Our Lady of Fatima, Camden

The Hispanic people of Camden and surrounding area were first served by the Cathedral ofthe Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Camden. During World War II, Campbell Soup Company of Camden hired some 300 men from Puerto Rico to work in its facilities. By the end of the war, most of these men had brought their families to the Camden area. At the same time, farmers in South Jersey were in need of manpower and brought workers from Puerto Rico as migrants. By 1953, about 500 Spanish-speaking families were residing in Camden, and several thousand migrant workers were employed in the farms. On February 7, 1953, Father Roque Longo, an Italian priest of the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, who had worked in Argentina, began at the invitation of Bishop Eustace to attend to the spiritual needs of Hispanics in Camden. On April 29, 1953, Bishop Eustace erected a national parish for the Spanish-speaking of the city of Camden. In November 1974, the Benson Street facilities were 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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