Sacred Heart is a parish of the Roman Catholic Church in the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey. It is located in the City of Camden, one of the poorest cities in the United States. Coming from the west, you will find the City of Camden, at the end of the Ben Franklin Bridge, that spans the Delaware River between Philadelphia, PA and Camden, NJ.
The pastor is Msgr. Michael Doyle. The parish is more congregational in make-up than geographic. Catholics have left the South Camden territory of the parish and moved to the suburbs.
Most of the people who replaced them are African-American, Christian, but not Catholic. Consequently many of the people who are a part of Sacred Heart come from outside the boundary of the parish. The worshiping community is made up of people seeking a church where Liturgy Leads to Justice. So Sacred Heart is an artery of generosity and hope between those who can give service and resources to those who have great need of both.
But this, thank God, is far from being a one-way flow. The suburban people need to be enriched by contact with those most blessed by God, namely, the poor in spirit. As Mother Teresa said in Philadelphia, not long before she came to Sacred Heart: “Touch the poor and you will touch Christ. Touch Christ and you will be saved. Touch the poor.”
Sacred Heart tries to link people in prayer and action who are separated by the apartheid wall that separates inner-city black America and the white suburbs. The automobile that created the possibility of exclusive, residential zoning can be used to bring people together through the church. It is, in a way, a volunteer “busing” in the segregation of the children of God. It is a very important but inadequate effort of the Catholic Church, until better times come.