My brothers and sisters,
As we begin this Season of Lent, we are blessed to have this time in which we are able to draw closer to the Lord as we prepare to celebrate the Paschal Mystery, the Lord’s passion, death and resurrection. In order to grow spiritually, the Church provides us tools which help us; these are: prayer, fasting (penance) and almsgiving (acts of charity).
1. Prayer In order to facilitate prayer throughout this Lenten season, we will have Mass on Wednesday evenings, at 6:00 p.m., at St. John the Baptist Church during the season of Lent. This Mass is open to both parishioners of Sacred Heart and St. John the Baptist. Please always check the weekly bulletin regarding this Mass. Also, we are invited and encouraged to spend extra time in our daily prayers or to read the Gospels slowly and meditate upon Jesus’ words.
2. Almsgiving or Acts of Charity To promote acts of charity this Lenten season, “Lenten Folders” are available in the churches. Please take one per family. The idea is to place $1.00 per day of Lent, for a total of $40.00 per folder, which will go toward parish charities. Some of the charities which we have supported in the past are the local Soup Kitchens at Holy Family and Holy Rosary/St. John, the J.O.I.N Office with Catholic Social Services, and the St. Francis Center in Vinton County Ohio, as well as others. The idea of the Lenten Folders are to allow the entire parish participate in this way of helping those in need through our Parish during this season of Lent. I invite you to participate in this parish-wide initiative, as well as perhaps an extra act of charity or generosity to those in need.
3. Penance Finally, a reminder that Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fast and abstinence, meaning abstaining from meat and also not eating between meals and limiting the amount of food we eat on those days. Also, every Friday in Lent is a day of abstaining from meat, as well. Please see the information in the bulletin for more information on fasting and other Lenten regulations. Also, we are encouraged to perform some form of self-denial or penance; this is to help us grow in our relationship with Christ and detach ourselves from those things that so easily distract us from our relationship with Jesus in the midst of our busy lives.
May you grow spiritually with the Lord during this Season of Lent and have a great week!
Fr. Tony Lonzo
Associate Administrator, Sacred Heart and St. John the Baptist