My Dear Parishioners and Visitors to Holy Family,
As we approach the beginning of the Season of Lent, we are all called to take this time in looking into our relationship with Christ. We are given this few forty days to improve on that relationship through prayer, charity and fasting. These are the three ways we give to Christ, so that we will understand Him better. Many people think of Lent as a time of giving up and doing without. The better way we should look at these days is that we are given the opportunity to spend more time with God, while putting aside the time we waste that really often achieves nothing! (Or at least, nothing as substantial as the eternal relationship with our maker.)
Members of my previous parishes knew me for proclaiming to them that now is the time to have a “Good Lent” or “Happy Lent”. Yes, it can be a happy experience that may even change our lives, and what better experience can that be? This year we have several special opportunities to improve on that relationship during the season of Lent. First, coming up the weekend of March 25 and during the following week we will have nationally known Fr. Scott Seethaler, OFM Cap., a Capuchin Franciscan Preacher, who will be leading us in our Lenten retreat. Please try to make these days of prayer. The retreat will include a penance service. Also we have the possibilities of several world renowned speakers who are vying to come to Holy Family. (And why not? We are in the center of the Worlds, we have a leading production company and television studio and we are filled with the Holy Spirit). I will let you know when those speakers are finalized.
In general, I ask that you take the most of this time and grow your relationship with the God of love and mercy, Jesus Christ. May your days of Lent be filled with many graces, the forgiveness of Christ, and the joy of recognizing how much God wants to be closer to you!
Rules of Fasting and Abstinence
Ash Wednesday, March 1 and Good Friday, April 14 are days of fast and abstinence. All the Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence.
Fridays of Lent are also days of abstinence.
Fasting is to be observed by all 18 years of age and older, who have not yet celebrated their 59th birthday. On a fast day one full meal is allowed. Two other meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to each one’s needs, but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids, including milk and juices, are allowed.
Abstinence is observed by all 14 years of age and older. On days of abstinence no meat is allowed. Note that when health or ability to work would be seriously affected, the law does not oblige. When in doubt concerning fast and abstinence, the parish priest should be consulted.
Fasting, alms giving, and prayer are the three traditional disciplines of Lent. The faithful and catechumens should undertake these practices seriously in a spirit of penance and of preparation for baptism or of renewal of baptism at Easter.
Fr. John C. Giel, V.G.