Last Updated on January 1, 2024 by Editor


Ash Wednesday began the season of Lent on Feb. 22, 2023. It's the beginning of six weeks leading up to Holy Week and Easter. Here are some photos from the 8:30 a.m. service.


Nearly 80 people attended Bistro 2023 on Wednesday, June 21, after the novena. Light refreshments and finger foods, along with camaraderie and conversation filled the Salerno Room. The following photos are courtesy of Mario Scalzo.


“A Festival of Lessons & Carols” returned to our parish on Sunday, Dec. 10. The event, a Chelsea Opera presentation, featured the combined choirs of Mount Carmel / Blessed Sacrament and Historic Old St. John’s, the Chelsea Opera singers and the Chelsea Arts Live Jazz Band. For an hour and half, a generous gathering in church were presented with inspirational readings and music of the season conducted by Peter Elacqua.


On Saturday, Dec. 9, the annual Italian Christmas gathering was celebrated at Twin Ponds Golf & Country Club in New York Mills. More than 100 enjoyed great food, entertainment and camaraderie. Photos courtesy of Mario Scalzo.


The annual Mount Carmel / Blessed Sacrament Communion Brunch was celebrated on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023, at Monarch Banquets in Yorkville. Nearly 120 were treated to a brunch that included scrambled eggs, bacon, ham, chicken, hats and broccoli, waffles homemade baked goods and more. The Rev. Jason Hage, pastor of Mary, Mother of Our Savior Parish and director of vocations in the Syracuse diocese, was the guest speaker. He talked about the importance of the Eucharist and gave an update on vocations to the priesthood.


Confirmation candidates from our parish, Historic Old St. John’s and St. Anthony-St. Agnes parishes participated in their Confirmation retreat Sunday, April 23, facilitated by Cheryl Smith. All the candidates attended the 11 a.m. Mass at St. John’s and the retreat followed. Photos courtesy of Anne Elacqua.


Blessings to the following teenagers who received the Sacrament of Confirmation from Bishop Douglas Lucia on Tuesday, May 23, at Historic Old St. John’s Church (their confirmation names are in italics and sponsors in parentheses): Gabriella Elizabeth Bilodeau (Ann Marie Tolman), Abriana Valentine Briggs (John Fanelli), Ryan Michael Charlebois (Michael Cancilla), Leah Mary Magdalene DeCarr (Bianca Marie Cardillo), Jenna Joan Flihan (Gabrielle Flihan), Anthony Christopher Getz (Danielle Getz), Su Therese Htway (Lin Thu), Noelle Cecilia Molanare (Claudia Dugan), Sean Anthony Noon (Kaitlyn Noon), Mark John Scalise (Carmen Scalise), and Antonia Ann Tartaglia (Frank Trotta Jr.). Also confirmed were young adults from St. John’s, St. Anthony & St. Agnes, St. Joseph St. Patrick, St. Mark’s and the Spanish Apostolate.


On the weekend of Nov. 18 and 19, the 2023 Craft Fair and Bake Sale took place in the gym. Many local crafters participated, and our wonderful bakers produced some delicious goodies. These photos are courtesy of Mario Scalzo.


On the evening of Holy Saturday, April 8, 2023, the parish celebrated the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ at the beautiful and uplifting Easter Vigil service. The paschal candle was lit and processed throughout the church, with all in attendance holding lit candles. The story of creation unfolded and the Exodus from Egypt recalled. Two people were welcomed fully into the Catholic faith and Mass was celebrated. Those who celebrated in church blessed themselves with Holy Water and received communion.


For the Feast of Epiphany, parish children at every Mass assembled and offered gifts that asked for God’s blessings upon this new year. These gifts were brought forth during the Gathering Rite and left at the parish crèche. The Offertory Procession was also highlighted with young men, mostly from among Burmese parishioners dressed as kings who brought to the Bambino their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrhh.


The Parish Italian Festival took place July 14-16. There was food, pizza fritta, music, games, beer, soda, a cafe, flea market and much more.


Festival preparations were well on the way Saturday, July 8, as parishioners gathered to cut peppers in the Salerno Room while others worked on gas and electric on the festival grounds. These photos are courtesy of Terri Panuccio. Also, the festival grounds were shaping up as 20 to 25 workers showed up on Tuesday, July 11, to help.


The traditional Procession in Honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel took place on Sunday, July 16, 2023, our Blessed Mother's Feast Day. After the 11 a.m. Mass, parishioners marched around the parish grounds to the Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel where Father Jim offered benediction.


The 10th Mount Carmel / Blessed Sacrament Golf Tournament teed off Sunday, Aug. 27, at Twin Ponds Golf and Country Club in New York Mills. About 120 people participated in the tourney that was started by Father Jim in 2013. (No tournament was played in 2020 due to the pandemic.) They were treated to a beautiful day with clouds in the morning and sun in the afternoon with mild temperatures. A perfect day for golf. For the $120 entry fee, participants played 18 holes with carts, lunch at the turn, coffee and doughnuts in the morning, drinks on the golf and chances to win multiple prizes, including a car for a hole-in-one. At the end of the tournament, all enjoyed a steak dinner. Here are some photos of the event, including several courtesy of Gina Batson.


On Good Friday, April 7, 2023, parishioners and friends of Mount Carmel / Blessed Sacrament commemorated the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. The Passion was read, the cross venerated and communion distributed. Photos courtesy of Dave Perritano.


Blessings to the following young parishioners who received their First Holy Communion on Sunday, April 30: Talia Rose Arena, Ronald Luciano Barres Somers, Leyla Ann Betrus, Giovanni Agazio Brescia, Charlee Joan Monica Briggs, Tessa Marie Carcone, Grayson Alexander Fernalld, Brian Anthony Hudson, Santino Sacco Leone, Ja Seng Htoi, Ja Seng Ing, Mila Renee’ Maldonado, Carly Jo Mazza, Patrick Edward Morrissey III, Parker Lynn Paravati, Dominick Anthony Percia, Alex Allan Piperata, June Frances Meh, Natalie Lucia Scaramuzzino, Tressa Marie Scaramuzzino, Hailey James Smith and Salvatore Vincent Spina. (Photos by Deb Chandler, deeTales Photography)


A nearly full church commemorated Jesus' Last Supper, His washing of the feet and the institution of the Holy Eucharist during Holy Thursday services on Thursday, April 6, 2023. Father Jim led the service and washed the feet of 12 parishioners, including several children, re-enacting what Christ did at the Last Supper. A solemn procession in the dark around the church and the placement of the Eucharist in a place of reverence, and a musical meditation from our choir closed the night.


The first East Utica Italian Spelling Bee, conceived by Father Jim, took place Friday evening, March 24, in the church auditorium. About 60 people attended and watched contestants try to spell so-called Italian words and use them in a sentence. Contestants were Anthony Laria, Scott Perritano and Vito Valenzi. The judges were Mario Scalzo and Joe Siniscarco. Photos courtesy of Scott Bolen and Jamie Valenzi.


The Fourth Sunday of Lent, Laetare Sunday, helps us finish the Lenten journey with Christ’s resurrection in mind. On this “Rose Sunday,” popes have walked from the Church of St. John Lateran to the Basilica of the Holy Cross with a golden rose — perhaps a symbol of the harshness of winter turning to spring. The Gathering Procession at St. Mary of Mount Carmel / Blessed Sacrament Parish re-enacted the rose procession with children.


The Mount Carmel Society hosted a Lenten Luncheon Wednesday, March 29, in the Salerno Room. "The Poor Man's Luncheon" included minestrone soup and a choice of a grilled cheese or tuna sandwich. More than $1,000 was raised for Abraham House. About 50 people attended. Here are some photos from the event.


At the 4:30 p.m. Mass on Saturday, May 13, and the 10:30 a.m. Sunday Mass on May 14, the First Communion children participated in the annual May Crowning. Photos from the 4:30 ceremony are courtesy of Terri Panuccio.


The children in the parish's Faith Formation program participated in the Palm Sunday procession at the 10:30 a.m. Mass on April 2, 2023. The procession commemorates Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem prior to his suffering death and resurrection. Palm Sunday begins the holiest of weeks in the Christian world.