By 1890, Italian immigrants began settling in Bridgeport to work in the mills and factories along the Schuylkill River. With more than 5,000 residents by 1923, the need for an Italian parish was evident. Rev. John Colantonio was sent to establish the parish, and in 1924, construction began on the lower church. Shortly thereafter, Bridgeport s oldest and longest-running event was created in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Feast. Since its beginning the feast has continued to be a family tradition. The vintage images in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Italian Feast feature that tradition and the thousands of visitors who have made a pilgrimage to Bridgeport each year to celebrate the feast.