top of page

Parish History


Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish was established in 1953 by the Carmelite Fathers under the leadership of its first pastor, Father Norbert Piper.  The parish school opened the following year, and from that time has been beautifully guided by the Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia of Nashville.  

During the same period, the Poor Clares stablished a monastery just down the road from the parish, and for nearly 50 years were a part of the religious life of the parish and community.  Thus, Mount Carmel has been shaped by three different religious communities throughout its existence, a distinction that is highly unique in the life of our Diocese.

At the time the parish was established, there was a concern that it might be too far from the town of Newport News and its growing industry to draw a crowd of Catholics for Mass and School.  For the first decade, the parish worshipped in an unfinished wing of the school, until the gym was finished and served for worship for nearly 25 years.  The current Church building was built and dedicated in 1986.  The large Church with unique architecture has continued to serve the people of the parish for the celebration of Holy Mass, with a seating capacity of over 800 people.  In 2004, a large parish hall, named after the patron Saint Michael the Archangel was built to serve the needs of the parish and wider community.  It is currently used seven days a week to minister to the people of our parish and provide conference services to community and civic organizations.  It is also used regularly for our expansive ministry to the poor of our community, serving the poor and homeless in the winter months, and in partnership with Bon Secours Catholic Health Ministry year-round.

Minor renovations were done to the Church building in recent years, providing a more reverent and prayerful chapel for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, a clean, well designed nursery for children during Mass, and updated and spacious restroom facilities.

The Pastors of Our Lady of Mount Carmel:

Father Norbert Piper, O Carm. (1953)

Father Edmund Welch, O Carm. (1963)

Father Rudolph Flanik, O Carm. (1966)

Father Jack Larkin, O Carm. (1975)

Father Lucas Schmidt, O Carm. (1981)

Father Jordan Rooney, O Carm. (1987)

Monsignor Michael McCarron (1990)

Father Ken Wood (2005)

Father John David Ramsey (2012)

Father Dan Beeman (2019)


"We Find Christ Here, We Bring Christ to the World," has been the guiding mission of OLMC for many years.  Jesus teaches us that we are to be formed to be like Him through the reception of the Sacraments of the Church, and then, after being changed by this encounter to take our faith to those who do not yet know Him and His Holy Church.

bottom of page