Tag Archives: Italian American community

Speak out, WRTA riders!!! … and a message from MPS …

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Worcester’s inner-city population depends on buses and pedal-/foot-power to travel around the city. pic: R.T.

Join WCCC and other Organizations
from around the city to Speak Up about proposed WRTA Bus Rate Increases and to Request Affordable, Safe and Reliable Transportation for Everyone!

Tuesday, April 11

4:30 p.m.

at the Worcester Public Library

Speak up now or pay more later!!

Current fare: $3.50 for unlimited rides.

Proposed increase: $5.00 for 6 rides max

Call for more information: 508-796-1411 x 148

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From Mauro D. on the preservation of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel church:

Thank you for attending April 3rd’s dynamic general membership meeting!

Thanks to those who made themselves available for the film producers and, to those who could not not make it on camera due to time constraints, a special thank you for your patience and support.

If you were not on camera, please know there may be other opportunities to express your knowledge and experience of this horrible situation going on!

Your continued support is highly valued and needed.

It looks like our Meat Raffle fund raiser is off to a great start.

It takes place on April 22 at 1 PM at Union Tavern on 65 Green St.

Our appeal has been received by the Vatican and we are moving forward.

Prospects with a Barrister in Rome look very encouraging.

There will be a special prayer vigil at 9 am in front of St Paul’s Cathedral on TUESDAY, April 11, across the street from the entrance, near the parking lot of Denholms. If rides are needed, call a fellow member.

We invite everyone to attend our Sunday Prayer Vigil Sunday at 10 am at the Mount Carmel Apartments. A great place to meet and keep informed.

God Bless You and God Bless Our Lady of Mount Carmel!

Mauro
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http://www.preserveourladyofmountcarmel.org

Mount Carmel Preservation Society will be meeting on MONDAY, February 6 – 6:30 p.m.

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pic: R.T.

editor’s note: From Mauro DePasquale. I’ve made some sentences bold:

… at WCCA TV, 415 Main Street. Near City Hall.

Please make every effort to attend.

Thank you!

Many of you may have received letters from the Bishop and Monsignor Pedone in the last two days or so.

The work of our society is NOT OVER!

We will continue to stand tall with courage and move forward with our mission with stronger determination.

MPS has filed a Canonical Appeal to address the Bishop’s decree announcing a parish merger. He will have a limited time to respond.

Remember, shortly after the Monsignor locked the doors and first filed for a permit to demolish [Our Lady of Mount Carmel] Church we began our mission to Fix the Church and Save the Parish on Mulberry Street.

Since then, the Monsignor stated numerous times in public and in private meetings that if we raised the funds to alleviate the burden of cost of the “Make Safe” work, as ordered by the City Building commissioner, and have a sustainability plan and engineers signed off on the work, he will re-open the Church for masses. We responded that when this work is completed and after doors are opened for mass, we will then collect our pledges.

Well, it looks like the “Make Safe” work is done or very very close to being completed. So will the doors be opened? We expect to hear from the City of Worcester inspectors if the church is safe to occupy or not.

Coincidentally, the decree merged the parish as of Feb. 1, and it was announced that activities and materials will be moved to [Our Lady of] Loretto church and another Our Lady of Providence on Lincoln Street. Just in time when the work may be completed. So . . . . ! Does it sound like doors will be opened?

The letters you received may seem to illustrate a complete disregard for the work and efforts of all you toward fixing our church and saving our parish. However, we continue to seek clarification and a possible willingness, on the Diocese part, to explore a way to save the church as a sacred space.

We made numerous calls to the City planning department asking if the City Inspector has signed off. We expect to hear from them soon.

Although Mount Carmel is on of the top 7 most endangered historic resources in Massachusetts, our petition for a Historic District Feasibility study was stunningly turned down by members of the Historic Commission. We were told an appeal, if unlikely voted in an affirmative, may be possible but it may also be a lengthy process, if it passes. Not in time for the May wrecking ball.

There still are options. We will discuss them on Monday.

To save this important historical treasure as our sacred worship place, we must continue to pray the Monsignor and/or the Bishop come to understand what is truly in the best interest of our parish, the faithful, and perhaps the Diocese. The right and just decision for the Diocese, we believe, is to consider fixing the church and bringing the entire parish back to Mulburry Street.

Many have asked me: “If the church is fixed, why not let us all have another chance at sustaining it?”

I asked the Diocese if the work ordered by the City to fix the church is completed. Vicor Reidy returned my call today. The following simply outlines the points he made in our discussion which he believes are true at this time:

Regarding Receipt of our appeal:

1. The Bishop did receive our appeal. No comment was offered.

Regarding the “Make Safe work as ordered by the City:

2.Banding on the Church tower is completed

3.Tie back work is completed

4. Diocese engineers have inspected the work. He did not elaborate on that. They may have signed off on it. We are not certain, however.

5. Through bolts and plates were being added to prevent the veneer on the facade from falling off.

6. There is more exploratory work that may be going on to see what other urgent work that may need addressing. He did not elaborate.

7.Some of the netting was tucked in. This may indicate that the facade work is completed.

8. He said it is “Virtually done, if not totally.”

9. He then stressed it was a temporary fix, “not permanent.”

NEXT STEPS:

1. We will discuss on Monday night.

2. Monsignor Pedone is putting together a committee to determine next steps for the property. We have asked to participate in that committee. We have received no response as of this writing.

2. The Vicor added that the Diocese is not driving this – under canon law, the Paster makes the decisions relative to these matters.

We hope to hear from our Canon advisor before articulating and determining our MPS next steps. We have sent in the appeal. The Bishop has it and is obligated to respond.

See you Monday (Feb 6), if not Sunday at the vigil.

Your ideas, editorials, donations are welcomed!

Thank you,

Mauro
http://www.preserveourladyofmountcarmel.org

Attn: Mt. Carmel boosters! … TONIGHT! – Thurs! – Historic Commission meeting at 5:30 p.m. – Worcester City Hall

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The steeple of Our Lady of Mount Carmel church, located on Mulberry Street in Worcester’s glorious Italian American East Side neighborhood! pic:R.T.

In the Levi-Lincoln Room (3rd floor)

See you there!

By Mauro DePasquale, president

Our Lady of Mount Carmel church Preservation Society

Please consider this:

1. The Diocese does not want a Historic District. It holds a permit to knock the church down.

2. The Mount Carmel Preservation Society (MPS) wants the Church to be re-opened with masses and to save the parish on Mulberry Street.

3. The Diocese is merging the two parishes but has not committed to seating the parish sacred gathering space on Mulberry street in our historic church. According to the Bishop, the merger is non-negotiable and was a part of the unilateral offering made by the Bishop on December 30. (BTW An offer with no guarantees but to explore possibilities.) While a permit for May demotion continues to be on cue.

4. MPS provided a comprise by offering six points for the Diocese to consider and respond to before we withdraw our petition.

5. The Diocese ignored our request as of this writing and many in our group have interpreted an implied negative message which is to be published in the Jan 22nd bulletin. This is after we held our part of the bargain of delaying our petition, held quiet with the press, upon request of the Bishop, until Jan 10. We had no real choice but to move forward with the petition as vetted by the Worcester City Council, due to time constraints for processing it.

6. Whereas the MPS mission is, in part, to preserve the church – and we have discussed the consequences a number of times with the Board and general membership – and whereas the Bishop has not indicated in anyway that he is willing to even discuss our 6 points, we can choose to either walk away or move forward with whatever hope the Historic District has to offer toward preservation of our sacred space and community anchors.

Our members spoke clearly at our latest meeting on how they wish to proceed. Therefore, we are moving forward with our petition, with hopes the Diocese will continue discussions to truly work toward preserving and re-opening our Church.

7. Our mission is to preserve our Church and, for the time being, the Historic District offers at least a chance to preserve it. With consensus from the membership and our Board, we have little choice but to move forward with open eyes and hearts – open to continue to appeal for the Bishop to have a change of heart in favor of saving and re-opening our historic church.

We believe the Diocese does not want the church to sit there on Mulberry Street as an eyesore. No one does. It deserves better – to be re-opened, with masses celebrated there weekly.

Hopefully, this process will encourage a move toward preservation and real, open, bilateral discussion …

Moving ahead…

Mauro

A heartfelt thank you and what’s next for Our Lady of Mount Carmel church😇😇😇

By Mauro DePasquale, president, Mount Carmel Preservation Society

editor’s note: I’ve made some sentences bold. -R.T.

Thank God! Never underestimate faith and power of prayer!

[Tuesday] night the [Worcester] City Council voted 9-2 to move our petition for a Mount Carmel Historic District forward.

This is a noteworthy event that requires us all to remain vigilant toward preserving and reopening our church on Mulberry Street.

We look forward ​to continuing discussions with the Diocese, as we hope to work together toward a solution to re-open and maintain the Church on Mulberry Street.

Thank you to the nine [City] Council members ​(Mayor Joseph Petty, Candy Carlson, George Russel, Kate Toomey, Morris Bergman, Gary Rosen, Konstantia Lukes, Sarai Rivera, Khrystian King) for voting in support of providing time for hope and serious discussion to transpire.​Their vote signifies the justice of our mission and the time and due diligence all stake holders and the historic resource deserves.​

Thank you to all ​the amazing speakers ​ who spoke, from the heart, passionately, in favor of moving our petition forward, and thank you to all who came to [Tuesday] night’s meeting in support of MPS [the Mount Carmel Preservation Society].

We need to think out of the box, but a solution to sustainability and continued repairs is possible. Now we will have a chance to properly present our ideas. The road ahead may not be easy, but neither was it for those who sacrificed to build it.

See you at the next Historic Commission Meeting. We will inform you of date, time and location details soon.

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Scroll down for further information:

Mount Carmel Preservation Society Statement – January 10, 2017

Immediate Release

In December 2016 the Mount Carmel Preservation Society (MPS) had delayed its petition for a historical district for Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

This was done in good faith, in exchange for the Bishop’s offer that, if we tabled our petition, he will not take action to demolish the Church until January 2018 and will also work with the MPS, the WBDC and the Chamber of Commerce, to explore and seek a solution to save the church.

MPS met with the Bishop on December 30, 2016 and took what had transpired under advisement with our Membership. We later responded, with membership consensus, with a letter sent on January 3, 2017, to the Diocesan leadership, asking the Diocese to consider addressing concerns that we felt needed to first be agreed to in order to set a proper foundation for future discussions.

Whereas the Diocese response did not address our specific concerns by January 9, as per our request, and whereas the permit for demolition formally continues to stand for May 2017, and the window to preserve the Church is closing in on the time required to properly process a Historic District application, we must move forward with our petition.

Our request asking the Council to move our petition forward to the historic commission, reflects our desire to give the Historic Commission, and all the stake holders, the fair amount of time and due diligence, Mount Carmel, as one of the top ten most endangered historical resources in Massachusetts, deserves.

It is our understanding, as recently reaffirmed in a recent response to an appeal from the Vatican, that the Church is safe from the wrecking ball until the Bishop first issues a decree to relegate it to profane but not sordid use, which may be appealed through a process set forth through Canon Law.

With consideration to the above, it is the consensus MPS membership to move forward with their petition for a Mount Carmel Historic District, before the City Council this Tuesday (1/10/17).

The Mount Carmel Preservation Society does not wish to risk the church to the wrecking ball as scheduled in May 2017. We are seeking the Diocese to be willing to accept the following in order for us to consider further delaying our petition for a historic district:

We have asked this of the Diocese in a letter sent on January 4, 2017 with a request to respond to us by January 9, 2017:

The Diocese to be willing to issue a written promise to revoke the permit to demolish scheduled for May 2017 or promise to delay any action to demolish the Church until January 2019. To allow time for discussions and implementation of a process to develop a master plan that includes a funding solution to repair and re-open the Church;

The Diocese to be willing to have Masses celebrated in the Recreation Center until the church is made safe to reopen;

The Diocese to be willing to re-open the church for masses as soon as the City [of Worcester] Inspector deems it safe to enter;

Church leadership to be willing to collaborate with the Mount Carmel Preservation Society, with the MPS having a voting role, in the care, manage and maintain the Church as sacred center for Worcester’s Italian American Community and for all Catholics to celebrate our faith;

The Diocese to consider having our Parish, in collaboration with the Mount Carmel Preservation Society, develop the property to best use land and structures to benefit Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish.

In the event that the Parish is not to facilitate development of the property on its own, Mount Carmel Preservation Society will have a voting seat at the table during the design process, and formulation of the Master plan to assure the building will continue to exist as a functioning sacred space, and as a religious and cultural center for the Italian American people of Worcester. and decisions concerning the eventual buyer.

The Historic District study can take more than 60 days (up to a year in some cases as we were informed) and whereas time is of the essence, the Diocese response to our request in the positive to the above must be sooner rather than later. Therefor without the response to what we are seeking prior to the Council meeting on January 10, we (MPS) feel it is in the best interest of our mission to move forward with the Historic District petition. We expect to continue discussions with Bishop and the Diocese in hopes to find an agreeable solution toward saving and reopening our Church as the petition moves forward through the process.

Regretfully, the Bishop has informed the MPS that our request of maintaining the Our Lady of Mount Carmel/St. Ann Parish, as a single parish, on Mulberry Street is denied and non-negotiable. If there is to be no parish, further delay of the petition will only be pursuant to MPS receiving a written assurance that the six items, as stated above, can be agreed to by the Diocese and that Mount Carmel is to continue to exist as a sacred space, with broad base access and support.

It has been a part of our goal all along to fix the Church and reopen it for masses and to save our parish on Mulberry Street. We look forward to healing our parish family and to save its local history as well as its sacred Italian American cultural center for all to celebrate.

We feel at this time it is in the best interest of our mission to move forward with our petition as we pursue open discussions to explore solutions to preserve and reopen our Church.

Thank you.

maurodep1@gmail.com

Cc
Historic Commission, Bishop McManus, Monsignor Pedone, MPS Board of Directors

YES!!!!! Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church …

… SAVED BY WORCESTER CITY COUNCIL!!!

Yes votes: Bergman, King, Lukes, Carlson, Rivera, Rosen, Russell, Toomey, Petty

No votes (both money guys): Economou, Gaffney

Mayor Joseph Petty at tonight’s city council meeting: “[I] look at this as more than just a church. [It’s] important to Italians, [it] represents history.”

YES!!!!

So much of present-day Worcester is seduced by the doe-eyed gentrifiers, glib developers, charming money-talkers – people whose lives revolve around CASH and PROFIT, what’s on trend, relentless social media marketing, the latest chi chi restaurant (gluttony=fat-assed people), Snapchat and – Poof! You’re gone! Disappeared!

So unlike the REAL SOUL stuff – the bread of life that nurtures you – the REAL you … your church, life-long friends, family, your neighborhood, animals, the sky. The stuff that has nothing to do with money but everything to do with happiness!

Here’s to Our Lady of Mount Carmel – a grand church!

Hooray for her neighborhood rec center that gives back to the community – at low or no cost!

Three cheers for her great inner-city little league baseball field that lets city kids slide into HOME …

“Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me!”
– Jesus Christ

Coincidental?

Today, looking at the Catholic church outside my kitchen window, just as I was about to cut my tomato vine down cuz it looked old and I thought I might put something new and hot there in its place …

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pics: R.T.

… I saw a beautiful tomato! Red and perfect. Pressed against the window sill in red-rosy loveliness …

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I had not noticed it!

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Then I saw another tomato … small – Jaw Breaker gumball-sized small and (truth be told) a bit crinkly. Still cute.

… In spite of the cold, my indifference, Cece’s morning walks though the flora, they grew…

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And this too! My African violet uncurling her purple, little petal hands …

Kudos to Mauro, Candy and the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Preservation Society!

Worcester wins!

– Rosalie Tirella

Worcester City Council: Please! Vote next Tuesday to approve the Our Lady of Mount Carmel block as a local Historic District!

By Mauro DePasquale, President, Mount Carmel Preservation Society

Parishioners and Members of the Mount Carmel Preservation Society (MPS) support a vote to approve the Our Lady of Mount Carmel block as a local Historic District.

This is supported by the fund raising efforts of MPS, as well as by more than 12,000 petitioners who are asking the Bishop and Pastor to fix the Church and Save the Parish on Mulberry Street.

Preservation is about celebrating something that is precious, meaningful and good for ALL people, as it raises the aesthetic of our surroundings.

The act of preservation benefits everyone and is a form of unification.

Mount Carmel Preservation Society is dedicated to fixing one of the top seven most endangered historical resources in all of Massachusetts (Our Lady Of Mount Carmel Church).

The designation of a historical district will:

improve the status of the Mount Carmel neighborhood;

protect the area for community benefit;

improve the cultural vitality of our city;

and mark a significant and unique space for all to gather, to celebrate and share something special, of historical significance, with our Italian American community and all immigrant groups.

It will also provide opportunities for the Parishioners of Our Lady Of Mount Carmel to reinforce their sustainability efforts for the future.

This designation is about unification as it centers our collective heritage along with a unique historical building/resource and facing it into the future of Worcester’s identity.

This is the glue that cements true preservation, as we share and celebrate something meaningful with common purpose.

To counter this effort is an affront to the human spirit and those things we the collective community hold of value.

Approving the local historic district designation for the Our Lady of Mount Carmel block sends a message that Worcester cares and values its immigrant communities, old and new.

http://www.preserveourladyofmountcarmel.org

Fix our Church and Save our Parish on Mulberry St.

*****

Worcester City Council contact info

Call our city councilors and ask them to VOTE YES! Thank you!

Mayor Joe Petty
508-799-1153 work
508-799-8789 home

Morris Bergman
508-799-1049 work
508-754-8141 home

Khrystian King
508-799-1049 work

Konstantina Lukes
508-799-1049 work
508-798-1815 home

Kate Toomey
508-799-1049 work
508-798-1815

Anthony Economou
508-854-3014 home

Candy Mero-Carlson
508-799-1049 work

Michael Gaffney
508-799-1049 work

George Russell
508-795-0333 home

Sarai Rivera
508-799-1049 work
508-755-3006 home

Gary Rosen
508-7991049 work
508-755-3006 home

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Save Our Lady of Mount Carmel church! Attend next week’s City Council meeting!

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Pray very hard, people! AND GET POLITICAL! pic:R.T.

By Mauro DePasquale, Mount Carmel Preservation Society

Next Tuesday, at Worcester City Hall, will be our last opportunity to preserve our beloved Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church as a local historic district in Worcester.

This designation is an important step to ensuring protection against the wrecking ball.

The life of our church and parish should not come down to the whim of a few who want to give up on our more than 100-year-old historic Church and still vibrant and great parish.

Read what follows and understand that we must stand tall together to counter the determination of the Diocesan leadership to demolish our beautiful historic church and the heart of Italian American culture in Worcester, as well as the heart of Worcester’s Italian American community.

We must also speak up and set the story straight and stop their continual loop of misinformation.

There can be many financial and economic benefits for Our Lady of Mount Carmel to be declared a historic district or building. We are very close to succeeding. Work to make the church safe is near completed. Once we collect all pledges, we will have met our fundraising goal.

We have more than 12,000 petioners on our side; we have a sustainability plan. The City record and the media have recorded the City’s Commissioner Kelly stating that Mount Carmel doesn’t have to be knocked down.

The record also makes clear the cost needed to “make it safe” to be occupied is $120,000. We have a different interpretation of the response from our Vatican appeal. It addresses a procedural process, and the Vatican’s response did not invole the Holy See’s actual review of all the information accumulated in City of Worcester records and from the Mount Carmel Preservation Society’s efforts.

Our Lady of Loreto is in much larger debt to the Diocese than Our Lady of Mount Carmel. We understand Loreto is in over $600,000 in debt.

What about all the money our parish has raised over the years? Why are these men so willing to give up on that historic investment?

The City has done due diligence on this matter. It’s had the historical commission hearings, city council sub-committee hearings, and it has come before the general Worcester City Council.

Please call Worcester City Council members and ask them to do the right thing and to vote to preserve our Lady of Mount Carmel to support our Mount Carmel Preservation effort to fix our church and to save our parish on Mulberry Street.

Please be present at that City Council meeting on December 13, 2016, – City Council Chambers, 3rd floor, City Hall.

If rides are needed to City Hall, let us know. You can email me at maurodep1@gmail.com

Thank you, and God Bless you and Our Lady of Mount Carmel!

InCity Letter

I would like to thank the entire Worcester City Council and the Mayor for their recent support of the efforts of the Mount Carmel Preservation Society to fix their church and save their parish.
 
For many, Our Lady of Mount Carmel/St. Ann Church represents much more than a church. 

It is the heart and soul of the Italian American community here in the city.
 
The movement to fix the church and save the parish is not about angry parishioners viciously attacking a Monsignor or a Bishop, but rather, represents the passion of a large group of individuals and families who simply want to preserve a legacy that was left by their ancestors. 

Respectfully yours,

Barbara Lucci
Worcester