Our Lady of Mount Carmel


In the late 19th century, as immigrants from Roseto, Valfortore Italy began to arrive in America, there was an urgency to establish a church to continue the practice of their Roman Catholic faith. Given their limited financial means, they would travel to Easton to St. Bernards for Mass, or if a priest would come through the area, Mass would be said in someones residence. With a strong desire to establish their own church, in 1893, a small framed structure was built on the site of the current church and Our Lady of Mount Carmel was established. As the only Catholic Church in the Slate Belt area, the congregation grew quickly and the small structure had to be enlarged twice in just a few years. After 3 years, the Diocese of Philadelphia, sent the parish their first regular priest, Father Matteo Vachero. After a few months, unfortunealy Fr. Vachero was called back to Philadelphia.

In 1897 the prayers of this small congregation were answered with the arrival of their first resident priest, Father Pasquale DeNisco. Father DeNisco was educated in London and spoke Engish and Italian and was more than a pastor to this community.

Fr. DeNisco helped with employment, education, citizenship and general adaptation to their new country. Fr. DeNisco was a staple in the community for over 10 years. Unfortuneatly, Fr. DeNisco passed away suddenly in 1911 following appendectomy surgery. Fr. DeNisco left an indelible mark on not only Roseto, but the Slate Belt in general and beyond. The local boy scout camp was named after him, as well as an ordained street in the borough of Roseto. The Knights of Columbus Council also paid tribute to Fr. DeNisco by naming their local coucil after him. Succeding Fr. DeNisco was Fr. Luigi Fiorello for a few years and he continued to build on the foundation Fr. DeNisco established.

In 1915 Fr. James Lavezzari became the next pastor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and he established the first permanent rectory located on a section of land between 6th Street and Division streets in Bangor. The rectory served the parish priests until 1959, when a new rectory was aquired adjacent to the church property. In 1968 the current rectory was built. Fr. Lavezzari established the church Boy Scout Troop (Troop 36) in 1918 and served as it’s first Scoutmaster. In 1920 Fr. Peter Montiani became the next Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.


Fr. Montiani, took on the mission of building a new church. Fr. Montiani hired a local contractor and signed a contract to build the new church for a cost $68,543.55. Construction started in 1923 and was completed in 1925 with the first mass being held in the spring of that year. Fr. Montiani also started the tradition of the Big Time program book and the Celebration Queen during his tenure.

Fr. Montiani was succeeded in 1932 by Fr. Joseph Ducci and under his leadership, the establishment of the parochial schools began to take shape. In 1950 however Fr. Ducci requested to be relieved of his pastoral duties and Fr. Gennaro Leone, who had been associate pastor, was named as Pastor.

Fr. Leone continued the work of Fr. Ducci and saw the establishment of Pius X High School with it’s first graduating class in 1955. Fr. Leone remained pastor until 1974 when due to declining health, he was named Pastor Emeritus a title he held until his death in 1982. Fr. Stephen India was named pastor and succeeded Fr. Leone until 1993 when he was re-assigned. Fr. James Prior succeeded Fr. India as pastor from 1993 until 2019. Our current pastor is Fr. Joseph Kanimea,MSC.

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