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Father Joseph Eddy installed as Our Lady of Mount Carmel West pastor

News of the Diocese

February 20, 2019

Sunday, Feb. 17 was a day of rejoicing for both Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish on Cleveland’s West Side and the Mercedarian community. The parish and school are staffed by Mercedarian friars and religious sisters. The friars just concluded the celebration of their 800th anniversary year last month.

Auxiliary Bishop emeritus Roger Gries celebrated the Mass, with the new pastor, Father Joseph Eddy, O. de M., Father Michael Rock, O. de M., provincial superior of the Mercedarians, and several other Mercedarian friars as concelebrants.

Father Joseph Eddy installed as Our Lady of Mount Carmel West pastor

Father Rock introduced Father Eddy to Bishop Gries, who was representing Cleveland Bishop Nelson Perez at the liturgy.

During his homily, the bishop reflected on the beatitudes, which were a focus of the day’s Gospel. He talked about happiness, which is a recurring theme of the beatitudes.

“We are happy to be with God or happy to know that is our destination that was set at baptism,” he said, referring to our union with God after death. “Sometimes I’m not sure where I’m going, so I plug the information into my GPS. At baptism, we set our destination,” Bishop Gries said, indicating the sacrament is similar to a religious GPS.

He said that as Christians and Catholics, we are disciples and missionaries. We must demonstrate this during our lives, the bishop said, “by standing up for the vulnerable and standing up for God.”

He said when he was flying back from a recent trip to Florida, the pilot of the airplane had the lives of the more than 100 passengers in his hands. “It was his job to get them safely to their destination so they could go on with their lives. Father Joe is the new pilot here,” he said referring to OLMC. “The parishioners are your passengers,” he told Father Eddy. “Bishop Perez entrusted them to you. You are to guide them spiritually. And woe to you if you think you can do it by yourself. Jesus is there to walk with you. We’re reminded of that in the Eucharist and in the Mass when we say, ‘Do this in remembrance of me.’”

Father Joseph Eddy installed as Our Lady of Mount Carmel West pastor

Bishop Gries reminded Father Eddy that he said he is willing to give his life for the parish to help parishioners find Christ. “The job is not easy. The parishioners are your blessing and God will bless you all. God bless you, Father Eddy, for accepting the challenge,” he added.

The Mass included Father Eddy leading the congregation in the profession of faith and signing documents that formalized his appointment as pastor.

Among those at the Mass were members of the parish council, finance council and parish staff, all of whom pledged to help the new pastor with his duties.

Father Eddy’s family, including his parents, Tom and Mary, his sister, brother-in-law and their four children, travelled from Pennsylvania for the occasion. He is a native of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

After Mass, Father Eddy made a few remarks and expressed thanks to his father whom he said “sacrificed and taught me what it is to be a father.”

Father Joseph Eddy installed as Our Lady of Mount Carmel West pastor

He also got a laugh from the congregation when he referenced the Italian heritage of OLMC and suggested that “if you say my full name really fast – Father Joseph Thomas Eddy – it almost sounds Italian.”

A reception in the school gym followed the installation Mass.

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