Catholics are called during Lent to “seek a full conversion of heart that leads us to the richness of God’s mercy through the triumphant promise of the Resurrection at Easter,” in the words of Archbishop Nelson Perez in his pastoral message on Lent.
Parishes across the Archdiocese of Philadelphia are gearing up to assist in just that, offering a variety of programs to enrich parishioners’ Lenten journeys.
The following is a sampling of parish Lenten programs and events.
Join parishioners of St. Eleanor Parish in Collegeville on “A Lenten Journey with Our Lady” which kicked off with Stations of the Cross on Feb. 28 and a Family Rosary on March 1. The parish’s Lenten Triduum honoring Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal will be March 9-11.
Mass will be each night of the triduum at 7 p.m. with Father Michael Shea, associate director of the Miraculous Medal Shrine in Philadelphia. Confessions will follow. Father Shea will also preach during the previous weekend Masses, March 7 and 8, for the parish’s Family Social Weekend.
St. Eleanor will have Stations of the Cross each Lenten Friday at 7 p.m., including Mary’s Way of the Cross on March 27 and a special Stations of the Cross on Good Friday, April 10, with veneration of a relic of the true cross.
Many area parishes are offering the three-week video series “Forgiven: The Transforming Power of Confession,” which explores how the sacrament of penance brings healing, peace and freedom. See the series’ website here.
Visitation B.V.M. Parish in Norristown is offering the series with four different options for start dates, including a Tuesday 7 p.m. series for youths ages 12-18 starting March 3. The first track begins March 2.
SS. Simon and Jude Parish in West Chester is also offering the three-part series March 9, 16 and 23. Check your parish’s bulletin and/or website for other Forgiven series. If your parish is not offering the series, contact the archdiocesan Office for the New Evangelization at firstname.lastname@example.org. They may be able to connect you to a series at a parish nearby.
Parishes in the Ridley area of Delaware County continue their collaborative Tuesday evening series “Seven Signs in the Gospel of John” on March 3 at St. Madeline Parish in Ridley Park. The program starts at 7 p.m. and includes evening prayer, benediction and a talk by Father Bernard Taglianetti on the raising of Lazarus.
The series began Feb. 25 at Our Lady of Fatima, Secane, with a talk on the miracle at Cana. It will continue each Tuesday at various parishes until and including March 31. See a complete list of the series’ topics, locations and speakers.
“Stations of the Cross in Solidarity with Survivors of Sexual Violence and Abuse” will be on March 4 at 7 p.m. in the Rosemont Chapel of St. Thomas of Villanova Parish. The program is presented by WATCH, a collaborative community in the parish dedicated to addressing the sexual abuse crisis in the church. The Rosemont Chapel is located at 1229 East Lancaster Avenue in Rosemont, which is separate from the main St. Thomas of Villanova Parish Church.
Young adults are invited to gather every Wednesday in Lent at St. John the Baptist Parish in Philadelphia’s Manayunk section for “Young Adults, Living Lent.” They will join Father Dan Joyce, S.J., in exploring saints and everyday people striving to live a Catholic life. The Wednesday series will be held in McKenna Hall from 7-8:30 p.m.
Beginning March 4, St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Springfield will host “No Greater Love: A Biblical Walk through Christ’s Passion.” The five-part video series from Dr. Edward Sri was filmed in the Holy Land. The fee for the book and workbook is $25. To register, call 610-543-0848 ext. 118.
Christ the King Parish in Philadelphia begins the Wednesday evening series “Lent 2020: Reflections of Current and Future Catholic Life in Philadelphia” on March 4 following the 7 p.m. Mass. The first reflection, titled “Ecumenism in Today’s Church,” will be given by Msgr. Gregory Fairbanks, a professor from St. Charles Borremeo Seminary.
Topics of future talks by various speakers include an “Overview of the Archdiocese in 2020” on March 11, a look at religious women congregations on March 18, reflections on today’s seminarian and seminary life on March 25, and reflections on permanent deacon ministry on April 1.
A replica of the Shroud of Turin will be on display in the lower church of Epiphany of Our Lord, Philadelphia from March 6 to 15. Visitors can view the replica weekdays from 8:30 to 10 a.m., 1 to 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 to 8 p.m. It will also be available to view on Saturdays from 2 to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Contact the rectory for more information at 215-334-1035.
To learn more about the Shroud of Turin, consider attending “The Shroud of Turin, a Silent Witness of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ” by Massimo Paris, a shroud researcher and lecturer. There is no fee, but free-will offerings will be accepted.
Presentations will be on March 5 at 7 p.m. at Immaculata University, March 11 at 7 p.m. at St. Luke Church in Stratford, N.J., on March 12 at 7 p.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Morton, and on April 6 at 7 p.m. at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center Auditorium, 222 North 17th Street, Philadelphia.
On March 10 and 24 the Sisters of St. Joseph at Stella Maris Parish in Philadelphia welcome all to a Lenten Talk and Soup Night. Join the sisters from 5-6:30 p.m. in the convent for prayer and reflection followed by soup in the convent dining room. A free-will offering can be given for CRS Rice Bowl. Read more about the Lenten charity program here.
Look deeper at what the Catholic Church means by “the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist” on March 25 and 26 at St. John the Baptist Parish in Ottsville. The parish’s Lenten Mission and Mass begins at 7 p.m. each night and features guest speaker Father Ray Diesbourg, M.S.C.
Join a special evening of reflection March 30 at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Horsham on the topic “Learning to Forgive through Heartache,” led by Jennifer Hubbard. The speaker and contributing writer to Magnificat magazine lost her 6-year-old daughter in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
She will share a message about mercy, hope and how she turned to her faith to find peace. The reflection begins at 7 p.m.
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