Our Lady of Mount Carmel's Church (Poughkeepsie, New York)

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The Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Lady of Mt Carmel RCC Poughk jeh.JPG
Our Lady of Mt Carmel Roman Catholic Church, (formerly St. Peter's) in 2009, north of the Poughkeepsie Railroad Station.
General information
Architectural styleBaroque Revival
Town or cityPoughkeepsie, New York
CountryUnited States of America
Construction startedMarch 1910 (for church)[1] The church has a Facebook page.[2]
CompletedOctober 12, 1910 (for church)[1]
November 1913 (for rectory)[1]
Cost$27,500 (for 1910 church and 1913 rectory)[1]
ClientRoman Catholic Archdiocese of New York
Technical details
Structural systemMasonry red brick and white marble

The Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a Roman Catholic parish church under the authority of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, located in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, New York.


In the early 1900s the Italian population of the city of Poughkeepsie had increased substantially, and Rev. Joseph F. Sheahan, pastor of St. Peter's recognized that these parishioners would be better served by a priest who spoke their own language and was familiar with the communities customs. Sheahan arranged for an Italian priest to come in and celebrate a separate mass for the Italians in the lower church. Unfortunately, this was interpreted by many in the Italian community as the Irish having relegated them to the cellar. This was a contributing factor in the Italian community organizing to build their own church.[3]

The parish was incorporated on February 19, 1908 out of the parish of St. Peter's, Poughkeepsie. Property was purchased June 1909 for the church from John I. Platt on the west side of Cataract Place, on what is now Mount Carmel Place.[4] and ground was broken the following March. The cornerstone was laid May 1, 1910 by Bishop Cusack and the church was dedicated on October 12, 1910 by the Mgr. Lavelle, V.G.. A rectory was built November 1913. The parish was built for the Italian population on Poughkeepsie and had (in 1913) 245 families of about 1,700 souls. The first pastor was the Rev. N. Pavone, who was born at Trivento, Italy, on August 18, 1878, ordained at a seminary there December 23, 1901, and studied at La Minerva University in Rome. From 1903 to 1904, he was a bishop's secretary in Trevienta, then he taught at the seminary at Larino before arriving in New York on December 20, 1905 where he was assigned to St. Peter's in Poughkeepsie.[1]

In 1932 Father Joseph Maria Pernicone was appointed pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.[5] In 1935 Father Pernacone established Our Lady of Mount Carmel School. The school closed in 2007 due to declining enrollment. Two years later, the school building was reopened under the direction of Astor Services and now functions as a school for special-needs students.

The congregation moved into the former St. Peter’s Church at 97 Mill Street, when St. Peter's parish re-located to Hyde Park, NY. Astor Services also occupies the original Church building on Mount Carmel Place.[6]

In 1994 Mount Carmel pastor, Father Richard LaMorte rediscovered the original paintings of the Stations of the Cross commissioned by Father James Nilan for old St. Peter's. Removed during subsequent renovations, Father LaMorte found them and had them restored, and the parish held a celebration on the centennial anniversary of their dedication in 1894.[3]

Many second and third generation Italians who grew up in the Mount Carmel neighborhood, moved into the Town of Poughkeepsie but continued to return to Mount Carmel as their neighborhood church. The area has been home to many of Poughkeepsie's new immigrant populations, starting with the Irish, later the Italians. Still home to several Italian restaurants and bakeries, the area is widely referred to as Poughkeepsie's Little Italy. Each June Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish hosts the St. Anthony's Street Festival.

Parish records for the Church of the Nativity, formerly on Union Street, remain in the City of Poughkeepsie at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.[7]

Parish records for St John the Baptist, formerly located at 1 Grand Street, and which closed in 2007, are also at Mt. Carmel.


"Old Mt. Carmel"[edit]

Mt Carmel District

"It is a red brick and marble structure, in the Roman style, and seats 400."[1] The rectangular-on-plan Baroque Revival red brick church with marble trim is composed of a street-facing three-bay front facade, and a five-bay name. Parish tradition holds that much of the brick for the church was actually acquired by the Italian laborers working on the railroad, although it unclear whether this is true and if so, if the bricks were left over, thrown away bricks, or bricks that were supposed to be used for a job.[3]

Low-pitched roof concealed to forward bay by painted timber balustraded parapet. Two-stage painted timber square-on-plan tower rises out of center facade bay with octagonal second stages surmounted by a bellcast-needle-like spire: both stage louvred. Red brick walls detailed with marble platband plinths, cornices, and parapet coping. Round-headed double-height stained-glass windows to each bay with separating pilasters detailed with limestone capitals.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Remigius Lafort, S.T.D., Censor, The Catholic Church in the United States of America: Undertaken to Celebrate the Golden Jubilee of His Holiness, Pope Pius X. Volume 3: The Province of Baltimore and the Province of New York, Section 1: Comprising the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn, Buffalo and Ogdensburg Together with some Supplementary Articles on Religious Communities of Women.. (New York City: The Catholic Editing Company, 1914), p.428.
  2. ^ [1] (Accessed 12 Apr 2011) Archived February 1, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b c La Morte, Richard. "Walkway Over the Hudson Oral Histories", Hudson River Institute
  4. ^ Hasbrouck, Frank, ed. The History of Dutchess County New York, p647, S.A. Mathieu, Poughkeepsie, NY 1909
  5. ^ "Mass For Marconi Celebrated Here". The New York Times. 1937-07-28.
  6. ^ Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Archives, Archdiocese of New York

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°42′33″N 73°56′13″W / 41.70917°N 73.93694°W / 41.70917; -73.93694