Station Churches of Mercer County offers Lenten pilgrimage experience for all

February 4, 2024 at 5:00 a.m.
St. Joseph Church, Trenton, will serve as the first site of the 2024 Station Churches of Mercer County. Mass will be celebrated Feb. 16 at 7 p.m.
St. Joseph Church, Trenton, will serve as the first site of the 2024 Station Churches of Mercer County. Mass will be celebrated Feb. 16 at 7 p.m.

By MARY STADNYK
Associate Editor

Faithful of the Diocese and beyond are welcomed to spend part of their Lenten observance by going on a local pilgrimage in Mercer County.

Once again, the Catholic parishes in Mercer County are adapting a centuries-old Roman tradition that traces its roots as far back as the late second and early third century by inviting others to visit their churches and celebrate evening Mass during Lent.

It had been the practice that every year during Lent, Catholics living in Rome made an ancient pilgrimage to the basilicas and churches located throughout the city. A different “station church” was designated each day for Catholics from around the city to gather for Mass early in the morning as a visible reminder of the unity of the Church.

Looking ahead to the start of the 2024 pilgrimage, which is set to begin Feb. 16, Msgr. Dennis Apolditesees it as an “opportunity for us to glean a bit of history as we make our way to the various churches throughout the county.

“As we move from church to church, we can imagine the thousands of people who have journeyed to these churches especially during the Lenten season to offer the prayer and worship. We can unite our prayers with theirs and join our voices with this great crowd of witnesses who over the past 200 years have found many ways to give glory to God, and public witness to their Catholic faith,” said Msgr. Apoldite, who is pastor of Sacred Heart Parish and episcopal vicar of Mercer County.

Msgr. Apoldite reflected on the Mercer County parishes that are participating in the 2024 pilgrimage, saying that each church has a special history and its own particular treasures.

“Each has been the place of Baptisms, Confirmations, weddings, funerals and a place where countless numbers have encountered God,” he said, noting that the churches are welcome to plan their evening as they wish.

Extending an invitation to all prospective pilgrims, Msgr. Apoldite said, “Join in as many visits you are able and ask God’s blessing upon on all who journey with you during this Lenten pilgrimage of 2024.”

The schedule for the Mercer County pilgrimage follows:

Feb. 16 – 7 p.m., St Joseph Church, 540 North Olden Ave., Trenton

Feb. 20 – 6 p.m., St. Anthony of Padua Church, 251 Franklin St., Hightstown

Feb. 22 – 7 p.m., St. Paul Church, 216 Nassau St., Princeton

Feb. 26 – 7 p.m., St. John the Baptist Church, 1282 Yardville-Allentown Rd., Allentown

Feb. 27 – 7 p.m., St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, 151 North Warren St., Trenton

Feb. 28 – 7 p.m., Incarnation Church, 1545 Pennington Rd., Ewing

Feb. 29 – 7 p.m., Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 3816 East State St. Ext., Hamilton

March 5 – 7 p.m., St. David the King Church, 1 New Village Rd., Princeton Junction

March 6 – 7 p.m., St. James Church, 11 E Paul Ave., Trenton

March 7 – 7 p.m., Holy Cross Church, 227 Adeline St., Trenton

March 8 – 6 p.m., Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, 137 W. Upper Ferry Rd., West Trenton

March 11 – 7 p.m., St. George Church, 1370 River Rd., Titusville

March 13 – 7 p.m., St. Anthony Church, 626 S Olden Ave., Trenton

March 14 -- 7 p.m., St. Joachim Church, 19 Bayard St., Trenton

March 19 – 7 p.m., Sacred Heart Church, 343 South Broad St., Trenton,

March 21, 7 p.m., St. Ann Church, 1253 Lawrence Rd., Lawrenceville

March 22, 7 p.m., St. Raphael Church, 3500 South Broad St., Hamilton

The pilgrimage will conclude with the celebration of the Chrism Mass on the Monday of Holy Week, March 25 at 7:30 p.m. in St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, 61 Georgia Rd., Freehold.

Shown is the sanctuary in St. Joseph Church, Trenton, where the first Mass for the 2024 Station Churches of Mercer County will be celebrated on Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. 

 



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Faithful of the Diocese and beyond are welcomed to spend part of their Lenten observance by going on a local pilgrimage in Mercer County.

Once again, the Catholic parishes in Mercer County are adapting a centuries-old Roman tradition that traces its roots as far back as the late second and early third century by inviting others to visit their churches and celebrate evening Mass during Lent.

It had been the practice that every year during Lent, Catholics living in Rome made an ancient pilgrimage to the basilicas and churches located throughout the city. A different “station church” was designated each day for Catholics from around the city to gather for Mass early in the morning as a visible reminder of the unity of the Church.

Looking ahead to the start of the 2024 pilgrimage, which is set to begin Feb. 16, Msgr. Dennis Apolditesees it as an “opportunity for us to glean a bit of history as we make our way to the various churches throughout the county.

“As we move from church to church, we can imagine the thousands of people who have journeyed to these churches especially during the Lenten season to offer the prayer and worship. We can unite our prayers with theirs and join our voices with this great crowd of witnesses who over the past 200 years have found many ways to give glory to God, and public witness to their Catholic faith,” said Msgr. Apoldite, who is pastor of Sacred Heart Parish and episcopal vicar of Mercer County.

Msgr. Apoldite reflected on the Mercer County parishes that are participating in the 2024 pilgrimage, saying that each church has a special history and its own particular treasures.

“Each has been the place of Baptisms, Confirmations, weddings, funerals and a place where countless numbers have encountered God,” he said, noting that the churches are welcome to plan their evening as they wish.

Extending an invitation to all prospective pilgrims, Msgr. Apoldite said, “Join in as many visits you are able and ask God’s blessing upon on all who journey with you during this Lenten pilgrimage of 2024.”

The schedule for the Mercer County pilgrimage follows:

Feb. 16 – 7 p.m., St Joseph Church, 540 North Olden Ave., Trenton

Feb. 20 – 6 p.m., St. Anthony of Padua Church, 251 Franklin St., Hightstown

Feb. 22 – 7 p.m., St. Paul Church, 216 Nassau St., Princeton

Feb. 26 – 7 p.m., St. John the Baptist Church, 1282 Yardville-Allentown Rd., Allentown

Feb. 27 – 7 p.m., St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, 151 North Warren St., Trenton

Feb. 28 – 7 p.m., Incarnation Church, 1545 Pennington Rd., Ewing

Feb. 29 – 7 p.m., Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 3816 East State St. Ext., Hamilton

March 5 – 7 p.m., St. David the King Church, 1 New Village Rd., Princeton Junction

March 6 – 7 p.m., St. James Church, 11 E Paul Ave., Trenton

March 7 – 7 p.m., Holy Cross Church, 227 Adeline St., Trenton

March 8 – 6 p.m., Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, 137 W. Upper Ferry Rd., West Trenton

March 11 – 7 p.m., St. George Church, 1370 River Rd., Titusville

March 13 – 7 p.m., St. Anthony Church, 626 S Olden Ave., Trenton

March 14 -- 7 p.m., St. Joachim Church, 19 Bayard St., Trenton

March 19 – 7 p.m., Sacred Heart Church, 343 South Broad St., Trenton,

March 21, 7 p.m., St. Ann Church, 1253 Lawrence Rd., Lawrenceville

March 22, 7 p.m., St. Raphael Church, 3500 South Broad St., Hamilton

The pilgrimage will conclude with the celebration of the Chrism Mass on the Monday of Holy Week, March 25 at 7:30 p.m. in St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, 61 Georgia Rd., Freehold.

Shown is the sanctuary in St. Joseph Church, Trenton, where the first Mass for the 2024 Station Churches of Mercer County will be celebrated on Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. 

 


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