A parish community less than two miles away and directly impacted by the Feb. 14 school shooting at a Broward County high school is finding new purpose in Lent this year, according to the parish administrator.
The pope preached on the day’s first reading, taken from the prophet Isaiah, which condemned the false ways the faithful were fasting on a day of penance and the ways that are “acceptable to the Lord.”
People often talk about giving up something for Lent such as candy, soda or more recently, social media, while some commit to doing something extra including praying more, reading spiritual works or helping others and many do both.
For the third consecutive year, the Diocese of St. Cloud will celebrate a “Festival of Forgiveness” at various locations across the diocese giving thousands of people the opportunity to receive the sacrament of reconciliation.
Unlike Christmas, Easter and every Sunday of the year, Ash Wednesday is not a holy day of obligation. Maybe that’s part of the draw for some people, who fill their parish churches for Ash Wednesday liturgies as they rarely do at any other time.
This year’s Rice Bowl program has taken on a special theme, following the two-year “Share the Journey” campaign kicked off by Pope Francis last September. As part of this ongoing effort of the universal church, Rice Bowl, too, is focusing on ways in which we share the journey of those in need, particularly migrants and refugees.