Lent Begins Soon!

Ash Wednesday Mass with Blessing and Imposition of Ashes: Wednesday, February 26th at 6:30 am, 8 am, 12.10 pm, 6 pm, and in Spanish at 7 pm.

Fasting and abstinence: Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Abstinence: Lenten Fridays.
Fasting: Holy Saturday.

Our parish makes the Way of the Cross together on Lenten Fridays at 6 pm in Saint Mary Church. The Via Crucis (“Way of the Cross”) is a journey made in the Holy Spirit, that divine fire which burned in the heart of Jesus (cf. Lk 12, 49-50) and brought him to Calvary. This is a journey well esteemed by the Church since it has retained a living memory of the words and gestures of the final earthly days of her Spouse and Lord. In the Via Crucis, various strands of Christian piety coalesce: the idea of life being a journey or pilgrimage; as a passage from earthly exile to our true home in Heaven; the deep desire to be conformed to the Passion of Christ; the demands of following Christ, which imply that his disciples must follow behind the Master, daily carrying their own crosses (cf Lk 9, 23). The Via Crucis is a particularly apt pious exercise for Lent. The Via Crucis in which hymns, silence, procession and reflective pauses are wisely integrated in a balanced manner, contribute significantly to obtaining the spiritual fruits of the pious exercise. (See the “Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy”, 131-135).

We celebrate the Sacrament of Penance seven times per week: Wednesdays (excluding Ash Wednesday) after the 6 pm Mass, Saturdays after the 8 am Mass and again at 5 pm; Sundays at 7:30 am, 10 am, 1:30 pm and 5:30 pm. During Lent, we also hear confessions after the 8 am Mass on Wednesdays (excluding Ash Wednesday). The priest enters the confessional if there are penitents in line at the appointed time, and he remains in the confessional as long as penitents keep coming.

WHEN TO CELEBRATE THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE:
Each time you intend to receive Holy Communion, first examine your conscience for any mortal sins (mortal sins are sins committed freely and knowingly against the Ten Commandments).

HOW TO CELEBRATE THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE:
A. Enter if the light is green; the priest will welcome you.
B. Tell him your state of life (e.g. married, widowed, single, religious, etc.) and when you last celebrated this sacrament.
C. Tell him which mortal sins you’ve committed and how many times you’ve committed each one. You may also confess venial sins, especially recurring ones.
D. The priest assigns a penitential satisfaction, which you accept.
E. Recite an act of contrition: e.g. “O God, be merciful to me, a sinner”.
F. The priest gives you the sacrament.
G. The priest says: “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good”.
H. You respond: “His mercy endures forever”.
I. The priest dismisses you: “The Lord has freed you from your sins. Go in peace.”
J. You respond: “Thanks be to God”.

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