Our parish heritage, Part 3: Formia establishes school, convent

(Above: Mount Carmel School Class of 1921, the last class to graduate when Father Joseph Forma was pastor of Mount Carmel.)

This is the third in a series of articles highlighting the history of our parish leading to its 125th anniversary. Previous articles and issues of “More Good News” are available at


Father Joseph Formia fostered the growth of the parish by establishing a parochial school and convincing Joseph Tomaino, a prominent parishioner to donate a home next to the church for use as a residence for the nuns who taught in the new school.

A.J. Valentini

After 18 years at the helm, Father Formia returned to his native Italy and passed away, befittingly, on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, July 16, 1942.

On June 21, 1921, Father John Marchegiani became pastor of our parish. He was responsible for many repairs to the existing buildings and had a corridor from the rectory to the sacristy built. He was not shy about contributing his own manual labor to his many projects.

At the suggestion of Bishop Grimes, who had visited Mount Carmel and noted its well-attended services, not only was the church enlarged by two naves, the basement was lowered and made into an auditorium and the convent was enlarged.

In 1933, Marchegiani left Mount Carmel to become Provincial Superior of the Eastern Province of the Scalbrini Fathers in New York City.

Source: History of St. Mary of Mount Carmel (prepared by the History Committee for the 1996 centennial celebration)