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Diocese of Camden Announces Effort To Help Needy Ahead Of Pope's Visit

By Molly Daly

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) - The Diocese of Camden today launched a Papal countdown with a purpose -- one that's aimed at educating parishioners and the public about poverty in South Jersey, and pointing them towards ways to give, and get help.

Speaking after a news conference at the Diocese offices in Camden, Bishop Dennis Sullivan said "Forty Days of Francis" is a great way to act on the Pope's challenge to"hear the cry of the poor:"

"Reaching out to them with great love and charity in order to lift them up, and assist them -- some of them are in desperate situations of poverty."

And, Sullivan says, they aren't just in the city of Camden:

"We have tremendous need also in Cape May County, Atlantic County, and in Cumberland County -- poorest county in state of New Jersey."

Camden Bishop Dennis Sullivan speaking with KYW Newsradio. (Credit: Bill Roswell)

A major part of the effort will be connecting the public -- those who want to give, and those who're in need -- with Catholic charities.

"There will be open houses at the Catholic charities centers," , Sullivan says. "We certainly hope people will direct those who need our services to our centers where our staff can assist them with a variety of programs that we have available."

And the Bishop adds they thought this was a good way to get their hearts ready for the Pope's visit by focusing on some of these needs.

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