During Lent (the period of 40 days from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday), the Roman Catholic Church asks us to follow Jesus into the desert. We are called to practice fasting, almsgiving, and prayer. Fasting does need to limited to not eating meat, fasting can apply to refraining from speaking hurtful words, etc. The Season of Lent precedes the great feast and celebration of Easter – the resurrection of Jesus! Lent is a time of preparation for this joyous feast – we are called to get our souls in order. In other words, it is time to examine our souls – in which areas do we fall short in following Jesus.
Fasting and Abstinence
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics. In addition, Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence. For members of the Roman Catholic Church, the norms on fasting are obligatory from age 18 until age 59. When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal. The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding upon members of the Latin Catholic Church from age 14 onwards. ~USCCB
DO YOU WANT TO FAST THIS LENT?
In the words of Pope Francis
Fast from hurting words and say kind words.
Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude.
Fast from anger and be filled with patience.
Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope.
Fast from worries and have trust in God.
Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity.
Fast from pressures and be prayerful.
Fast from bitterness and fill your hearts with joy.
Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others.
Fast from grudges and be reconciled.
Fast from words and be silent so you can listen.
Saint Polycarp Church provides the parish community the opportunity to put your loose change or a check in the Catholic Relief Service (CRS) Rice Bowl Box. If you wish to donate by check – please make the check out to the parish (St. Polycarp) and on the memo line, write – CRS Rice Bowl. To read more about the CRS Rice Bowl, visit crsricebowl.org/schools. Thank you for your generosity!
Our PSR students donate to the Missionary Childhood Association during Lent.
Ash Wednesday starts the Lenten Season so there will be Stations of the Cross on Fridays at 7 pm in the Church. Come join the parish community as we reflect on Jesus’ passion and suffering as His immense love for each one of us as we pray the Stations of the Cross.
Come at 3 pm on Fridays to join the parish community in praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet in the St. Ann Chapel.
Come at 7 pm on Thursdays to join the parish community in praying the Flame of Love Rosary in the St. Ann Chapel.
Come between 9 am – 9 pm on Tuesdays to join the parish community in praying before the Blessed Sacrament during Adoration in the St. Ann Chapel.
Monday – Friday join the parish community in praying the Rosary before the 8:30 am Mass in the Church.
Experience the Sacrament of Reconciliation / Confession / Penance offered at 2:30 pm on Saturdays at St Polycarp Church and the Deanery Lenten Reconciliation Service at Holy Cross Church on April 8th at 7pm. Who wants to have peace in their hearts? Confession is the answer! It is always the right time to go to Confession so you can experience God’s mercy, love, and forgiveness through the Great Sacrament of Reconciliation. Sin damages our relationship with God and our relationship with others. The Sacrament of Reconciliation restores, refreshes, and renews our relationship with God and our relationship with others. If your soul is in disarray, chances are your life is in disarray as well. An added bonus – you will gain a sense of peace in your soul and in your life after you go to Confession.
Do you need a gift for Easter? Are you looking for a gift which reflects and expresses your Catholic faith? How about you stop by the Parish Office and see our parish secretary, to request a Mass to be said for a family member, friend, yourself, etc. There is no better gift than the gift of prayer! The offering of a Mass for someone (living or deceased) is very powerful.
Consider enrolling the names (living or deceased) in the Easter Novena. The Easter Novena is a period of nine consecutive days of prayer. The names enrolled in the Easter Novena will be remembered at Mass for nine consecutive days. The envelopes are found at all of the Church doors. If you are a registered parishioner, an envelope was mailed to you. You can also participate through the eGiving program.
Give the gift of prayer! Give cards from religious communities such as the Marians of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M. that say “You will remembered in the Three Masses offered on Easter Day”, “You will be remembered in Mass in the Easter Novena”, and “You will be remembered in Mass from this Easter to the Next Easter”.
Some Suggestions for the Lenten Season:
~ Attending Mass more than on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.
Why We Should Attend Holy Mass
(from The Infinite Value of the Holy Mass by the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B. V. M.)
The Mass is the best means we have:
To render God the highest form of worship.
To thank Him for all of His blessings.
To make reparation for our sins.
To obtain all the blessings we desire.
To release souls from purgatory and to shorten our own time there.
To preserve us from all dangers to soul and body.
To be consoled at the hour of death, for at that moment their memory will be our greatest consolation.
To intercede for us at the Judgment Seat of God.
To bring down God’s blessings; therefore, try to attend at Mass every day, or as often as possible, and, of course, on Sundays.
To better understand the sublimity of the Passion of Christ, and, therefore, to increase our love for Him.
~ Attending the Rosary and Sacred Heart Devotions on First Fridays.
~ Praying the Stations of the Cross.
~ Praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
~ Praying the Rosary.
~ Spending time with the Blessed Sacrament during Adoration on Tuesdays
~ Spend 5 minutes or so each day and have a conversation with God. God cares about you and will listen to what you have to say. Give Him your worries, fears, struggles, joys, successes . . .
~ Experiencing Confession (2:30 pm every Saturday at St Polycarp Church and the Deanery Lenten Recondition Service at Holy Cross Church on Monday, April 8th.)
~ Fasting from a particular food.
~ Fasting from hurtful speech.
~ Fasting from the TV.
~ Fasting from the internet.
~ Abstaining from meat on Fridays.
~ Thanking God for all of His blessings.
~ Thanking God for answering your prayers even if His answer is not the one you expected.
~ Choosing to Trust God more.
~ Choosing one of the Ten Commandments to reflect on for a week and to put into practice the observance of that specific commandment.
~ Choosing one of the Beatitudes to reflect on for a week and to put into practice the observance of that specific Beatitude.
~ Choosing one of the Spiritual Works of Mercy to reflect on for a week and to put into practice the observance of that specific Spiritual Work of Mercy.
~ Choosing one of the Corporal Works of Mercy to reflect on for a week and to put into practice the observance of that specific Corporal Work of Mercy.
~ Striving to understand the more deeply and actually living out your Baptismal Promises.
~ Choosing one of the Precepts of the Church to reflect on for a week and then put into practice that specific Precept of the Church.
~ Experiencing the Sacraments more regularly – in particular the Sacrament of Reconciliation (i.e. Confession and Penance) and the Eucharist (i.e. the Mass).
~ Praying for vocations.
~ Praying for priests.
~ Praying for the souls in purgatory. Visit the Prayers for All Souls page on our website at https://saintpolycarp.org/prayers-for-all-souls/ or www.saintpolycarp.org/ > About Us> Our Faith > Prayers for All Souls for some prayers.
~ Learning this short prayer and saying it often throughout the day, especially when you pass a cemetery. As Mother Angelic said, “Everytime you pass a cemetery, it’s time for a little prayer: ‘Eternal Rest grant unto them, O Lord.’ It’s just common sense that you help some of them get out of Purgatory.”
~ Watch shows on EWTN – the adult and children shows offer a Catholic perspective and teach the Catholic faith. During the Lent season, a large number of the shows focus on Lent and the true meaning of Easter.
~ Sharing the love of Jesus with others through your actions and words.
~ Choosing to smile!
~ Choosing to forgive!
~ Choosing to be patient.
~ Choosing to be involved in the various ministries here at St. Polycarp Church.
~ Choosing to be good faithful stewards of the gifts God has given you.
~ Making sacrifices to God, Jesus, Joseph, and our Mother, Mary, throughout the year.
~ Calling on your Guardian Angel for help when you need help. (Did you know you can call on your Guardian help for help or for assistance is resisting temptation and sin? Your Guardian Angel is also a witness to all of your deeds and thoughts.)
~ Reading 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and inserting your name in place of the word “love”. This exercise was a suggestion during a priest’s homily of a Mass which aired on EWTN.
1 Corinthians 134:4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Are you patient?
Are you kind?
Are you not jealous?
Are you not pompous?
Are you not inflated?
Are you not rude?
Are you seeking not your own interests?
Are you not quick-tempered?
Are you not brooding over injury?
Are you not rejoicing over wrongdoing but rather rejoicing with the truth?
Are you bearing all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and enduring all things?
Perhaps you can pick one aspect of Love to work on each week during Lent.
~ Reading the Bible.
~ Reading The Catechism of the Catholic Church.
~ Reading Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska (Divine Mercy).
~ Reading 33 Days to Merciful Love, A Do It Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Consecration to Divine Mercy by Father Gaitley, MIC. (Divine Mercy).
~ Reading In You Did It to Me by Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC (Divine Mercy).
~ Reading Now is the Time for Mercy by Rev. George W. Kosicki, CSB (Divine Mercy).
~ Reading Prayers and Practices for the Souls in Purgatory by Father Dan Cambra, MIC. and Andrew Leeco (Purgatory).
~ Reading Praying in the Presence of Our Lord for the Holy Souls by Susan Tassone (Purgatory).
~ Reading Praying with the Saints for the Holy Souls in Purgatory by Susan Tassone (Purgatory).
~ Reading The Rosary for the Holy Souls in Purgatory by Susan Tassone (Purgatory).
~ Reading St. Faustina Prayer Book for the Conversion of Sinners by Susan Tassone (Mercy and Purgatory).
~ Reading The St. Faustina Prayer Book for the Holy Souls in Purgatory by Susan Tassone (Purgatory).
~ Reading Thirty-Day Devotions for the Holy Souls by Susan Tassone (Purgatory).
~ Reading Hungry Souls: Supernatural Visits, Messages, and Warnings from Purgatory by Gerard J.M. Van Den Aarweg, PH.D. (Purgatory).
~ Reading Excerpts from the Spiritual Diary of Elizabeth Kindelmann (Flame of Love).
~ Reading The Spiritual Diary of Elizabeth Kindelmann (Flame of Love).
~ Reading the Living Faith booklets (offered freely by St. Polycarp Church and found at all of the Church doors).