Lent 2021

Opportunities and Resources

Lent 2021 at St. Thomas Aquinas

Lent:  the 40-day period of purification and enlightenment to prepare ourselves to celebrate Easter. Baptism provides an initiation to an ongoing process of conversion and Lent offers a specific season in which to focus on this effort, embrace spiritual disciplines, and enter into greater intimacy with God.

The following calendar view summarizes parish events this year.  Please see below for more information, including how to signup for specific parish opportunities and other resources you can use at home.

Parish Events listed on the above calendar:

- Ash Wednesday Masses:  signup HERE to attend 8:30am, noon, or 7:30pm.  The 8:30am Mass will be live streamed and a recording will be available for later in the day.

- Stations of the Cross:  Fridays at 6pm (except Mar. 19); signup HERE to attend. Live stream also available. 

- Fr. Jim's Lenten Catechesis on Reconciliation:  two sessions on Wednesdays (Feb 24 and Mar. 3) at 7:00-7:30pm. Signup will be available soon; live stream also available. 

- Lenten Bible Study on the Passion Accounts:  Thursdays at 7pm via Zoom.  Email ted@stthomascamas.org to signup and receive the Zoom link. 

- Parish Lenten Mission:  Led by Fr. Justin Ryan Mar. 18-19. Signup will be available soon; live stream also available. 

Guidance for days of fasting and abstinence:

Ash Wednesday, while not a Holy Day of Obligation, is a day of fasting and abstinence.

Fasting:  Catholics aged 18-59 fast on Ash Wednesday and on Good Friday by reducing the amount of food eaten from normal. Church guidance is to eat just one full meal on those days (and up to two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed a full meal); no snacks.

Abstinence:  Catholics aged 14 and older abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and on all Fridays of Lent.


Ideas for Engaging Lent 2021

The three traditional spiritual disciplines of Lent are prayer, almsgiving, and fasting.

Prayer:  strengthen relationships

Ash Wednesday Masses will be celebrated at 8:30am, noon, and 7:00pm (and live streamed).

Daily Mass: come for Mass on Tuesday at 6pm or on Wednesday thru Saturday mornings at 8:30am.

Stations of the Cross: Lenten Fridays at 6pm (Feb 19, 26, Mar 5, 12, 26) in-person and live streamed.
  - Use SignUpGenius to attend Ash Wed. Masses, Sunday Masses, and Stations of the Cross.

Parish Mission: Join Fr. Justin Ryan Mar. 18-19; conferences available in-person and live streamed.  

Bible Study: a study on Christ’s Passion begins Feb. 18 on Thursdays via Zoom.

Adoration: visit the Blessed Sacrament during open church hours Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  

Sacrament of Reconciliation:  see the parish website and Liturgy Schedule for Lent for the latest hours.

Rosary: anytime!  Including 30 minutes before daily Mass.   

Free Lenten Email Meditations: do you like a little gift in your inbox each morning? These three great Catholic media companies offer free online resources; visit their website to check it out and to sign up:
   - Dynamic Catholic - https://dynamiccatholic.com/best-lent-ever
   - Word on Fire - https://www.lentreflections.com/
   - Formed.org - https://formed.org/lent

Personal Prayer: the essential ingredient in the transformation we all seek during Lent. If you do nothing else, make time for a few minutes every day to listen to the Lord. 

Almsgiving:  give more

Rice Bowl: support Catholic Relief Services with your Rice Bowl donations during Lent and return it on Holy Thursday. Visit www.crsricebowl.org for great Lenten resources.

SVdP: volunteer to assist St. Vincent de Paul with their work to help the needy in our area.

40 Days for Life: join this prayerful vigil for Life Feb 17-Mar 28 (www.40daysforlife.com/vancouver).

WHO Shelter: support the Winter Hospitality Overflow site in Vancouver, Mar. 14-20; signup online.

Chores:  perform an extra family chore each day or week. Donate time to help a neighbor. 

Donate:  give to your favorite charity.

Fasting:  take less (and train our stubborn wills so that we are more free to do what we ought)

Soup Suppers:  at your home on Lenten Fridays since we cannot host you at the parish this year.   

Social Media/Screen Time:  what would happen if you just turned it off?

Snacks/Desserts:  the traditional and simple way to train your stubborn will.

Gossip:  another habit to limit.

Shopping:  sure, we might want it...but do we really need it?  Another classic way to train your will.

These three disciplines of Lent are interconnected.  For example, fasting is one way to limit non-essential distractions so that we might create space for being more present to others, necessary for strengthening relationships, including with God.  A greater awareness of our connection to others prompts us to help those in need.