Our Lady of Mt. Carmel celebration set for July 16 in Bridgeton

A longtime Italian-American tradition, begun in Bridgeton, before World War I will again take place on Friday, July 16, when the faithful will carry a statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel through the city streets to the Church of the Immaculate Conception.


The statue is the original one that has been used since the earliest days when members of the local Mount Carmel Society Lodge began the procession nearly a century ago.

The committee members for this year’s festivities include Sarah Laspada Cassidy, and Carmine Catalana, Sr., co-chairpersons; and Joseph DeLuca and Jeanette Touchstone.

The procession will start at the former Catholic school on N. Pearl St. at 8:30 a.m. and work its way to the church for 9 a.m. Mass. A number of the descendants of the procession’s originators who hailed from the province of Chieti in the region of Abruzzo in Central Italy continue to participate.

Carmine Catalana, Sr., who has been a participant in the procession since he was a child, said, “We would like to invite all members of the community to join us in this event that expresses the faith and traditions of the Italian-American community.”

As part of the festivities, an embroidered altar cloth will be dedicated to the memory of the late Guy Laspada, whose family was among the originators of the celebration.

Following the procession and Mass, a Communion breakfast will be held at the Centerton Country Club. For information on breakfast tickets, call 856-451-7445. Tickets must be purchased in advance and none will be available at the door.


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