"Lent is thus an opportunity to 'become' Christian 'anew," through a constant process of inner change and progress in the knowledge and love of Christ. Conversion is never once and for all but is a process, an interior journey through the whole of life." — Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, February 21, 2007
Our observance of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, a day of fast and abstinence for Catholics. At Mass on Ash Wednesday, the imposition of ashes replicates an ancient penitential practice and symbolizes our dependence upon God's mercy and forgiveness.
During Lent, the baptized are called to renew their baptismal commitment as others prepare to be baptized through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, a period of learning and discernment for individuals who have declared their desire to become Catholics.
The three traditional pillars of Lenten observance are prayer, fasting and almsgiving. The Church asks us to surrender ourselves to prayer and to the reading of Scripture, to fasting and to giving alms. The fasting that all do together on Fridays is but a sign of the daily Lenten discipline of individuals and households: fasting for certain periods of time, fasting from certain foods, but also fasting from other things and activities. Likewise, the giving of alms is some effort to share this world equally—not only through the distribution of money, but through the sharing of our time and talents.
The key to fruitful observance of these practices is to recognize their link to baptismal renewal. We are called not just to abstain from sin during Lent, but to true conversion of our hearts and minds as followers of Christ. We recall those waters in which we were baptized into Christ's death, died to sin and evil, and began new life in Christ.
On these pages, you will find a variety of suggestions and resources to support your Lenten practice, enhance your prayer, and embrace your baptismal commitment. (from the USCCB website)
Lenten Observance and Regulations for Catholics
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. The following fasting and abstinence regulations are observed:
- Abstinence from meat is observed on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all the Fridays of Lent by all Catholics 14 years of age and older.
- Fasting is observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday by all Catholics who are 18 years of age but not yet 59 years of age. Those bound by this rule may take only one full meal. Two smaller meals are permitted as necessary to maintain strength according to one's needs, but eating solid foods between meals is not permitted.
- The special Paschal fast and abstinence are observed on Good Friday and, where possible, on Holy Saturday. On these days, Christians prepare themselves by these disciplines in anticipation of the renewal of their baptismal commitment on Easter.
From its earliest days, the Church has urged the baptized and the catechumens to observe the threefold discipline of fasting, almsgiving, and prayer as a preparation for the celebration of Easter. Failure to observe individual days of penance is not considered serious, but failure to observe any penitential days at all or a substantial number of such days must be considered serious.
Ash Wednesday February 20, 2016
6:00 am, 8:00 am, 12:05 pm, & 7:00 pm
Ashes distributed during Mass only.
8:00 am Monday - Saturday
Liturgy of the Hours
7:45 am Monday - Saturday
8:30 am Monday - Saturday
8:30 am - 8:00 pm Thursdays
Stations of the Cross w/ Meditation for Lent
7:00 pm Fridays
Solemn Stations of the Cross on Good Friday at 12:05 pm
Live Stations of the Cross with Youth on Good Friday at 5:30 pm
Forty Hours Devotion (Eucharistic Adoration)
March 9, 10, 11, 12 (See Schedule)
3:30 pm - 4:25 pm Saturdays
7:30 am - 7:55 am Sundays
10:15 am - 11:15 pm Sundays (During the 10:15 am Mass)
5:00 pm - 5:25 pm Sundays
Mass in the Extraordinary Form for the Feast of St. Joseph
March 19, 2016 at 12:00 pm