Father Benedict on our Lenten Journey:
“The Christian life is itself a constant journey of conversion and renewal in the company of the Lord, as we follow him along the path that leads through the Cross to the joy of the Resurrection. The primary way by which we follow Christ is by the liturgy, in which his person and his saving power become present and effective in our lives. In the Lenten liturgy, as we accompany the catechumens preparing for Baptism, we open our hearts anew to the grace of our rebirth in Christ. This spiritual journey is traditionally marked by the practice of fasting, almsgiving and prayer. The Fathers of the Church teach that these three pious exercises are closely related: indeed, Saint Augustine calls fasting and almsgiving the “wings of prayer”, since they prepare our hearts to take flight and seek the things of heaven, where Christ has prepared a place for us. As this Lent begins, let us accept Christ’s invitation to follow him more closely, renew our commitment to conversion and prayer, and look forward to celebrating the Resurrection in joy and newness of life.”
Please give thought and prayer to taking advantage of the below opportunities at St. Mary of the Assumption as we prepare to take up the discipline of Lent with our Catechumens in the RCIA Process. In addition to “giving up” something for Lent, please do not forgot the more important aspect of replacing it with something of a greater good or spiritual good. The Church encourages us to go about a more intense time of conversion, that is, cooperating with God’s grace to turn with your whole body and soul to Christ. Do battle with sin and those things which keep us away from being fully alive in the Lord.
Increased Prayer and Spiritual Nourishment:
I. Stations of the Cross: The Stations of the Cross devotion will be offered on Friday’s during Lent at 7:00 pm. Stations of the Cross booklets will be available inside the vestibules. Our parish school children in eighth grade will present the Living Stations of the Cross with Fr. Eilerman on Friday, 9 March at 9.00 am and 7:00 pm.
II. Exposition & Vespers: Our parish offer Sunday afternoon Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament beginning at 4:00pm. We will chant Vespers, the Evening Prayer of the Church, at 4:40 pm and close with Benediction Service at 5:00 pm. Worship Aids will be available in the Church.
III. Daily Mass: Monday and Wednesday at 7:00 am and Tuesday and Thursday at 9:00 am
IV. Rosary: Our parish prays the Rosary as a community at 5:00 pm before the 5:30 Anticipatory Mass.
V. Confession: The sacrament Penance is offered from 4-5pm on Saturdays and there will be a Penance Service with individual celebration of the sacrament on Thursday, 1 March. Other opportunities are available at parishes within our Deanery (see bottom of post).
VI. Lauds: Our parish will offer Lauds, the Morning Prayer of the Church on Holy Thursday at 9:00am, Good Friday at 9:00am, and Holy Saturday at 9:00am. Worships Aids will be available in the Church.
VII. Lenten Reflections: Consider subscribing to Fr. Robert Barron’s Lenten Reflections via email: http://www.lentreflections.com
VIII. Consider subscribing to Magnificat, a prayer book with Mass readings and spiritual reflections. This is a monthly publication, but it would be wonderful to take up during Lent and continue afterward.
IX: Read the Mass Readings (Link)
X: Pray the Liturgy of the Hours Online (Link)
XI: Pray over the Mass Readings using Lectio Divina (Link)
Alms & Works of Mercy:
I. Operation Rice Bowl: Our parish will take up a second collection at all Sunday Masses for Catholic Relief Services. St. Mary School and St. Mary Parish School of Religion students will also be given a Rice Bowl to collect money for the good works of CRS. Please consider taking the money you’d save in “giving up” something for Lent and donating it to this charitable organization which does good works all over the world.
II. St. Vincent dePaul Food Collection: Our Vincentians will collect non-perishable food items in the St. Vincent dePaul boxes on the back tables in the narthex of church.
III. Sandwich Saturday: All are invited to help build sandwiches for the local food pantries on Saturday, 17 February and Saturday, 17 March at 8:00 am in the Spirit Center. Please consider bringing bologna, cheese, and bread with you to donate for this effort. This work typically continues on the 4th Saturday of each month.
Fasting & Abstinence:
I. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fast and abstinence. Please consider fasting on these days, and others, for specific prayer intentions this Lent.
II. Fridays during Lent are days of abstinence.
Growth in Faith:
I. Lighthouse Media Displays: Please check-out the Lighthouse Catholic Media Displays in the Main and South vestibules of church and pickup a talk by one of the greatest Catholic speakers in the world on prayer, church teaching or the spiritual life. A donation is appreciated to continue this opportunity.
III. Consider reading a book on the Catholic Faith or a book which leads you on a Catholic Retreat. Need some direction? Ask Father Eilerman, Deacon Frank, or Brian McCauley.
Deanery Options for the Celebration of Penance
Thursday, 1 March – St. Mary of the Assumption, 7 pm
Monday, 5 March – St John the Evangelist – Logan, 7 pm
Sunday, 11 March – St. Bernadette – Lancaster, 3 pm
Tuesday, 13 March – St. Joseph – Sugar Grove, 7 pm
Sunday, 18 March – St. Mary – Bremen, 3 pm
Sunday, 18 March – St. Joseph – Circleville, 4 pm
Tuesday, 20 March – St. Mark the Evangelist – Lancaster, 7 pm