In his book, The Diocesan Journal of Michael Augustine Corrigan, 1872-1880, the author, who was the bishop of Newark, wrote the following: “Saturday, October 28, 1876…took the train to Camden. In the afternoon, Father Fitzsimmons drove me over to the Church of the Sacred Heart at Centreville or South Camden. It is a poor affair, and needs attention.” Well, our first little wooden Church of the Sacred Heart was four years old when Bishop Corrigan made his visit, having been opened in December, 1871. And already he says: it “needs attention.” But as time went on, the people gave unending attention to their Church of the Sacred Heart and they still do! That little wooden church was the forerunner of our parish, founded in 1885 and our present church built at Broadway and Ferry in 1886.
As followers of Christ, we the ‘Church of the Heart’ are called to respond to those who are “poor or in any way afflicted,” especially in the City of Camden. As we lift up our minds and hearts to God’s heaven on a Sunday morning, we do not forget that our feet of clay walk in this broken city. We contemplate and we work. We are not an audience or passive observers but each one is called to be an active participant in church worship and also in works for the common good.