A. Ash Wednesday: A Day of Public Catholicism. Lent begins with the sobering awareness that we are different, our world is different, and our lives are different than they were one year ago. It is true that the sign of ashes carries with it better memories of both personal and social sin. Ashes are also a reminder of our mortality, the inevitability that we will all die. It’s true—no one will get out of this world “alive;” each one of us will be called to give an account of his/her sins. Ash Wednesday Mass schedule: Wednesday, February 26, at 7:00 am & 12:00 noon at the Cathedral, and 6:00 pm at Blessed Sacrament Chapel (7th & Sycamore Streets).
B. Receiving Ashes is Optional; if you choose to receive this sacramental, let it signify your desire to turn away from sin, and follow Jesus more closely. Furthermore, while it is no sin to wash the ashes off after Mass, many keep them on their forehead as a public witness throughout the day. Sometimes, ashes become a discussion starter for people outside the Christian family or for those who have not yet been taught their meaning. Much in the way that our Muslim sisters and brothers have taught us the meaning of the Ramadan fast, Ash Wednesday provides an opening for us to share our faith and to highlight that our lives as followers of Jesus should be those of humble service to others.
C. Stations of the Cross: This devotion of journeying with Jesus the last hours of his life is especially meaningful for Lent. In order to accommodate so many Friday evening conflicts in the lives of our parishioners, this year we will offer Stations of the Cross on Mondays at 6:00 pm, & Fridays after the 12:05 pm Mass. Of course, you may pray the Stations of the Cross most anytime during the day in church, & even at home.
D. Lent: An Evangelization Opportunity—Recent research reveals that half of the adults who have been raised Catholic (52%) leave the church at some point. But 43% of those who think of themselves as “cultural Catholics” can imagine that they might return to the Church at some point in their lives. Our INVITATION may be an important part of their RETURNING process. Inviting someone to our parish Lenten Fish Fry dinner on Friday, March 20, the Stations of the Cross on Monday evenings at 6:00 pm or Fridays midday, “That Man Is You” for Men, Small Groups, Grace Marriage (new), Sunday Scripture Study, online scripture study for youth, weekday or Sunday Mass, can be a non-threatening way to return to the Catholic community. Never underestimate how God might work through your simple invitation.
E. FORMED.org: I invite you to join Formed.org today and start a Lent and a lifetime of engaging yourself and your family in our Catholic Faith. FORMED presents a tremendous opportunity to help Catholics change the way they consume media and develop a daily habit of faith formation and prayer. You can access full-length Catholic movies for the whole family, or download ebooks to read while you sit at the beach during Spring Break. Or grow your faith by accessing full faith formation programs of study at home. IT’S FREE and IT’S HERE!!! Click the logo on our website.
F. BEST LENT EVER—don’t give up chocolate, instead, take a 40-day journey to become the-best-version-of-yourself. Watch a 2-3 minute inspirational video daily, get practical tips and hear encouraging stories. Sign-up today!
G. Our Cathedral Lenten Guide should have arrived at the home of every registered parishioner by now. Take advantage of the opportunities available to make this a life-altering Lent. There are opportunities for PRAYING, GIVINGand FASTING. Investing in your faith will render rich spiritual dividends. Experience Christ is a new way. Stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone.