It’s been almost two months since Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello became the spiritual leader of the Shrine Church of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Williamsburg.
Appointed to the post by Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, Gigantiello — who came from St. Bernard’s Parish in Bergen Beach, and who once served at Bay Ridge’s St. Patrick’s Church, as well as at Mary Queen of Heaven in Flatlands — was installed by DiMarzio as pastor in a ceremony held at the church, located at 275 North Eighth Street, on Sunday, June 18.
So far, Gigantiello said one of his more heartwarming experience was the renowned 12-day Festival of the Giglio, held just about a month after he arrived at the parish. The 11 a.m. mass marking the feast day had over 700 attendees, and Gigantiello was touched by the devotion he saw in the parish.
The Giglio Feast is produced to support Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, following a centuries-old tradition that continues to hold deep religious and cultural meaning for many Catholics who live in Brooklyn or are returning to ‘the old neighborhood.’
“The parish is over 130 years old, and I want to see it continue to be the center of that community. With hipsters moving in, outreach to young people as well as keeping in the history will be the most difficult part,” said Gigantiello.
For Gigantiello, who also serves the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens as vicar for development, the return to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church is something of a homecoming, because he spent a good deal of time there prior to making the decision to become a priest. Besides his responsibilities at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, he is also serving as administrator of annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish on Metropolitan Avenue.
Present for his installation were former pastors of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Monsignor David Cassato, now the pastor at St. Athanasius Church in Bensonhurst, and Father Joseph Fonti. The Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulcher and the Knights of Columbus provided honor guards for the service and former NYPD officer and tenor Daniel Rodriguez sang a beautiful rendition of the Ave Maria following communion.