Many Churches of Lent

It started as a curiosity, trying to find a new parish in a new home. I’d attend Mass, or adoration, or the stations, visiting a different church for each to see what they were about. Then it became fun—seeing how many I could visit during a single season, deliberately visiting a new church each time I went. And on Holy Thursday there was the Seven Churches pilgrimage, adding another crop to my growing list in a single night. Now, I share all those churches I visited during Lent. Some I attended multiple times, and some I only saw for a few moments. (I’m looking at you, Seven Churches.) But they were all a blessing, and for me will always be part of this spiritual journey.

(List under the cut, because pictures! And a lot of them.)

Queenship of Mary, Plainsboro NJ

Starting Lent off right here, with Ash Wednesday. (bonus fact: It was the first time I’d approached the altar for anything, which was… ashes. How fitting.)

Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Newark NJ

Seat of the archdiocese of Newark, where I celebrated the second Rite of RCIA: Call to Continuing Conversion.
(bonus fact: I went back to the cathedral later just to get this shot, because I hadn’t visited the entire church that day and missed the front entrance.)

St. David the King, West Windsor, NJ

Home of my Wednesday evening adorations during Lent

St. Francis of Assisi Cathedral, Metuchen, NJ

Seat of the diocese of Metuchen

St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Princeton, NJ

Co-Cathedral of St. Robert Bellarmine, Freehold, NJ

Co-seat of the diocese of Trenton, where I celebrated the Chrism Mass.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Ridgewood, NJ

OLMC will always be special to me: It’s where I started to learn. It’s home to my first Mass. And, this past Lent, where I celebrated Holy Thursday.
Which brings us to…

Seven Churches night!

Church of the Annunciation, Paramus NJ

Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, Washington Township, NJ

St. John the Baptist, Hillsdale, NJ

(with bonus Fr. B.)

Church of the Assumption, Emerson, NJ

St. Andrew’s Roman Catholic Church, Westwood, NJ

Our Lady Mother of the Church, Woodcliff Lake, NJ

(Only the side entrance, unfortunately!)

Our Lady of Mercy, Park Ridge, NJ

And, last but certainly not least of all:

St. Catharine Church, Glen Rock, NJ

My home parish, though it’s far from home now. Home of my RCIA class, various Rites, and most importantly: Confirmation and my first Eucharist.

Fifteen churches in a span of 40 days. What we call a “journey” is not simply symbolic or metaphorical. Perhaps next year, I’ll venture out of New Jersey.