Lent and Easter are connected celebrations in the life of the Church, based on the Paschal Mystery—the passion, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ. In other words, we can’t have an Easter without Lenten sacrifices. In the same way, we can trust that our Lenten sacrifices will always conclude with Easter Joy. One way we can truly understand Easter Sunday is if we try to understand
Good Friday—the day that commemorates Christ’s suffering and death.
The number of days in Lent (40) is based on the Scriptures. Moses wandered in the desert for 40 years. Noah’s ark floated in the desolate flood for 40 days, and Christ himself went into the desert for 40 days. In those days in the desert, Christ fasted and overcame temptation. Lent helps us realize that Christ is our God who truly understands our hunger and our temptation. These 40 days of Lent help us to understand how Christ fasted and how He overcame temptation. The season of Lent has three primary pillars:
FASTING is a traditional form of penance when we eat one main meal and two lesser meals. The practice of fasting is a sacrifice that helps us to avoid giving in to unnecessary or sinful desires, and that helps to recognize hunger in our world. All adults are bound by the laws of fasting from their 14th-60th birthday. Although fasting and penance are done throughout the entire 40 days of Lent, Catholics are asked to take on a particular fast on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent and abstain from eating meat.
PRAYING is necessary throughout the year, but even more important during Lent. It helps us remember there is a God who wants a relationship with us. The Church encourages particular prayers throughout Lent such as the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary and the Stations of the Cross.
ALMSGIVING allows us to put our faith into action. The giving of alms is a biblical teaching, and helps us to be detached from the worldly temptation to love money.
Lent is a time of atonement and preparation. Only through Christ’s mercy can the Christian truly celebrate Easter’s promise of Resurrection and new life! Each Lent, we have a great opportunity to immerse ourselves into the heart of the season and begin thinking with the mind of the Church. We have such a gift in the 40 days of Lent. The Church knows that we need time to ready our hearts before the great celebration of Easter. In the desert of Lent, we will meet our Lord. The 40 days of Lent should be a reflection of the changes happening in the Liturgy and be an invitation to fully participate in the mystery of Christ’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection.
In order to help you in more fully participating in the Lenten season, we have several additional opportunities for prayer.
MISSION MONDAYS: Every Monday NIGHT AT 7:00PM, during Lent, join us for an hour of adoration with praise and worship music. All are welcome, including children and all the noises that come with them, for they are the sign of a growing parish! This is a Festival of Praise (F.O.P.) in the church and words will be projected for adorers to sing along. Dates are as follows:
Feb. 19 Feb. 26 Mar. 5 Mar. 12
PARISH RECONCILIATION: March 19th from 7:00-9:00 P.M. (Several visiting priests will be joining us to hear confessions. They will take place during Adoration with quieter music in the background).
SATURDAY MORNINGS: Feb. 10th-Mar. 24th 9:00 A.M.-10:30 A.M.
Did you know that Catholicism defines “conversion” not as a one-time event but as a life-long process of engaging in an ever-deepening relationship with Christ? Please join us this Lent in turning our attention and energy toward Christ through the program, Conversion: Following the Call of Christ, a DVD-based program presented by Fr. Robert Barron. Using six stories from the Bible, Bishop Barron demonstrates how ordinary, sinful people like us are met by Jesus and called to a better life through Him. The journey begins on Saturday, February 10th, from 9 – 10:30 AM (following 8am Mass) and the following seven Saturdays, in the Parish Center. Register by calling or texting Garrett & Kelsey Hughes at (301) 938-9378.
THURSDAYS DURING LENT: (February 22nd – March 22nd) The Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet will be recited at 6:30 P.M. in Church.
FISH FRY FRIDAY, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Every Friday – Feb. 16th thru March 23rd in the Portico
STATIONS OF THE CROSS EVERY FRIDAY
(February 16th thru March 23rd)
2:15 p.m………….. Children’s Stations of the Cross (Lead by SJS students)
7:00 p.m.…………… Traditional Stations of the Cross
SATURDAY, MARCH 24
7:30 P.M. …..Tenebrae Service (with the Adult Choir)
MONDAY, MARCH 26
8:00 A.M…..Morning Mass
7:00 P.M…..Living Stations presented by SJS Middle School in gym
TUESDAY, MARCH 27
8:00 A.M…. Morning Mass
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28
8:00 A.M…. Morning Mass
HOLY THURSDAY, MARCH 29
8:00 A.M….Morning Prayer
6:00 P.M…. Adoration in Parish Center Chapel is suspended until Easter
7:00 P.M…. Mass of the Lord’s Supper with Eucharistic Procession to Portico
*Adoration in Portico until 10:00pm
GOOD FRIDAY, MARCH 30
8:00 A.M….Morning Prayer
3:00 P.M…. Stations of the Cross (Church)
7:00 P.M…..Celebration of the Lord’s Passion: (Liturgy of the Word, Veneration of the Cross & Holy Communion)
HOLY SATURDAY~SATURDAY, MARCH 31st
8:00 A.M…….. Morning Prayer & Blessing of Easter Food
8:00 P.M……… Easter Vigil Mass in the Church (Bilingual)
EASTER SUNDAY MASSES, APRIL 1st
7:15 A.M……….. Church
8:45 A.M……….. Church
9:00 A.M……….. The Portico
10:45 A.M………. The Portico
10:30 A.M………. Church
12:15 P.M. (Spanish)…Church
Note: There will be NO 6:00 P.M. Mass on Easter Sunday.
Adoration in Parish Chapel resumes at 6:00 P.M.