Our Parish Heritage, Part 4: Pizzoglio a man of action

This is the fourth 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


When Father William Pizzoglio became pastor in 1934, the parish had 2,035 families and 12,700 parishioners.

His first endeavor was to conduct a parish census that reflected that the congregation consisted of 2,035 families and 12,700 parishioners. Father Pizzoglio’s primary goal was to nurture the spiritual needs of both young and old, and so it was that catechism classes were expanded and religious instruction classes intensified for public school children.

Another noteworthy task undertaken by him was the decoration and painting of the church in preparation for the 40th anniversary in 1936. Professor Antonio D’ Ambrosio of New York City was commissioned to decorate and paint the church. Three new marble altars were designed and installed by the DaPrato Firm of New York.

In 1939, Father Pizzoglio, who was a great lover of music and a composer, installed a new organ in the choir loft of the church.

Father Pizzoglio also opened a clinic for children on Elizabeth Street operated by the Utica Visiting Nurses Association, with the church incurring all costs.

When World War II broke out, Pizzoglio kept in touch with the 3,000 parishioners drafted into the armed services and established a day care center for the children of the wives left behind who had to work outside the home during the war.

Father Pizzoglio left our parish after 17 years of service, but upon his death in 1973, his body returned here to lie in state for one last visit before burial in St. Agnes Cemetery.

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

Photo above: Father Pizzoglio celebrating his 29th anniversary with Rufus Cavallo, Dominick Timpano and Utica Mayor Boyd Golder.