On Saturday, May 26th, family and friends from across the country and many local parishioners packed St. Simon Stock Church in the Bronx, New York to celebrate the 50th anniversary of ordination for Nelson Belizario, OCarm. Many members of the Chicago and New York Carmelite provinces were in attendance.
The two-hour Mass was enhanced by a very lively and spectacular Spanish choir and several individuals singing meditation hymns after communion. The Offertory procession was enlarged beyond the usual presentation of bread and wine to include a variety of gifts for Fr. Nelson, such as a papal blessing and a rosary made out of a lei of roses “for his vocation, ministry, friendship and pastoral style of forgiving, comforting and blessing.”
Following the Mass, a huge buffet of food was enjoyed in the parish hall and on surrounding street sidewalks. Parishioners planned and staffed the entire celebration. Fr. Nelson, for his part, definitely enjoyed looking back on all the diverse ministries the Lord and the Province have called him to. Congratulations Fr. Nelson!