Stations of the Cross
Thursdays During Lent
Potluck after Stations
St. Paul Lenten Penance Service
The Parable of the Prodigal Son is a powerful story. Many of us find it difficult to believe that the father welcomes the son back instantly, before he even gets to the house, and isn't interested in the young man's confession, only in celebrating. In the past, many viewed the Sacrament of Reconciliation with the attitude of the older son in the story: that forgiveness comes only after you recite your list of sins, agree to suffer a bit for them, do something to make up for your offenses, guarantee you won't commit the same sins again, and prove yourself worthy to join the rest of us who haven't been so foolish! However, God is not out to catch us in our sin but intent on reaching out and hanging on to us in spite of our sin. Reconciliation is not what we, the penitents, do, but what God does in, with and through us. It includes:
St. Paul Lenten Penance Service will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 2. Several priests will be on hand to hear confessions.
Lenten Regulations on Fast & Abstinence
Catholics between the ages of 18 and 59 are obliged to Fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. In addition, all Catholics 14 years old and older must abstain from meat on all Fridays of Lent.
Fasting: The law of fasting requires a Catholic from the 18th birthday [Canon 97] to the 59th birthday [i.e. the beginning of the 60th year, a year which will be completed on the 60th birthday] to reduce the amount of food eaten from normal. The Church defines this as one meal a day and two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed the main meal in quantity. Such fasting is obligatory on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. The fast is broken by eating between meals and by drinks which could be considered food (milk shakes, but not milk).
Abstinence: The law of abstinence requires a Catholic 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. Meat is considered to be the flesh and organs of mammals and fowl.
People who are unable to practice bodily penance, due to pregnancy, illness or hard physical labor may choose another form of penance or charity. The Church urges that works of penance be linked to works of charity -- for example, using the money saved on less expensive meals or giving up snacks to feed the poor.