Dear Brothers and Sisters of Our Lady of Mount Carmel,
Yes, Lent begins this Wednesday. Perhaps your penitential season has already begun as you ponder this week’s stock market activity.
As a Church family I urge you to avail yourself of the continual invitation to grow in the spiritual life through the age-old Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
On Wednesday we will be distributing ashes at Masses at 8:30 AM, 12 Noon and 7:00 PM. There will also be a service for children in church at 3:45.
The church will be open the entire day, as it always is now. Either Fr. Emmett or myself will be present throughout the day if anyone wishes to come for ashes, for reconciliation or just some time for personal prayer.
Our major Lenten program will be a parish mission conducted for us by Fr. Glenn Snow, O.Carm. from the Carmelite Spiritual Center in Darien, Ill. Fr. Glenn will preach at all Masses on the weekends of March 11, 18 and 25.
Lenten missions are a longstanding tradition. But, like so many traditions of our Church, the old expectation of people coming to the mission for three or four nights of a week does not attract too many attendees. The Carmelites have been following this weekend format of parish mission for half a century. In fact, I was one of those mission preachers myself for six years in the 1970s.
Most of all, I alert you to the fact that Lent is upon us once again. We can always get through it by going through the motions. Let us also support one another in the opportunity for repentance and renewal. Prayer and fasting and almsgiving have been the path for 20 centuries!
Blessings to each and all as we dive in once again.
Sincerely yours in Christ and Our Lady of Mount Carmel,