Early History

To understand the early history of the Church of St. Simon Stock and the role the Carmelite Fathers have played in its care and development one must recall that the United States in the Nineteenth Century and even in the early part of the Twentieth Century was regarded as mission territory.

It was then as missionaries that the six Irish Carmelite Fathers came from Dublin in 1889 to establish the parish of Our Lady of Scapular Mount Carmel on East 29th Street in lower Manhattan.  They were carrying out Christ’s words to the first priests recorded in St. Mark: “Go forth to every part of the world, and proclaim the Good News.”  Previously this new parish had been served by the Church of St. Stephen.  Later these Carmelite Fathers with others were also to organize the parishes in Tarrytown and Otisville, and later at Middletown, New York.  The Otisville parish also included outlying missions in Orange and Sullivan Countries, New York.

In September, 1919, Father O’Connor, accompanied by the Reverend William G. O’Farrell, O. Carm., a young priest from the Church of Our Lady of the Scapular, attended the Provincial Chapter in Ireland.  In the following month word reached America that Father O’Farrell had been appointed first pastor of the proposed church.

Now the task before Father  O’Connor and Father O’Farrell was to fix upon a specific, appropriate and convenient site in the West Bronx for the new church.  They finally decided upon the purchase of a two-story frame house located in the hill of the southwest corner of 182nd Street and Valentine Avenue.  This new parish included the corner sections of four neighboring parishes: Our Lady of Mercy, St. Nicholas of Tolentine, St. Joseph, and Holy Spirit.  Father O’Farrell found both a happy reception and cooperation among the clergy and people of the surrounding parishes.

At last, on Palm Sunday, March 28, 1920, the first Mass was offered in the two-story frame house and the new parish was named to honor the Carmelite saint of the brown scapular, St. Simon Stock.  About five hundred people attended all the Masses on this memorable day.

The old priory was affectionately known to the parishioners as “Carmel Hill.”  Ground for the basement church was broken on February 1, 1921.  Hard rock in the excavation slowed work for a while.  The construction of the church, however was eventually finished and Archbishop Patrick Hayes presided at the ceremony attending the laying of the cornerstone on the first Sunday of October, 1921.

Father O’Farrell, dressed in the white and brown habit of the Carmelites, led his parishioners in solemn procession.  The Most Reverend Hilary M. Doswald, O. Carm., former president of St. Cyril College, Chicago, and future Prior General of the Carmelite Order, preached the sermon.

At the banquet that evening Father O’ Farrell spoke of the part that the Carmelite Order and the Church had played in the founding of the of the parish.  He spoke sincerely: “The inspiration that made me give the best I had, the inspiration that urged me, a man to do a man’s work for the new parish.  I received from the Church and from my Order.  Through the training of my novitiate even a trivial duty assumes for me a soul, and became a living thing.  Equipped with this talisman of Carmel, I shall gladly give my best again to the service of the sick, should my superior, Father O’Connor, call me back to Bellevue Hospital.  I hope that then you will give my successor the support that then you will give my successor the support that you so generously gave to me.”  These words for Father O’Farrell reflect his keen understanding of the idea that priests lead a life dedicated to the work of the universal Church whenever that works lies.

Parish History

Pastors of our Parish

Fr. Nelson Belizario

2003 - Current

Fr. Mike Kissane

1998 - 2003

1988 - 1992

Fr. Ruben Rodriguez

1992 - 1998

Fr. Patrick McGuigan

1983 - 1988

Fr. James Goulding

1982 - 1983

Fr. Vincent Ciorciari

1980 - 1981

Fr. Martin Miller

1974 - 1979

Fr. John Parsons

1968 - 1973

Fr. Gerard McCarthy

1961 - 1968

Fr. Mel Daly

1933 - 1961

Fr. Elias Holland

1933 (10 months)

Fr. Patrick Russell

1931 - 1933

Fr. Dionysius Flanagan

1929 - 1931


Daily Mass Schedule

Monday - Friday

            8:30 am (Spanish)

            9:30 am (English)

Friday Evening

            7:30 pm (Spanish)


            9:00 am (Bilingual)

Sunday Masses


           6:00 pm (Spanish)


            8:30 am (Bilingual)

            11:00 am (Spanish)

            12:30 pm (English)

Parish Contact

Parish Phone:

             (718) 367 - 1251


            (718) 933 - 8822

Office Hours:

Monday - Friday

             9:00 am - 9:00 pm


             9:30 am - 8:30 pm


             9:30 am - 2:00 pm

School Contact

Phone:          (718) 367 - 0453

Fax:           (718) 733 - 1441

Saint Simon Stock

Head Start

Little Angels

Phone:          (718) 933 - 9471


Fr. Louis Gerhard

1926 - 1929

Fr. Elias Vella


1925 - 1926

Fr. William G. O’Farrell


1920 - 1925