Lent 2022

Opportunities and Resources

Lent 2022 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.

Collect (Opening Prayer) for Ash Wednesday:
Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting this campaign of Christian service, so that, as we take up battle against spiritual evils, we may be armed with weapons of self-restraint.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

First Reading for Mass of Ash Wednesday:
Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God.  For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment.  
- Joel 2:12-13

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 2022

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

Prayer:  strengthen relationships

Ash Wednesday Mass with Distribution of Ashes will be celebrated at 8:30am on March 2.  A Liturgy of the Word with Distribution of Ashes will be celebrated at noon and 7:00pm.

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 (Mar 4, 11, 18, 25, Apr 1, 8) in-person and live streamed.

Adoration: in the Adoration Chapel Lenten Fridays (6:30-8:30pm) & Tuesdays (6:30-9:30pm).

Parish Lenten Mission: Led by Fr. Michael Barbarossa Mar. 7-9 with daily Mass at 6pm, mission talk, Adoration, and Confessions. 

Read the Bible:  make time to hear God's Word.

Bible Study:  Thursday mornings after the 8:30am Mass (Mar 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, Apr 7) in the parish hall.  Topic:  The Lamb's Supper:  Using our Biblical Imagination at Mass

Sacrament of Reconciliation:  Tue. after 6pm Mass & Sat. after 8:30am Mass & 4:00-4:45pm.

Rosary: anytime!  Including Tuesday thru Saturday :30 before Mass.   

Free Lenten Email Meditations: do you like a little gift in your inbox each morning? These three great online resources offer them; 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 (free; access all of Formed with parish subscription)

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 and share your thoughts, hopes, joys and sorrows.

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 team in support of Life. Lent campaign runs Mar 2 - Apr 10. Find local info HERE.

WHO Shelter:  support the Winter Hospitality Overflow site in Vancouver during March. Learn more HERE. Signup online HERE.

RCIA:  invite someone to explore the Catholic Church or to come home if they’ve been away.

Sister Parish:  learn more about and support Mary, Mother of the Church in Uganda.

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

Donate:  give to your favorite charity.

Volunteer:  watch the bulletin and our social media pages for opportunities to support people in need in our area. And you could also help with parish life events such as coffee hours after Sunday Masses and receptions on Feast Days such as the Annunciation (Mar 25) and the Easter Vigil Liturgy (Apr 16).

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

Social Media/Screen Time:  Come hear Deacon Eric Paige on Sunday, Mar. 6, at 9:45am in the parish hall as he helps us navigate the important topic of Taming Technology

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

Gossip:  another habit to limit and directly help us improve our relationships.

Shopping:  sure, we might want it...but do we really need it? Don't let "consumer" be your identity.

These three disciplines of Lent are interconnected. These three disciplines of lent are interconnected. For example, fasting is one way to limit non-essential distractions so that we can create space for being more aware of, present to, and generous to others, a critical step in developing intimacy, including with God (the goal of Prayer). Greater awareness of our connection to others prompts us to help those in need (almsgiving).