committee in New York City. In 1951 Father Donal O’Callaghan, O. Carm. was the first Carmelite to be chosen as the parade’s Grand Marshal. The honor was then bestowed on Father Sean Reid, O. Carm. in 1964.
Instead of singling out another deserving Carmelite for the honor, the parade committee dedicated the 1990 march up 5th Avenue to the New York Irish Carmelites on the occasion of the New York Carmelite’s 100th anniversary.
For nearly fifty years St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated earlier in the Mid-Hudson Valley. Numbered among the many Grand Marshals of the Mid-Hudson St. Patrick’s Day Parade was Father John Logan, O. Carm., the chaplain of the AOH Father Emanuel Hourihan, O. Carm. Division. Father Logan was unanimously chosen to be the parade’s 2013 Grand Marshall in the fall of 2012. Sadly, Father Logan passed away on January 2, 2013. Despite his physical absence, his spirit was ever present at the parade dedicated in his memory.
Statue of St. Patrick at Our Lady of the Scapular of Mount Carmel on 28th Street.
St. Patrick statue/shrine at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Middletown, NY)
Father Donal O’Callaghan, O. Carm. leading the march up Fifth Avenue in 1951
Newspaper announcing Father O’Callaghan , O. Carm, as Grand Marshal
A thank you letter to Father O’Callaghan, O. Carm.
Father Sean Reid, O. Carm, the Grand Marshal in 1964
Back cover of 1990 program celebrates the Carmelites
The Parade Committee recognizes the many contributions of the New York Carmelites
Proudly marching behind the Carmelite banner in 1990
Not Grand Marshal’s in name, but representing the New York Carmelites ( l. to r.) Father Matthias Des Lauriers, O. Carm. and Father Michael Driscoll, O. Carm.
This year’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities day began with Mass at the National Shrine. Father Mark Zittle, O. Carm., who was the celebrant of the Mass told the congregation that despite his last name, he was half Irish on his mother’s side. He paid homage to the Irish in his wonderful homily. Before the end of Mass, Father Zittle blessed Thomas J. McCarthy, the parade’s Grand Marshall and his aides, praying all in attendance would march in the parade with Irish pride.
SEL Province Media