Submitted by Fran Perritano

UTICA — In normal times, the famous St. Mary of Mount Carmel/Blessed Sacrament Italian Festival would have taken place the weekend of July 16-18, with hundreds of people from far and wide gathering on the parish grounds in East Utica for three days of fun, food, and friendship.

Well, we all know it’s not yet quite normal, but parishioners still were able to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the parish’s 125th anniversary with a special celebration and a pasta dinner on Sunday, July 18.

Father Jim Cesta, pastor, concelebrated the 10:30 a.m. Sunday Mass with former pastor and native son Father Joseph Salerno, and former Mount Carmel parishioner and now pastor of Historic Old St. John’s, Father Tom Servatius.

At the Mass, four women older than 90 were honored for their decades of dedication to the parish: Palma DeSarro, 100; Antoinette LaPaglia, 100; Rosemarie Chiffy, 94; and Vicki Perritano, 91.

After Mass, 150 people attended a pasta dinner under the tent in the parking lot. Proceeds benefited the CNY Veterans Outreach Center.

Also, during the parish’s nine-week Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, food items were collected and donated to Mother Marianne’s Soup Kitchen at St. Joseph-St. Patrick Parish in West Utica.

Pictured above, the statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is carried to the sanctuary at the beginning of the 10:30 a.m. Mass Sunday, July 18. Visit to view a photo gallery from the event and learn more about the parish.

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