St. Mary of Mount Carmel Church

St. Mary of Mount Carmel Church in Fancher, Wisconsin

St. Mary of Mount Carmel Church in Fancher, Wisconsin

This gorgeous Catholic Church was founded by Polish immigrants in eastern Portage County. The original building was destroyed by fire, this building was completed in 1904 in a Neo-Gothic design. I understand much of the construction was accomplished by local parishioners.

Mount Carmel is in northern Israel and is the site where the Carmalites (a Catholic religious order) were founded during the 12 century. The Carmelite order grew to be one of the major Catholic religious orders worldwide.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, appeared to an early Carmalite leader and gave him a brown scapular to be used as a part of his monastic habit (the outfit that monks wear). The scapular is a modified version of Mary’s own garment. It symbolizes her special protection.

According to the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship, the Brown Scapular is

“an external sign of the filial relationship established between the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother and Queen of Mount Carmel, and the faithful who entrust themselves totally to her protection, who have recourse to her maternal intercession, who are mindful of the primacy of the spiritual life and the need for prayer.”

For centuries the Carmelites have seen themselves as specially related to Mary. Their great saints and theologians have promoted devotion to her and often championed the mystery of her Immaculate Conception.

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