Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Camden

Our Mass for the newly established parish for Italians in Camden was celebrated in 1903 by Father Michael Dilelsi, the first resident pastor. The Italian community continued to grow, and in 1904 the parish purchased the properties at 912-914 and 918 South Fourth Street for the erection of a new church. At the same time, a parish plant, at the present site of the parish complex, had been the location of Saints Peter and Paul which had relocated to the site on Spruce Street above Broadway. Mt. Carmel reconsidered its former plans and realized that the acquisition of this property would be more advantageous to the growing parish. The transfer of the plant, which consisted of a wooden church, a rectory, and the church hall, was completed in 1907.

Shortly thereafter, the wooden church was torn down and the present one built that year. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel was extensively destroyed by a fire, and beginning with the 1972-73 school year, St. Mary's (Cathedral) and Mt. Carmel schools were consolidated as one school, comprising grades one through six, and housed in the former Cathedral Academy facility at the Cathedral parish complex. Seventh and eighth grades for the inner-city schools were opened at the same facility and given the title "Center City Catholic". In November 1974, the Benson Street complex was closed, and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and Our Lady of Fatima parishes were united under one pastor at the Mt. Carmel facilities at Fourth and Division Streets. Both parishes continue to exist, but most Masses are attended by Hispanics with small numbers of people of Italian descent.


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