Lent is a yearly celebration beginning on Ash Wednesday to prepare us for Easter.  It recalls or prepares us for baptism and emphasizes a spirit of penance.   Lent is a time for repentance, penance and fasting, for almsgiving and prayer and for working to change attitudes that are not pleasing to God.  The Church emphasizes that a follower of Christ must do penance.  While the heart of penance is hatred for sin as an offence against God, external forms of penance are required to deepen and encourage the internal virtue.  During the Lenten Season days of penance are considered an important requirement of Christian life.   Fulfilment of this duty involves prayer, works of piety and charity and self-denial by fulfilling one=s obligations more faithfully and especially by observing the prescribed fast and abstinence. Fridays are also days of abstinence from meat, but Catholics may substitute special acts of charity or piety on this day. Through forty days of closer attention to God=s word and of more fervent prayer, we are prepared to celebrate the paschal mystery.

MASS SCHEDULE:  During Lent, our regular weekday Mass schedule prevails except on Fridays when we have Stations of the Cross at 11:30 am, followed by Mass at 12:10 pm.  Please note there is no Morning Prayer or 8:00 am Mass on Friday’s during Lent.

LENTEN REFLECTIONS:  Friday’s after 12:10 pm Mass.  This year, as part of our Lenten devotion, St. Mary’s offers a 20 minute reflection on each of The 7 Last Words of Jesus on The Cross.  Presented by Ania Krysciak.

PENITENTIAL SERVICE:  Monday, March 19th at 7:00 pm.  Lent is a time to confess our sins so that we might know the abundance of forgiveness that God has given us through his Son, Jesus Christ.  Each confession takes us deeper into the truth about ourselves and also reveals the truth about God:  That God’s love for us is greater than our sins.  The Sacrament of Confession is not a time to beat yourself up because you have sinned,  we are all sinners.  If we weren’t we wouldn’t need Jesus!  Confession is a time to rejoice in the forgiveness of our sins!  Several Priests will be available for individual Confessions.  We encourage everyone to receive this Sacrament of God’s mercy and forgiveness, and to celebrate this season of Lent and Easter with joy and renewed hearts.