In his Lenten message, Pope Francis invites all Catholics to practice acts of charity to resist what he has called a "globalization of indifference."  He also encourages all parishes to become "islands of mercy" for brothers and sisters in need.  

As we begin this Lenten season, each of us is invited to use these 40 days as an opportunity for "Growing Closer to Jesus."  We do this by following the ancient practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.   Prayer strengthens us for living our Christian life.  Fasting helps us get in touch with our own neediness and emptiness.  Almsgiving is sharing our possessions with those in need.  Here are some suggestions how:

Prayer

       The Sunday and daily celebration of the Eucharist at mass when we come together to worship God 

       Pray for ten minutes every day by yourself or with your family:

o    reading from the Bible,  perhaps a passage from St. Mark's gospel, which we are reading at the Sunday masses; www.truthandlifeapp.com;

o    spending 10 minutes in silence, being open to the power of God's love in our lives; 

o    reading the daily reflections from fellow parishioners (respond to this email to office@stjosaphatparish.org to receive reflections); and 

o    praying with the Little Black Book (adults) or Little Purple Book (children) available at church entrances.

Fasting

       Fasting is eating only one main meal and enough to maintain strength at two other meals, with no additional food in between.  The expectation for all adult Catholics is to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. 

       Adult Catholics should also abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays in Lent.  

       Besides these minimums, what might I give up for the 40 days of Lent that could better direct my thoughts and actions toward God?  Perhaps no sweets every Monday, restricted electronic devices, abstaining from verbally besting family and friends or from gossip????

Almsgiving

       Participate in the "almoners" program

o    Donate to the weekly offering at mass to purchase $5 gift cards at McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts for those who could be helped with a meal.  

o    Take the cards available at the back of church after mass and deliver to someone in need.  (Do you pass those who sleep under the viaducts, pick aluminum from the trash or beg for money at the expressway ramps?)

       Put aside one hour's wages per week to donate to the Sunday offertory collection

       Reserve something extra daily for a Lenten charity.  The Lent Almsgiving Envelope, mailed to you at home and available at church, is a good way to do this!  

o    Homeless Outreach (providing a meal for area homeless)

o    Friends of the Orphans (providing for orphaned and abandoned children in 9 countries in Central & South America)

o    Charity of your choice

       A third option is to participate in the Parish Transformation Project (PTP) in order to do strategic planning for the parish.  This is a sacrifice of time!  PTP meetings are in the rectory on Thursdays from 7- 9 pm from 2/19 - 4/30 - except during Holy Week & Easter Week.

You will be in my prayers this Lenten Season as I hope I will be in yours,

Parish Transformation Project
We meet next on Thursday, February 26 at 7 pm in the Rectory!

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Mon Ami Gabi, Pizza Capri and lots more!

The survey closes at 10 pm, Sunday, March 1.

Lent 2015
Download your Lent Calendar!

Upcoming Events:
Thursday, Feb. 19
Mass, 6:30 pm

Parish Transformation Project, 7 - 9 pm
Rectory Office

Friday, Feb. 20
Mass, 8:15 am

Saturday, Feb 21
Women's Spirituality Retreat, 8 am, Red Door Meeting Room

Reconciliation 4:15 pm
Mass 5 pm

Sunday, Feb 22
Mass, 8 am, 10 am, 12 pm

Monday, Feb 23
Mass, 8:15 am

Tuesday, Feb 24
Mass, 8:15 am

Wednesday, Feb 25
Mass, 6:30 pm

Thursday, Feb 26

Mass, 6:30 pm

Parish Transformation Project, 7 - 9 pm
Rectory Office


Sweet Home Chicago
Please pick items won or purchased at Sweet Home Chicago by Sunday, March 1.

Unclaimed items will be donated back to the parish.