The season of Lent is upon us and I hope this finds you well. I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you a few thoughts at the start of the season. These thoughts are centered around our attitude of giving something up for Lent.
Sometimes we think to ourselves that we do not want to give anything up because we do so much, and we already sacrifice a lot for ourselves and there is no need to do anything extra. Lent is a penitential time in the Church. It is a time for us to repent and believe in the Gospel. The sacrifices of prayer, fasting and alms-giving direct us to a greater Love of God and our neighbor. When we deny ourselves of some comfort or pleasure, we reflect on what Christ would have us learn from this. We reflect on how we can become a better person, namely conforming ourselves to Christ, in the midst of any small sacrifice we undertake.
There are signs around the Church and in the bulletin that read: Don’t give up Chocolate for Lent. There is a website on these signs that has a link to receive emails and videos that help us in our understanding of Lent in case you were not able to make it to Daily Mass. They will be available everyday during Lent. Pope Francis challenges us to go a step further. In our Lenten observance, we ought to give up showing indifference toward other people. When we give up indifference toward other people, we feast on love. I hope we can view whatever sacrifices we make with a renewed enthusiasm and an opportunity to grow.
So what will you give up for Lent? Let us think long and hard and may we have the best Lent ever. May it be a period of growth and renewal making us truly free to love and serve the Lord and one another. My prayers, love, support and admiration are with you and your families.
On Wednesdays during Lent:
-Holy Hour from 5:00-6:00pm
-Stations of the Cross 5:30-6:00pm.
On April 23rd, Divine Mercy Sunday, there will be a Holy Hour from 2:00-3:00pm, with the Divine Mercy Chaplet sung at 3pm, and Confessions available.
Stations of the Cross every Thursday during Lent after 8:00am Mass. Spanish Stations of the Cross every Friday at 7pm except Good Friday and they will be at 5:00pm.
At St. Ann’s Church Family Center, Lenox: Gospel of John Bible Study with Msgr. John on Thursdays throughout Lent, Mar. 2-Apr. 6). Msgr. John will offer an Introduction to the Gospel of John from 6:30-8pm in the Family Center. No books or fees required.
All are welcome.
We all know the things that make us happy, but we don’t always do them. Lent is an opportunity to change that. This year we invite you to do something different.
Sign up for Best Lent Ever, a FREE, video-based email program featuring internationally acclaimed speaker and New York Times bestselling author Matthew Kelly. From Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday, Matthew will help you identify what stands between you and happiness . . . and what to do about it. Are you ready for your best Lent ever?
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of abstinence from meat as well as days of fast, when only one full meal is allowed.
On days of fast two other meatless meals may be taken
according to one’s needs, but together they should not
equal another full meal.
The other Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence from meat.
The obligation to abstain from meat begins at fourteen (14) years of age.
The obligation to fast begins at eighteen (18) years of age and ends at fifty-nine (59) years of age.
Although the faithful may excuse themselves for a just cause from these laws of fast and abstinence, there is an obligation to substitute another penance and no Catholic should lightly excuse himself/herself from this obligation in the Lenten season.
Ash Wednesday is February 10, 2016, masses will be at 8:00am and 6:00pm at St. Mark’s Church. Ash Wednesday begins our Lenten Season. It is a day of fast and abstinence.
The Lenten Season lasts 40 days giving us time to prepare for Easter Sunday.
As the priest applies the ashes to a person’s forehead, he speaks the words: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The ashes are a visible symbol of penance. All are welcome to receive the ashes, including non-Catholics. The ashes are made from blessed palms from the previous year’s Palm Sunday Mass.