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St. Rocco Parish, Cleveland, Ohio
The year 1926 will stand out in the history of Saint Rocco parish as the year when the church and school were built on the land purchased on Fulton Road. On August 22 the first stone was blessed in the presence of Joseph Smith, vicar general of the diocese, the Italian consul Valerio Valeriani, other priests and many people. The works progressed with such amazing speed that on the morning of December 16, 1926, the bishop went to the solemn blessing of the church, the school and the outbuildings, attended by an extraordinary number of people. In May 1927, ground was broken for the new parish house, The house was ready in early August. The religious moved in on the evening of the 10th, the anniversary of the founding of the Order, after friends, Italians and those of other nationalities as well, had furnished the entire house. This parish house was expanded and made more comfortable in 1935.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Cleveland, Ohio
The parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was very large, with parishioners who lived in the western-most area, four miles from the Church of Saint Rocco, where approximately 200 families lived. In 1926, an old basement was rented out which was converted into a church after the necessary cleaning and structural changes. Mass was said, confessions heard, and the first groups were organized on a regular basis there every Sunday, as of Palm Sunday 1926. Thus the church, with the approval of the bishop, became a branch or mission of Saint Rocco parish. On March 1933, property near the main street (Detroit Avenue) had been purchased in 1932. A suitable larger chapel was built there, and blessed and dedicated by Rev. McFadden the day before Ash Wednesday. In 1939, an ideal piece of land was purchased, upon which an expansion and building plan was started. The site was later enlarged by the purchase of more land in 1947. Finally in 1949, construction began on the building to be used as a school. The building was blessed on July 16, 1949 by the bishop of Cleveland, amidst the exultation of the people. Construction began on the church in 1952. It was completed and dedicated on April 19, 1953. The parish house was built between 1951 and 1952, and the religious began to reside there permanently right away. In caring for needy senior citizens. The “Villa Mercede”, a large complex of 151 apartments for senior citizens and the handicapped in need of a home, and inaugurated on September 23, 1979. The “Nolasco Housing Corporation” was formed in 1980, designed to build houses for parishioners under terms that help them buy the homes. These achievements have received praise and appreciation from the authorities of the local church and secular society, with respect for the Order, which thus acts on its charism of charity for the needy.
Our Lady of Mercy and St. Brigid Parish, LeRoy, New York
In late October 1999 Bishop Mansell met with Father Jerome Laubacker, O. de M., the Vicar Provincial for the Order of Our Lady of Mercy whose United States headquarters is based in LeRoy. He invited the religious community to consider taking over administration of the parish. The Bishop thought this move natural since the religious of the community had assisted celebrating mass at Saint Peter's for the last fifty years. After consulting with his council and with the permission of his Provincial in Rome, Father Jerome informed the Bishop that the community would be happy to serve at Saint Peter's. In the name of the community, Father Jerome nominated Father Michael Rock, O. de M. as administrator/pastor of the parish. The Bishop and his personnel board accepted this nomination and Father Michael assumed his duties at Saint Peter's in LeRoy and Saint Anthony's in Lime Rock on December 11, 1999.
The history of our parish has been filled with growth, change and renewal -- all of which has been brought about by an openness to God's graces poured out over the years and lived in the priests, religious and parishioners of Saint Peter's parish. We have grown in faith, as a family in our service of the Gospel message.
Monastery of Our Lady of Mercy (House of Studies) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The opening of the house in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was motivated not only by the desire to expand the Order to other dioceses. After much searching, the religious selected Philadelphia, where there is a diocesan seminary offering everything needed for a serious and complete formation for the priesthood, by the college seminary. Property with a house was purchased not far from Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, where the religious could follow all the formative courses for the priesthood. In a letter dated July 18, 1978 John Cardinal Krol, archbishop of Philadelphia, authorized the opening of the house. The religious arrived there on September 1, 1978. For one year, it juridically existed as a dependent of the Le Roy house, but by decree of the Master General dated August 15, 1979, it was declared a canonical house with all the rights and duties that the Constitutions granted to the other houses of the Order. The Philadelphia house is not only the house of studies, but also the center for vocational promotion, which intensified the promotional campaign directed primarily at young men from various parts of the United States, guiding them through days of reflection to which they are invited through media promotion.
Saint Peter Nolasco Residence, St. Petersburg, Florida
Our continuing desire to establish a presence in other dioceses continued in the hearts of our religious. Saint Petersburg in Florida seemed the most favorable and sure. The diocese was expanding and greatly needed chaplains and teachers. It was immediately decided to accept the bishop’s invitation. Having already obtained the authorization from the general curia (which arrived in writing on September 12, 1984), the old cathedral rectory was designated as the initial living quarters of the religious.
This foundation shows good promise for a bright future. For that reason and to provide the religious with a more comfortable home, the decision was made to leave the precarious situation of a leased home. Property was purchased on which a new residence was built, blessed by the bishop of the diocese on March 17, 1991.
Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Philadelphia, PA
In 1994, Our Lady of Lourdes celebrated its centennial year of existence, and in that year the Order of Mercy first began serving the parish. On July 1, 2004, Archbishop Justin Cardinal Rigali graciously entrusted the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes to the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy.
The Reverend Fr. James W. Mayer, O. de M. was appointed pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes on that day, at the age of 38, and was formally installed as the Eighth Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes, by Bishop Michael Burbidge on August 29, 2004.
Christmas, 2004, was a joyful and historic moment for Our Lady of Lourdes, as the parish celebrated Midnight Mass for the first time in many years, but more so as Bishop Joseph McFadden, Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia and a priest son of the parish, recently raised to the Episcopacy, returned to Lourdes to celebrate the Midnight Mass. Within one year, the Friars instilled new life into the parish with the implementation of several programs for the work of Evangelization. The upper church was air-conditioned and underwent major work or restoration to the plaster, lighting, painting, pews and altar appointments. In response to Pope John Paul II’s dedication of 2004-2005 as the Year of the Eucharist and his desire for increased devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, on the Feast of Divine Mercy, April 3, 2005, the parish began Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the Grotto Chapel of our Lady of Lourdes. Efforts were then focused on the School’s Centennial Celebration in 2008.
Mission in Kerala, India