Each year, the Church throughout the world prepares for the celebration of Easter by entering into a forty-day period of reflection and renewal centered on the spiritual works of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Marked with the “Sign of the Cross” in ashes, we begin this “pilgrimage” with the reminder to “repent and believe” for “we are dust and unto dust we shall return.” By works of penance and charity, we set our hearts on the heavenly kingdom and strive to deepen our faith by loving God and our neighbor.
This year the parishes of the Camden Diocese invite you to make your Lenten journey a true pilgrimage by participating in the many Masses and spiritual exercises being offered. On each day of Lent parishes are designated as “stations” of prayer. The parishes extend an invitation to the faithful throughout the diocese to make a visit and participate in scheduled activities. Your participation may take several forms: actual (physically visit the parish), virtual (visit the parish’s website), and/or spiritual (pray for the priests and parishioners of a given parish). No matter how you participate, the hope is that by uniting in prayer and works of charity Catholics in South Jersey will be renewed in spirit and become more faithful disciples of the Lord Jesus.
From Bishop Galante’s letter to pastors:
Pope Benedict reminded us in 2008: “Each year, Lent offers us a providential opportunity to deepen the meaning and value of our Christian lives, and it stimulates us to rediscover the mercy of God so that we, in turn, become more merciful toward our brothers and sisters. In the Lenten period, the Church makes it her duty to propose some specific tasks that accompany the faithful concretely in this process of interior renewal: these are prayer, fasting and almsgiving.”
For Lent 2011, I would like to propose a program for the Diocese of Camden. Parish renewal has been a priority of our diocese. As part of that ongoing effort, I would like to encourage you to participate in our upcoming diocesan Lenten practice “These Forty Days: A Diocesan Pilgrimage”.
In that spirit, the purpose of “These Forty Days: A Diocesan Pilgrimage” is to foster a more cohesive diocesan identity among parishes, especially given the recent restructuring, while at the same time cooperating to provide a variety of spiritual exercises in this season of prayer, fasting and almsgiving that lead to a renewal of faith.
May this Lenten season spark ongoing renewal in our parishes and in the Catholic people of South Jersey.
Wednesday, March 9 (Ash Wednesday)
Cathedral Parish of the Immaculate Conception, Camden
Mass at 7:55 a.m.
Bishop celebrates Mass at 12:05 p.m.
(Ashes will be distributed at each Mass)
Please consult your parish bulletin and/or websites
for a full schedule of Masses and services with the distribution of ashes.
Thursday, March 10
Holy Angels Parish, Woodbury
Mass at 6:45 a.m. (St. Patrick); 7:00 a.m. (St. Matthew); 9:00 a.m. (St. Patrick)
“Sermon on the Mount” performed by Frank Runyeon
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Holy Angels Parish Worship Center
+ or +
St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Mays Landing
Mass at 7:00 a.m.
Part One of Weekly Reflections Series
7:00 p.m. (Church)
(This series continues each Thursday evening through April 7)
Friday, March 11
Saints Peter and Paul Parish, Turnersville
Mass at 9:00 a.m.
Stations of the Cross at 7:00 p.m.
Christ the King Parish, Haddonfield
Mass at 8:00 a.m. and noon
Lenten Series “Walk with Jesus”
(continues for five weeks)
Soup at 6:15 p.m. (reservations requested); Evening Prayer at 7:15 p.m.;
Reflection at 7:30 p.m.
All Parishes of the Diocese
Please check your local parish bulletin and/or website
for a full schedule of Lenten services and Stations of the Cross.
Please note that participation in a parish Lenten supper requires
the courtesy of pre-registering so that proper preparations may be made.
Saturday, March 12
Saint Monica Parish, Atlantic City
Charismatic Prayer Day
Please contact Saint Monica Parish directly for information.