February 11, 2024
Dear Sisters and Brothers:
Lent begins on February 14. Ash Wednesday coinciding with Valentine’s Day this year provides an important insight. Lent is a time to really work on our hearts. Lent leads to Jesus’ incredible act of love in His Passion, Death, and Resurrection. Simply said, Lent is a journey of the heart. The three pillars of Lent guide this journey:
Prayer: Lent is a time to beef up our prayer life. We might add more prayer time or experience a new way of praying (i.e., Rosary, Daily Mass, Eucharistic Adoration.) Prayer is conversation with God. Not only do we talk to Him, but we listen to Him too.
Fasting: Fasting makes room in our hearts for Jesus. Those between 18 and 59 fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday by one full meal, two smaller meals, and nothing in between. Those 14 and up abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and Fridays during Lent. It doesn’t have to be just about food. Consider cutting back on screen time, social media, or your favorite creature comfort.
Almsgiving: Almsgiving helps us focus on someone else’s needs instead of our own. It’s about sharing and sacrifice. It includes our time, talent, and treasure. Almsgiving gives thanks to God for all He has given us.
Each week at Sunday Mass, we’ll consider tools for the journey: conversion, faithfulness, holiness, compassion, community, and humility. The bulletin details special ways to pray, discover, gather, and share this Lent. Be sure to check our website, Facebook Page, and Sunday bulletin for more resources. And don’t forget our parish subscriptions to FORMED.ORG and HALLOW.
On Ash Wednesday, Masses with the distribution of ashes are at 6:30 a.m., 8:30 am., 5:00 p.m., and 7:00 p.m. Ashes will also be distributed at 12 Noon. Stations of the Cross are prayed each Friday of Lent at 7:00 p.m. beginning this Friday.
And of course, our 5th Annual Fish Fry Dinners begin this Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
I look forward to our shared Lenten journey of the heart to Easter!
Grace and peace,
Father Neil Sullivan