UPDATED: Mount Carmel Guild celebrates ministry, legacy at annual Founders’ Day Mass

March 13, 2024 at 10:35 a.m.
Bishop O'Connell celebrates the Mount Carmel Guild's annual Founders' Day Mass March 10 in Sacred Heart Church, Trenton. At right is Msgr. Dennis Apoldite, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish and episcopal vicar of Mercer County. Trey Taylor-Norwood photo
Bishop O'Connell celebrates the Mount Carmel Guild's annual Founders' Day Mass March 10 in Sacred Heart Church, Trenton. At right is Msgr. Dennis Apoldite, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish and episcopal vicar of Mercer County. Trey Taylor-Norwood photo

By Trey Taylor Norwood

Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., joined friends and supporters of the Mount Carmel Guild to celebrate all who bring the mission of the diocesan inner-city Trenton agency to life.

On the Fourth Sunday of Lent, the day the Church marked “Rejoice Sunday,” they gathered in Sacred Heart Church, Trenton, for the Guild’s annual Founders’ Day Mass, at which Bishop O’Connell served as principal celebrant and homilist.

PHOTO GALLERY: Mount Carmel Guild Founders' Day Mass

“From the beginning, the vision of Mount Carmel Guild has been the ‘cure of poverty — head, heart and spirit,’” Bishop O’Connell said.

“When you stop to think about it, the Mount Carmel Guild gives us reason to rejoice here in Mercer County,” Bishop O’Connell said.

What Mount Carmel Guild does

Recapping that the Guild was founded in 1920 by Bishop Thomas J. Walsh to meet the needs of the poor and disadvantaged in the Greater Mercer County region, Bishop O’Connell said, “Since that time, the Guild has held true to its mission” through its two main programs. The Home Health Nursing program provides in-home patient monitoring, assistance with medications and coordinated care with families and doctors’ offices, and the Community Support program provides emergency food and utility assistance to prevent homelessness.

Guild mission members and those affiliated with the agency, including current staff, board members and volunteers, were among those in attendance at the Mass.

“I love attending the Founders’ Day Mass,” said Brenda Rascher, a board member, parishioner of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, West Trenton, and diocesan executive director of Catholic Social Services.

“My background in housing and nonprofit law, as well as the Holy Spirit, helped me find my path with Mount Carmel Guild,” Rascher said, reflecting on her more than six-year affiliation with the Guild. “I truly believe my time with Mount Carmel Guild has been the Holy Spirit in action.”

What Mary Inkrot, the Guild’s executive director, loves most about her work is “knowing that we’re helping those who genuinely need help.”

“There are so many people who genuinely just need a helping hand, and I’m glad that we’re able to do that,” said Inkrot, who attends St. James Parish, Pennington.

Volunteers in the community

Sister of St. Joseph Pat McGinley, a Guild board member, shared various examples of outreach. She told of ways the community in St. Ann Parish, Lawrenceville, has assisted over the years, including with supplies of cookies, coffee and toys at Christmastime.

Inkrot spoke of the Easter baskets prepared by the students of St. Gregory the Great Academy, Hamiton Square.

“The Guild helps everyone of all backgrounds,” said Daren Miller, director of external affairs. He noted that the agency serves a large, culturally diverse population.

Joseph Olivieri of St. James Parish, Pennington, a 10-year volunteer, reflected on why it’s meaningful for him to attend the Founders’ Day Mass each year.

“It’s one of the few times all the volunteers get to see each other,” he said, then noted that his initial motivation to begin volunteering 10 years ago was rooted in the knowledge that he was going to be of help to others.

Sister Pat said she appreciated how each year the Founders’ Day Mass provides a time for the Mount Carmel Guild community to celebrate its long legacy.

“It’s an institution within the community,” she said. “Not many organizations last long enough to be considered an institution, let alone last for 104 years and doing all the good that [the Guild] does.

“I think that alone is worth celebrating,” Sister Pat said.


Mary Inkrot, Mount Carmel Guild executive director, addresses the gathering after Communion. Trey Taylor-Norwood photos

 



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Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., joined friends and supporters of the Mount Carmel Guild to celebrate all who bring the mission of the diocesan inner-city Trenton agency to life.

On the Fourth Sunday of Lent, the day the Church marked “Rejoice Sunday,” they gathered in Sacred Heart Church, Trenton, for the Guild’s annual Founders’ Day Mass, at which Bishop O’Connell served as principal celebrant and homilist.

PHOTO GALLERY: Mount Carmel Guild Founders' Day Mass

“From the beginning, the vision of Mount Carmel Guild has been the ‘cure of poverty — head, heart and spirit,’” Bishop O’Connell said.

“When you stop to think about it, the Mount Carmel Guild gives us reason to rejoice here in Mercer County,” Bishop O’Connell said.

What Mount Carmel Guild does

Recapping that the Guild was founded in 1920 by Bishop Thomas J. Walsh to meet the needs of the poor and disadvantaged in the Greater Mercer County region, Bishop O’Connell said, “Since that time, the Guild has held true to its mission” through its two main programs. The Home Health Nursing program provides in-home patient monitoring, assistance with medications and coordinated care with families and doctors’ offices, and the Community Support program provides emergency food and utility assistance to prevent homelessness.

Guild mission members and those affiliated with the agency, including current staff, board members and volunteers, were among those in attendance at the Mass.

“I love attending the Founders’ Day Mass,” said Brenda Rascher, a board member, parishioner of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, West Trenton, and diocesan executive director of Catholic Social Services.

“My background in housing and nonprofit law, as well as the Holy Spirit, helped me find my path with Mount Carmel Guild,” Rascher said, reflecting on her more than six-year affiliation with the Guild. “I truly believe my time with Mount Carmel Guild has been the Holy Spirit in action.”

What Mary Inkrot, the Guild’s executive director, loves most about her work is “knowing that we’re helping those who genuinely need help.”

“There are so many people who genuinely just need a helping hand, and I’m glad that we’re able to do that,” said Inkrot, who attends St. James Parish, Pennington.

Volunteers in the community

Sister of St. Joseph Pat McGinley, a Guild board member, shared various examples of outreach. She told of ways the community in St. Ann Parish, Lawrenceville, has assisted over the years, including with supplies of cookies, coffee and toys at Christmastime.

Inkrot spoke of the Easter baskets prepared by the students of St. Gregory the Great Academy, Hamiton Square.

“The Guild helps everyone of all backgrounds,” said Daren Miller, director of external affairs. He noted that the agency serves a large, culturally diverse population.

Joseph Olivieri of St. James Parish, Pennington, a 10-year volunteer, reflected on why it’s meaningful for him to attend the Founders’ Day Mass each year.

“It’s one of the few times all the volunteers get to see each other,” he said, then noted that his initial motivation to begin volunteering 10 years ago was rooted in the knowledge that he was going to be of help to others.

Sister Pat said she appreciated how each year the Founders’ Day Mass provides a time for the Mount Carmel Guild community to celebrate its long legacy.

“It’s an institution within the community,” she said. “Not many organizations last long enough to be considered an institution, let alone last for 104 years and doing all the good that [the Guild] does.

“I think that alone is worth celebrating,” Sister Pat said.


Mary Inkrot, Mount Carmel Guild executive director, addresses the gathering after Communion. Trey Taylor-Norwood photos

 


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