The six-day online retreat program is part of the ongoing pastoral and temporal response of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to the COVID-19 pandemic and offers a means for the faithful to prepare spiritually for the approach of Holy Week.
“Our Lenten journey has taken an unexpected turn with the worldwide outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). In an effort to impede the spread of the virus and to protect those most vulnerable among us, all of us have changed the way that we live. Life as we understand it has temporarily changed, but this too shall pass. We are people whose hearts are grounded in our faith and in our hope, that is the strength that helps us during this time of uncertainty.
Though we are living out concepts such as isolation, quarantine, and social distancing – as believers and followers of Christ we know we are never truly alone and that He is always by our side. It has been a painful, confusing, trying time for all of us, but in Christ and His triumph over the cross there is hope. Until we can safely be together again physically, we can pray together in spirit.
I am overjoyed to announce a new Lenten initiative, “The Power of Faith and Hope in a Time of Uncertainty: A Virtual Lenten Retreat.” Beginning Monday, March 30th I will share a video each night at 7:00 p.m. via my Facebook page. The series will extend to Palm Sunday and will include dynamic presenters from across our Archdiocese who will bring Catholic Families closer to Christ through scripture, reflection, and prayer. Six of the videos will be in English and American Sign Language and one will be in Spanish.
Please consider participating in this upcoming Lenten Video Retreat. Give this gift of hope to yourself. Christ is hope and through Him we’re a people of hope. I’m praying for you during this time of uncertainty.”
+Nelson J. Pérez
Archbishop of Philadelphia
Editor’s Notes: “The Power of Faith and Hope in a Time of Uncertainty: A Virtual Lenten Retreat” is part of the pastoral and temporal response of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It begins on Monday, March 30th at 7:00 p.m. That evening, and on each of the following evenings leading up to Palm Sunday, a video will be posted to Archbishop Pérez’s Facebook page. At that same time each night, installments will be posted to his Instagram page as well as the Archdiocesan Vimeo Channel, the Archdiocesan website, and CatholicPhilly.com, the official digital news agency of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
The presenters include
- Reverend Matthew W. Guckin, Director of Catholic Mission and Identity for the Office for Catechetical Formation and Parochial Administrator Pro Tem, Saint Francis de Sales Parish;
- Deacon Anthony Willoughby, Saint Ignatius of Loyola Parish and Campus Minister at Saint Francis Home for Children and Saint Gabriel's Hall;
- Mrs. Megan Mohan, Associate Director of Outreach for ANTHEM;
- Reverend Eric Banecker, Parochial Vicar, Saint Pius X Parish;
- Sister Maeve Nativitas, Sisters of Life, Saint Malachy Convent;
- Mr. Eustace Mita, Co-Founder and Chairman of Man-Up Philly; and
- Reverend Matthew Biedrzycki, Parochial Vicar, Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.
American Sign Language interpretation was provided by Sister Kathleen Schipani, IHM, Director of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's Office for Persons with Disabilities and Deaf Apostolate; and Reverend Seán A. Loomis, Chaplain of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Deaf Apostolate and Parochial Vicar, Annunciation B.V.M. Parish.
Archbishop Pérez recently recorded videos introducing this initiative and released them on social media. To watch the video in English, please click here. To watch the video in Spanish, please click here.
For comprehensive information about the pastoral and temporal response of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please visit http://archphila.org/covid19/.