MONTCLAIR, NJ - The Montclair Township Council adopted a resolution during the Tuesday Night Council meeting to support the efforts to keep Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church (OLMC) doors open. Now one week later, church parishioners are hosting a meeting on Tuesday, June 28 to discuss progress and next steps.
The meeting will take place at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church at 7:30PM.
Agenda Items are as follows:
o Attorney’s findings
o Assessment of Property
o OLMC Monies
o Living Stones information to share
Parishioners are planning to march in the Montclair Fourth of July Parade and also hold a Rally at the Archdiocese in Newark on July 10.
On May 18, parishioners at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Montclair were informed by the archdiocese that they must merge together into the congregation at the Church of the Immaculate Conception. As a combined congregation, parishioners were also told that Immaculate Conception will be renamed Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
The Archdiocese of Newark holds the cards for these two churches and parishioners at both locations have been petitioning the Pope and Archbishop John Myers to reverse the decision.
The Church of the Immaculate Conception officials state that this merger or renaming will not affect the Immaculate Conception High School.
Parishioners are optimistic since they have seen the ground swell of support reverse a decision in the past. As in the case of Immaculate Conception High School in 2014, community support and fundraising efforts helped reverse the decision of the Archdiocese of Newark to close the school. Now the enrollment is thriving, school officials confirm.
Now with the Township Council as a new ally, parishioners at both churches are hoping to successfully overturn the decision before the decision takes affect in September.
Retired Chief of Police Thomas Russo has also joined the fight the save OLMC. He has penned an open letter stating that he thinks the decision is tied to money or greed on the part of the Archdiocese of Newark.
He wrote as one of his theories of the closure, "OLMC is located one block from the Glen Ridge Ave train station with direct access into NY City, it is a valuable real estate property for developers."
Currently, there is not a buyer of the OLMC property and the OLMC property is not being marketed at this time. However, future decisions to sell the property can be revisited.
Marguerite Decarlo spoke on behalf of OLMC during the Tuesday night Township Council meeting.
The parishioners at Immaculate Conception were told during the May 18 meeting that OLMC owes approximately $96,000 of that must be paid back to the diocese. They were then told that the remaining proceeds from the sale of the Mt. Carmel property would be given to the new Mother Teresa of Calcutta Parish. Although there are currently no plans to sell OLMC, if it were to be sold, the proceeds would be given to the combined parish.
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