Opportunities Throughout Lent
The 40 days of Lent are a special time for prayer, charity and spiritual growth. I am listing below the opportunities which our parish is providing to celebrate this season.
∙ GIFT – I will lead the Lenten GIFT session this Year (Wednesday, March 15th). The topic is One Liturgy, Three Sacred Days: Preparing for the Triduum. Why does the Church provide three days to celebrate Easter? Come to appreciate the significance of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Saturday as we prepare to celebrate Easter as a parish community. The evening begins at 6:00 p.m. with dinner. You can register at the table in the Narthex or on our parish website.
∙ LENTEN COLORING PRAYER – On Monday, March 27th at 6:30 p.m., parishioners of all ages are invited to a quiet reflective period of scripture, music, prayer and coloring.
∙ COMMUNAL PENANCE SERVICE – On Wednesday, March 29th at 7:00 p.m., we will hold our Communal Penance Service.
∙ STATIONS OF THE CROSS – Every Friday of Lent at 7:30 p.m., there will be an opportunity to pray the Stations of the Cross. This Friday, March 3rd, the stations will be led by our Music Ministry.
∙ LENTEN BAGS – We will be collecting items for Forbes House (the Lake County shelter for victims of domestic violence), Project Hope (the Lake County homeless shelter), Birthright and St. Augustine Hunger Center. Tags indicating the items needed for each agency can be found in the narthex. Please use a plastic bag for your items, closing it with the yarn and tag provided. If you do not have your own plastic bags, please help yourself to the plastic bags which are on the table. Return filled bags to the right hand bin in the food pantry area.
∙ FOOD PANTRY – As always I encourage you this Lent to support our food pantry by using the specially designed bags to take with you when you shop for food. Simply fill the bag with items, such as peanut butter, jelly, tuna fish, macaroni & cheese, and paper products. This can be returned to the rolling cart in the food pantry. When you return a full bag you can take another one.
∙ LENTEN BOOKLETS – Entitled “God’s Abiding Love”, by Henri Nouwen, can be used to guide your personal prayer for the Lenten Season. You can pick up a booklet on the table in the Narthex.
∙ CRS RICE BOWLS – provide a hands-on way for both families and individuals to experience the Lenten Season in addition to providing much-needed support for the initiatives of Catholic Relief Services (CRS). The Rice Bowls and online resources (www.crsricebowls.org) give participants real life connections to people around the world struggling for justice and a glimpse into their lives and culture. Pick up your Rice Bowl in the Narthex.
∙ FASTING & ABSTINENCE – Catholics 14 years and older are asked to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays of Lent (However because of St. Patrick’s Day – abstinence is dispensed on March 17th). On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, adult Catholics (18-59 years) are also asked to fast – that is, limit their food to a simple full meal and two lesser meals.
∙ FISH FRIES – Finally, we ask your participation in our Lenten Fish Fries. The Fish Fries begin on Friday, March 3rd and will continue on the Fridays of Lent (not Good Friday) from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. The price is $12 for adults, children 6-12 are $6, and 5 and under are free. These Fish Fries are an important fund raiser for our parish, and they are possible only through the generosity of parishioners willing to help with serving and cleanup. Please sign up on the kiosk to help.
Each Lenten season invites us to grow in our faith as we prepare to celebrate the great Feast of Easter. Please consider including one or more of the opportunities above as part of your Lenten observance.