A Message from RE Director, Robby Kiley
Dear Religious Education Families,

A very happy Lent to all of you!

Perhaps it might seem hard to greet Lent with joy (after all, it is sometimes difficult to look forward to self-denial or fasting), but Lent is a wonderful time given to us by mother Church to pause, reflect, repent, and greet Easter with new eyes. During Lent, we undertake the traditional disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving in order to help us engage in spiritual "spring cleaning" as we prepare for the Easter season. Lent comes a little late in the season this year, but we'd still like to help you prepare!

We offer you some practical tips on celebrating Lent. Our intern Paul will share a little bit about how Lent is celebrated in his Melkite Catholic tradition (one of 23 different, non-Roman Catholic churches). We'll offer dates and times for celebrating the sacrament of reconciliation during Lent. Theresa DePung, Director of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, will share on the Stations of the Cross and show one way our students engage with this practice. Holden, our seminarian, will take you into his classroom as he prepares for Lent, and Fr. Bill will share how he is preparing this year. 

We hope you enjoy this edition of the Religious Education newsletter, and that you can enter into this Lenten season well!

Happy Lent! 

Putting the word "happy" with the penitential season "Lent" together might seem to be an oxymoron. However, pursuing the Season of Lent with a positive attitude can bring more happiness than you think. If we are serious about the disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, this annual forty day season of repentance can provide a serious spiritual house cleaning and a valuable preparation for the celebration of the Paschal Mysteries during the Sacred Paschal Triduum.
In fact, we are calling our Tuesday night Lenten Series "Rejoice and Be Glad." In March, 2018, Pope Francis promulgated the Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate, (in English, Rejoice and be Glad) as a way of encouraging us to respond to the Lord's call to holiness in today's world. On the Tuesday evenings during Lent, our speakers will choose one of the saints on the west side of our Triumphal Arch (on the left) to demonstrate how that Saint responded to the call to holiness. 

Father Dan Scheidt will speak about Saint Gianna Molla on March 12. Josh and Stacey Noem will discuss the role of Saint Angela Merici on March 19, and Dr. Timothy O'Malley will cover the life and martyrdom of Saint Charles Lwanga on March 26. Father Brian Daley SJ will talk about Pope Saint John XXIII on April 2, and Father Bill Meininger (FB2!) will combine both Saint Adalbert and Saint Juan Diego in his presentation on April 9. All of these saints have special connections to our parish, and the speakers will help us make those connections.
Please consider coming with your family to this Lenten Series. Join us for Mass each evening at 6:00, followed by a fasting meal of soup, bread, and water at 6:45, with a chance to make a donation to Operation Rice Bowl, benefiting Catholic Relief Services. The Speaker Series begins at 7:30, and we will get you home before 9:00. You can come to all of the evening, or any one of the parts. It is a wonderful way of sharing prayer, almsgiving, and fasting as a community. It will give us reason to rejoice and be glad in what the Lord can do for us during the Season of Lent.

Fr. Bill Schooler

One common Lenten practice is praying the Stations of the Cross. Click the image above to see how students in CGS learn and interact with these prayers in class.

Theresa DePung
Director, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
As Ash Wednesday quickly approaches, Roman Catholics everywhere expect to go to church to have the priest make the sign of the cross on their foreheads with ashes, and then prepare to give up chocolate and ice cream and abstain from meat on Fridays. Many Catholics, however, would be terribly confused if they were to encounter a person with an ashen cross on their forehead a full two days early. Chances are that such a person would be foreign and would claim to be a "Maronite." Are they Orthodox? No, they are Catholic, though not Roman Catholic.

In my experience, this statement has typically prompted a cross-examination about whether I am actually a Catholic, and if so, and what my traditional lenten fasting practices are. While I have become accustomed to the funny looks and suspicious questions from a lifetime of being a Maronite Catholic in a society full of Roman Catholics, I relish the opportunity to explain the diversity of the richness of the global Catholic Church. The Maronite Catholic Church of which I am a part is one of twenty-three Eastern Catholic Churches. Some of these Churches are self-governing, some are directly accountable to the Pope, and some of them answer to the local Roman Catholic diocese, but all of them are in communion with Rome and recognize the authority of the Pope. Although all of the Eastern Catholic Churches are Catholic insofar as they are in communion with Rome, they are unlike the Roman Catholic Church in many distinct ways, most notably in regard to their calendar, liturgy, and fasting.

Most of the Eastern Churches use what is called the Julian calendar, which is an older relative of the Gregorian calendar that is used in the Roman Catholic Church. This results in the Eastern Catholics having a slightly different liturgical year, even to the point of having different dates for Christmas and Easter than the Roman Catholics. In marking the beginning of Lent, they begin from their Easter date and calculate the Monday seven weeks before that date. On that day, they traditionally have liturgies to signify their entrance into the Lenten season, but those liturgies do not include the signing with ashes in any tradition except for the Maronite tradition.

Quick Links
RE Inclement Weather Policy
Campaign Website
Sunday Bulletin
Website and Calendar
The Religious Education website is a one-stop shop for all things RE:

The Religious Education calendar is available on the website through Google Calendars. This calendar is updated in real time to reflect changes in dates, school closings, and more.
March 6
Ash Wednesday

March 18, 5:30 pm
CCD Penance

March 20, 4:15 or 6:30 pm
CCD Penance

March 20, 6:30 pm
Confirmation Parent Meeting
PEC Library

March 23, 8:30 am
First Communion Retreat

March 25, 6:00 pm
Confirmation Parent Meeting
PEC Library

March 26, 12:00 pm
Confirmation Parent Meeting

March 31-April 4
Spring Break

April 14
Final Children's Liturgy of the Word

April 27-28
First Communion Weekend #1

April 30
Last Tuesday CSAM

May 1
Last Wednesday CSAM

May 4, 2:00 pm

May 6
Last Monday CCD, CGS

May 8
Last Wednesday CCD

May 9
Last Thursday CCD

May 11-12
First Communion weekend #2

May 12
Last Sunday CCD

March 17
(11:00 a.m.-noon) 
Lent and the Works of Mercy

May 23
(6:00-7:30 p.m.)
Prayer with Your Catholic Family

The liturgical season of Lent is rapidly approaching. Lent is forty days before we celebrate Easter. The forty days are symbolic of Christ's time in the desert before starting his public ministry. Lent is also a season full of fasting and prayer.

I am blessed to teach seventh grade religious education on Monday evenings at Saint Pius X. I encourage my students to see Lent not as a burden, but rather a time to unite oneself more intimately with Christ. I heavily encourage additional prayer, which becomes continual, beyond just the Lenten season. I have shared with the students the power of the rosary, and have encouraged them to say a decade of the rosary each day throughout Lent. I personally am looking forward to Lent for my own personal growth in holiness. I hope you all have a holy Lent as well.

Saint Pius X Catholic Church | (574) 277-5760 | rkiley@stpius.net | http://www.stpius.net
52553 Fir Road
Granger, IN 46530