Staten Island, New York
Founded in 1913, Our Lady of Mount Carmel-St. Benedicta Parish is situated on the North Shore of Staten Island, N.Y. The parish was originally constructed by the Trinitarian Fathers to care for the Italian immigrants who were arriving to the area in large numbers at the time. Today, the church has been under the care of the Jesuits since 2006, and Mass is conducted in English as well as in Spanish for the increasing population of Hispanic parishioners in the area.
Initially, Our Lady of Mount Carmel began in an old livery stable owned by a dentist, who had offered the premises to the church rent-free for a period of eight months in exchange for prayers. In the meantime, across the street, an old Laundromat was renovated and would become the first church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. This church served the congregation for 53 years until a fire in 1966.
The parish saw many changes in the years that followed. A nearby church, St. Benedicta, was demolished, but the name of St Benedicta was not lost. A new parish was created, which united Our Lady of Mount Carmel with St. Benedicta. The new parish was named Our Lady of Mount Carmel-St. Benedicta, and the new church was consecrated and dedicated in 1970.
In 2005, The Trinitarian Fathers returned administration of the parish back to the archdiocese. The following year, the Jesuits assumed responsibility of the church, which was nearby to St. Mary of the Assumption, a parish where the Jesuits were already ministering. The two parishes share many similarities, but each has retained their distinctive identity and both are cared for by the same Jesuit priests.