St. Gabriel holds a Lenten faith festival

As a step into lifelong faith formation, the new St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish held its first faith festival, Lent: A Time for Prayer, Penance, and Good Works, on Sunday afternoon, March 6, at Msgr. Rocco Hall, Carneys Point.

A ministry committee of 15 parishioners, guided by Father Paul Harte, pastor, worked for a month to prepare this event in anticipation of Ash Wednesday and the start of the Lenten season. A catered hot lunch was served to the nearly 200 participants by the parish’s Knights of Columbus led by Art Clemente.

Afterward, the opening liturgy was filled with music provided by Joan Nipe, Jeff Shields and the parish choir. Joyce Weinrick with support of the youth group then led the younger children off to a special program in the rectory on Lent. Over the next 90 minutes, volunteer teams of presenters worked with the adults and teens using facts from Catechism, the words of Scripture, skits and various hands-on activities to help the small share ways to offer prayer and do penance and good works.

Father Robert Ngageno led the closing prayer and blessing. From the success of this first festival, the committee of lifelong faith formation ministry will meet in the next few weeks to start plans for a full series of faith festivals next year.

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