Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church
Parish Ministry Center
708 West Belmont Avenue
Chicago, IL 60657
Tel. (773) 525-0453
Fax (773) 525-9438
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Map and directions (via Mapquest©)
Free parking is available on the east and west end of the parish campus.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Academy
720 West Belmont Avenue
Tel. (773) 525-8779
Tel. (773) 525-0453 x17
Religious Education Office
708 West Belmont Avenue
Tel. (773) 525-0453 x14
Pastoral staff are listed on the home page.
Parish Web site
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Our Lady of Mt Carmel Church
All articles must be e-mailed or dropped off at the parish office by 10 a.m. Tuesday to appear in that weekend's bulletin.
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
The process by which adults become members of the Catholic Church. Parish sponsors accompany the candidate during their preparation.
The music ministry at Our Lady of Mount Carmel functions as an integral part of the parish liturgical life. The choirs and cantors help lead the congregation in worship with music from the rich heritage of the Western Church. Polyphony and Gregorian Chant are heard along with works of contemporary composers. The congregation is an active participant through their spirited singing of responsorial psalms, acclamations and a wide range of hymnody.
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
Assist in the distribution of the Holy Eucharist.
Assist in liturgical celebrations by proclaiming the Word.
Assist the priest and the congregation at the celebration of Mass and other liturgical functions. Grade 4 through adult.
Facilitate seating and proper order during liturgies.
Children's Liturgy of the Word
Children ages 5 to 12 are formally dismissed from the 9:30 a.m. liturgy to hear Sunday readings proclaimed from the Children's Lectionary in adjoining Eden Chapel. Through listening and responding, the Liturgy of the Word is presented at an elementary age level. They return to the main assembly at the Preparation of the Gifts.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Academy
Mount Carmel Academy believes that it must bring the teachings and values of the gospel to the children and families that make up its community. In so doing, it meets the needs of the total person: intellectual, social, emotional, physical and spiritual. While recognizing the role of the parent as the primary educator, the Academy believes that the school exists to foster knowledge and love of God and participation in the Church.
Religious Education of Children
Weekly classes in religious studies for children in grades 1 through 8 who do not attend Catholic schools. Classes are held on Thursday evenings in the Parish School and are taught by a corp of certified volunteers drawn from the parish.
Adult Education and Religious Studies
A parish Outreach to Adults that features speakers and spiritual formation experiences. Meetings and programs are published in the Sunday Bulletin.
Ministers of Care
Assist in bringing the Eucharist to the sick, at home or in the hospital. Requires 12 hours of training provided by parish.
Archdiocesan Gay and Lesbian Outreach (AGLO)
Serves the liturgical, social and personal needs of parishioners and of the greater archdiocesan area. Mass is celebrated with this group each Sunday at 7:00 p.m.
Appointed advisors to the pastor in the area of property and financial concerns.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church
In 1886, Our Lady of Mount Carmel was founded as the mother parish of all the English-speaking Catholic congregations of the north side.
Father Patrick O'Brien was the founding pastor who built the first church at Wellington near Sheffield. In 1888 the Mount Carmel Academy was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in our present Casey Hall building. Father Patrick Gill became pastor in 1895, and in 1913, the present Indiana limestone church structure was built in English Tudor Gothic style.
With the death of Father Gill in 1925, Father Joseph Casey became pastor. He completed the interior of the church with the marvelous Kinsella windows, Carrara marble altars and the majestic E. M. Skinner pipe organ. The rectory was built in 1923, the convent and school in 1926. Father Casey was named Monsignor in 1926 and remained as pastor until his death in 1958.
Monsignor Ernest Primeau followed as pastor until his appointment as Bishop of Manchester, New Hampshire. Father Thomas Byrne was pastor from 1960 until his retiring in 1976. Father Thomas Healy, our pastor emeritus, was a professor at Niles College of Loyola University before assuming the pastorate in January, 1977, a position he held until December 31, 2001.
During Fr. Healy's tenure, additions to the church included the Eden Chapel with windows designed by Faith Posey of Drehoble Brothers, redecoration of the sanctuary and nave, repair of the Kinsella stained glass, restoration of the E. M. Skinner pipe organ and the installation of the Visser-Rowland tracker action choir organ.
Father Thomas Srenn was an associate at OLMC from 1990-1997 and returned as pastor from 2002-2013. Under his pastorate, the Parish Ministry Center was created from the original Convent to house all the offices of the parish, Eden Chapel was renovated, and in honor of the parish's 125th Anniversary, the parish embarked on Phase I of Renovo CXXV, at which time the issues of accessibility were addressed, as well the commissioning of a new Carrera marble altar and ambo. A new paint scheme for the church interior was introduced and the sanctuary was completed in time for the consecration of the new altar by Cardinal Francis George on Sunday, September 25, 2011.
Father Patrick Lee was named eighth pastor of OLMC in 2013 and began his new ministry in July.
History of Mount Carmel
Mount Carmel is a mountain spur projecting into the sea south of Haifa, Israel. Its bold outline can be seen for many miles. The name means "garden" or "orchard." Always a sacred place and a refuge, the mount had several pagan deities called Baal. It was the scene of the struggle and overthrow of the priests of Baal, publicly challenged by the prophet Elijah as recounted in the Bible (I Kings XVIII, 19ff). Tradition has maintained the existence of prayerful hermits, followers of the prophet, resident thereafter, worshiping and honoring the one true God.
Mount Carmel naturally became a refuge for early Christian hermits and monks. In 570 A.D., a monastery dedicated to Elijah was known to exist. About 1156, the Order of Carmelites was founded, and a new monastery was built to the honor of St. Mary of Mount Carmel.
Devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel spread throughout Europe by the returning Crusaders and by members of the Carmelite Order. Notable shrines and churches were founded in honor of Mary under the title of Carmel or Carmen. In England in 1251, the Virgin appeared to St. Simon Stock, Prior General of the Order of Mount Carmel. According to tradition, Our Lady on this occasion promised special blessings to all who wore the Carmelite scapular which signified total dedication to her Son, Jesus. Honor to Our Lady of Mount Carmel is worldwide.