One of the rituals of the Church that has real staying power is the celebration of Ash Wednesday. Across the world, people in great numbers gather to receive the mark of the ashes, and those stark words, "Remember you are dust and unto dust you shall return."
Even those who have grown lax in the practice of their faith on other days feel called to the church on Ash Wednesday. At St. Katharine Drexel Parish, we will be happy to welcome everyone at our parish Masses at 8 a.m., 5:30 p.m., and 7 p.m. Please do extend the invitation to relatives and friends who may not receive this letter.
On Ash Wednesday, all Catholics 14 years of age and older are asked to abstain from meat for the day. All Catholics ages 18-59 are also asked to fast between meals. Additionally, all Fridays of Lent are set aside as days of abstinence from meat products.
The season of Lent is meant to be a time when Catholics focus more intentionally on their spiritual lives in preparation for renewing their Baptismal Promises at Easter. In the Rite for the Baptism of Children, parents promise that they will form their children in the life of the Gospel by teaching them to love God and their neighbors.
All of our Lenten practices aim to help us renew our commitment to God and to our neighbors. Each Friday of Lent, we will pray the Stations of the Cross at 5:30 p.m. in our church. I hope all families will bring their children to the Stations of the Cross at least once.
The Knights of Columbus will serve a Fish Dinner each Friday at 6 p.m. in our Multipurpose Room. Following the fish dinner each Friday, we will offer a video by Bishop Robert Barron, “Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Lively Virtues.” Many of you would find this series to be very helpful.
Our parish will also provide a variety of devotional materials for adults and for children to be used at home. We hope these materials will encourage spiritual discussion and prayer in your homes. Books and pamphlets will be available on the table in our Gathering Space.
Operation Rice Bowl invites us to fast from creature comforts and to donate our savings to those who are hungry, homeless, sick, or impaired. In our parish, we forward one-half of the Rice Bowl offerings to Catholic Relief Services and use the other half for our parish Food and Diaper Pantry and for our parish St. Vincent de Paul Conference.
Let us pray for one another as we begin another season of 40 days, and let's begin with zeal.
Very sincerely yours,
Father Gregory Tschakert