Lent At Holy Spirit

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Father Jerry Racioppi and lifelong Verona resident Michael Gibson offered Ashes to Go in 2020, just before the pandemic shut down New Jersey.

Like everyone else, the Church of the Holy Spirit on Gould Street in Verona continues to bend and twist with the pandemic mandates and needs of our community. With restrictions easing, Holy Spirit has announced its Lenten worship and programs, which includes both in-person and online options.

“Since March 2020, we have offered all worship services online via Zoom even when our doors were open for worship,” says Father Jerry Racioppi, rector of this vibrant congregation. “Our online community has been growing since the start of the pandemic and there is no going back. We will always provide a way for people who live far away or just can’t make it to church to join our services remotely.” The Zoom links for worship can be found on their website www.holyspiritverona.org.

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on March 2. Holy Spirit will host a 12 p.m. Eucharist and 7 p.m. Evening Prayer, both with imposition of ashes for those attending in-person. At 3:30 p.m., Sunday School students will meet at the church to kick off Lent. After a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic, “Ashes to Go” will return this year on Gould Street across from H.B. Whitehorne Middle School. Father Jerry and Reverend Katherine Rollo, curate, will be outside in front of the church between 7:30 and 9 a.m. and 2 to 3:30 p.m. Father Jerry says, “We recognize not everyone is able to attend a complete worship service, but many want to connect with the Holy. We feel called to provide that opportunity.”

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On the Sundays in Lent, Holy Spirit will have its usual Sunday Communion Services at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. (online or in-person). Sunday School for students from Kindergarten to High School meets each week at 9:55 a.m. A Spiritual Enrichment Group meets online only at 11:45 a.m. every Sunday. “This year we have chosen to see the beauty of Lent through a program from saltproject.org which uses the artwork of Vincent Van Gogh. It should be a unique way to experience Lent after two years of living in a pandemic,” says Reverend Katherine, who was ordained as priest in December 2021. In addition, each Wednesday in Lent at 8 p.m., Holy Spirit will offer an Evening Compline Service (fully online) for Lent.

Holy Spirit Verona continues to serve the community through its Food Pantry, which opened in April 2016. This Lent, Holy Spirit once again is fielding its annual “40 items for 40 days” food drive, and you can pick up a box or create your own, returning all items to the Church on Palm Sunday, April 10. Through Covid the monthly number of households being served has increased substantially. Now serving over 125 shoppers each month, the congregation is grateful for the community support given by so many individuals and organizations based in Verona. Revered Katherine says of this feeding ministry, “Verona truly is a community that knows how to give back. Holy Spirit is thankful to all those who help take care of their neighbors in need through our ministry.”

Holy Spirit has more Lenten opportunities for spiritual enrichment, such as race- and faith-based programs, and a bi-monthly prayer shawl ministry. For more information on any of the programs or services listed above, please visit our website. For log-in details for Zoom events, please contact our Parish Office Administrator at [email protected]

Holy Spirit Verona joyfully explores and shares faith, serves others, and welcomes all, and has a vision to be a vibrant congregation known for its commitment to supporting one another, deepening faith, and doing God’s work in the world. Sunday services are at 8 am and 10 am in-person and via Zoom. We hope you’ll consider visiting or joining this joy-filled community.

Reverend Katherine Rollo was the first person to preach at Holy Spirit Verona “online” via Zoom technology on March 15, 2020; she was a seminarian at the time.

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