Franciscan Mystery Players to begin a new season of Lenten meditations


The Franciscan Mystery Players from the Church of the Holy Family in Sewell will open their 15th Lenten season presenting the meditation “The Way of the Cross,” tonight at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Absecon.

The meditation, a Lenten tradition in the region, is a dramatic multi-media presentation of the Stations of the Cross, presented by the players, who are middle and high school students. The play has no speaking parts, but utilizes special lighting, inspirational music and narrated reflections as it follows the Lord’s journey during his passion and death. At the conclusion of the meditation, audience members are invited to join the Mystery Players in prayer around the Cross.

The play is one of five meditations written by Father Francis Pompei, a Franciscan friar of the Holy Name Province, based in Buffalo, N.Y. Twelve groups of Mystery Players exist in the United States, including four in New Jersey.

While there is no admission charge, those in attendance have the opportunity to give a free-will offering to help defray expenses and keep the play on the road.

This year, the group will present the play 10 times, concluding as is tradition Palm Sunday evening at the Church of the Holy Family.

The players include Laura DePaola, Nick Felker, Kathleen Hearn, Colleen Kiernan, Mia Lazzaro, Luke Ratnaraj, Colan Rogers, Marco Romeo, Patrick Sardoma, Tyler Schill, Grant Schoenfeldt and Aly Yocano.

The schedule follows:

Friday, March 11 – St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Absecon, 7 p.m.

Sunday, March 13 – Our Lady of the Angels Church in Cape May Court House, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, March 18 – St. Margaret’s Church in Woodbury Heights, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, March 20 – St Anne’s Church in Bethlehem, Pa. 7:30 p.m.

Friday, March 25 – St. Charles Borromeo Church in Sicklerville, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, March 27 – St. Joseph’s Church in Somers Point, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, April 1 – St. John’s Church in Collingswood, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, April 8 – St. Anthony of Padua Church in Camden, 7:45 p.m.

Friday, April 15 – Church of The Assumption, Pomona,7:45 p.m.

Sunday, April 18 – Church of the Holy Family, Sewell, 7:45 p.m.

Another Franciscan Mystery Players group will present the “Jesus the Healer” mystery play.

The players include Marc Acchitelli, Gabrielle DeMarco, Gianna DeMarco, Bob Foley, Kaitlyn Hackett, Mike Harry, Joni Huhn, Eric Lodi, Hannah Malfitano, Emily Malfitano, Mike Miniconzi, Taylor Reck, Deanna Riley, Anthony Russo, Becky Schneider, Tayler Sheldrick, Eric Acchitelli, David Pirolli and Christina Pukropski.

The schedule follows:

Sunday, March 13 – All Saints (St. John Bosco Church) in Millville, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, March 18 – Incarnation Church, Mantua, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, March 20 – St. Denis Church, Havertown, Pa., 7 p.m.

Friday, March 25 – St Rita Parish (Mary, Mother of the Church), Bellmawr, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, April 1 – Our Lady of Peace (St Mary’s Church), Williamstown, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, April 8 – Sacred Heart Church, Vineland, 8 p.m.

Saturday, April 16 – Our Lady of Hope Parish (St Agnes Church), Blackwood, 8 p.m.