Fr. Gerard Lecomte, CJM
At St James-St Leo, we take part in a Lenten practice Operation Rice Bowl. This is a wonderful way to make connections between fasting and almsgiving. Children especially can benefit from such hands-on practices. Rather than simply being instructed to “give something up” for Lent, children can be formed into the kind of Christians called for by the disciplines of Lent. Families that sacrifice a regular trip to a fast-food restaurant in order to give the money saved to the poor are providing fine training in the Christian life. Catholic Relief Services, which sponsors Operation Rice Bowl, has an excellent website containing all kinds of ideas that can be implemented during Lent and year-round: crs.org. Also, Lent is a wonderful time to pray the rosary. I suggest that families find a time each week to pray the rosary. Every morning before Mass, parishioners gather to pray these mysteries together.
We have some brothers and sisters who have been preparing for the initiation sacraments, and are now entering a time of more intense spiritual preparation. There is a dramatic shift during Lent away from catechetical formation to a time of retreat. These future Catholics need the prayers of the entire community.
Reconciliation on the Patio of the Bells from 3:00-3:45pm will begin on February 27th.
The holy season of Lent opens before us. This weekend’s Gospel reminds us that the Spirit drove Jesus into the desert for forty days. We too are sent into the desert of repentance to search our hearts, hoping to resist what is evil and to embrace all that is good. God is faithful to us on our journey of faith.