The Season of Lent is a time of fasting, almsgiving and consciously making room for God in our busy lives. Whatever image comes to your mind with the distribution of ashes this Wednesday, we begin another Lenten journey together. There are many opportunities to grasp during these next 40 days.
FASTING & ABSTINENCE: Ash Wednesday is one of two days of fasting and abstinence set down by the Church, the other being Good Friday. In current Catholic practice, Fasting means having only one full meal a day. Smaller quantities of food may be eaten at two other meals but no food should be consumed at any other time during the day. The law of fasting applies to those who are aged 18-59 years. Abstinence is the practice of abstaining from the use of certain kinds of food. Everyone aged 14 years and older is required to abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. The spirit of the law may invite us to extend the fast to things other than food – tweeting, surfing the net, gambling or gossiping. The minimum fasting requirements make most sense when they are combined with prayer and almsgiving. The Catholic practice of fasting and almsgiving aims at leading us to interior conversion. We fast in order to share our time and our treasure with an attitude of love towards God and others.
DAILY MASS: Each day we have daily Mass opportunities for you to incorporate into your daily Lenten routine. Why not join us?
PARISH MINI MISSION: It is important to make time to reflect on our lives and the direction life is taking us. To help us this year we welcome Bishop Tim Norton who will lead our Parish Mini Mission. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, February 27, February 28 & March 1. Mass on those three days will be at 4:30pm and the Mini Mission will be from 5 to 6pm. Don’t let this Lenten opportunity slip by!
LITTLE BLACK BOOKS: Available at each church are the Little Black Books, which contain short and appropriate daily reflections A tremendous companion throughout the days of Lent. A gold coin donation to cover the cost would be appreciated.
DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT: This Lent why not mark in your diary the World Day of Prayer which is a worldwide gathering of Christians. In our Parish Family, the World Day of Prayer will be hosted this year on Friday 3 March by:
Buderim: 10.00am, St Mary’s Catholic Church (contact Rosemary on 5477 1010 or the Parish Office with any queries)
Maroochydore: 10.00am, St Peter’s Anglican Church, Cnr Church Street and Beach Road
Coolum Beach: 9.30am, Holy Spirit Anglican Church, 25 Beach Road
Why not, this Lent, join your local Christians for this annual morning of prayer?
RECONCILIATION: Forgiveness should be part of everyone’s Lenten journey. It is never easy! Reconciliation is offered every Saturday at Stella Maris Church from 8:30am to 9:30am. Our Communal Rite of Reconciliation is celebrated on Monday of Holy Week – Monday 3 April at 5.00pm, Stella Maris Church.
PROJECT COMPASSION: A practical and life giving aspect of Lent has always been our sacrifices and the ability to financially support, through the Project Compassion Appeal, those who have come off second best. Indeed, Project Compassion is something in which all individuals and families can be involved. Envelopes are available at the entrance to the church.
LENTEN PROGRAM: This year the Lenten Program is entitled, “From Ashes to Hope”. All those who have been part of the program during previous Lents have found it a valuable part of their journey – if you have ordered your book make sure you collect it from the Parish Office before Ash Wednesday.
STATIONS OF THE CROSS: Each week during Lent you are offered an opportunity to walk the Way of the Cross – the Via Crucis – a timely way to contemplate the final journey of Jesus. During Lent: Stella Maris following 9am Mass on Fridays, St Catherine’s 6pm on Fridays.
LENT IS A SOLEMN SEASON: You will notice that together we will pray the Confiteor while the Gloria is omitted until the great celebrations of Easter. The liturgical colours and the music that has been especially selected to accompany us during Lent, are all subtle reminder of our faith journey. As a Catholic Parish, as individuals, and as families, Lent is an important time. To ensure that the grace of this season, and all the God-given opportunities, do not just slip through our fingers; it is important to think now about how this Lent will be different and life transforming.