Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 14th

The key to understanding the meaning of Lent is simple: Baptism. Preparation for Baptism and for renewing baptismal commitment lies at the heart of the season. Why is Baptism so important in our Lenten understanding? Lent as a 40-day season developed in the fourth century from three merging sources. The first was the ancient paschal fast that began as a two-day observance before Easter but was gradually lengthened to 40 days. The second was the catechumenate as a process of preparation for Baptism, including an intense period of preparation for the Sacraments of Initiation to be celebrated at Easter. The third was the Order of Penitents, which was modeled on the catechumenate and sought a second conversion for those who had fallen back into serious sin after Baptism. As the catechumens (candidates for Baptism) entered their final period of preparation for Baptism, the penitents and the rest of the community accompanied them on their journey and prepared to renew their baptismal vows at Easter. Click here to read more of this article and Lenten FAQ at Catholic Online.

Click here to read the Lenten message from Pope Francis.

Scroll down to see more Lent information and resources

Lenten Dates at St. Mary

Parish Mission - "Wonderfully Created, Wonderfully Redeemed"

Sunday, 2/25 and Monday 2/26 

7:00 - 8:30 PM in the Main Church

RSVP to the Pre MIssion Pizza Party on 2/25 at 6:00PM

Stations of the Cross - Fridays at 6:00PM 

February 16, 23, March 2, 9, 16, and 23

Sacrament of Reconciliation - All Saturdays at 4:00 PM 

Individual confessions may be scheduled with the parish office

No Confessions on Holy Saturday, March 31 

Lenten Reconciliation Service - Thursday, March 22 7:00 PM 

A short Liturgy of the Word followed by an extended period for individual Confessions. 

(One need not be present at 7:00 to receive the sacrament.)

Lenten Resources and Activities

Below are links to activities to enrich the season of Lent

  • St mary parish mission

    "wonderfully created, wonderfully redeemed"

    St. Mary parish mission is scheduled for the evenings of February 25 & 26 from 7:00 - 8:30. Speaker Kristin Bird will help us to tune into the voice of the shepherd and to discern our unique call to share the love of God with the world. 

    Click here to learn more about mission events.

  • 10 Things to remember for lent from usccb

    Journey to the foot of the cross. Bishop David L. Ricken with the United States Council of Catholic Bishops offers "10 Things to Remember for Lent." 

    Click here to visit the USCCB site and read the article by Bishop Ricken.

  • lenten resources from Loyola Press

    Use the link below to check out Lenten ideas from Loyola Press. Find prayers, reflections, history and activities all to enrich the season of Lent. 

    Click here for Lenten resources from Loyola Press.

  • Lenten reflection exchange

    Share your reflections about what Lent means to you and some of your most memorable Lenten traditions. Select responses will be published in the bulletin and on the parish website. Click here to learn more...

  • 25 things to do for lent from busted halo

    Challenge yourself this year for Lent, and go beyond the usual practice of “giving up” something. Now is a great time to take stock of your spiritual life and to grow in it. Not sure where to start? Check out these 25 ideas from BustedHalo.com

  • Lenten reflections by bishop robert barron

    Bishop Robert Barron and Word on Fire put out a series of videos on subjects on modern day culture. Click here to sign up for Bishop Barron's Lenten reflections.

  • Best Lent ever with dynamic catholic

    Receive daily emails with short inspirational videos from Dynamic Catholic team members. Your 40 days of Lent will be an incredibly transformative experience because you've learned simple yet powerful ways to become the person God created you to be. Click here to sign up!

  • The Path to peace

    Daily reflections, prayers and actions by Alice camille

    Travel the Lenten terrain: the desert, a mountaintop, the Temple, the Upper Room and a fateful borrowed tomb. This booklet and other Lenten materials are available in the parish narthex.

  • Busted halo instalent photo challenge

    Need a creative way to add some spiritual reflection to your day-to-day this Lent Join the Busted Halo InstaLent Photo Challenge. Lent is a time to reflect and draw closer to God, so we hope to do just that with the creative ideas for photo-sharing we’ll provide each day. Get ready, and get creative! Your Instagram feed is about to look a whole lot like Lent. Click here to read more.

  • A spiritual journey with st. Ignatius of Loyola

    "Lord, Teach Me to Pray" is a three-part, facilitated prayer series developed to meet the desire for on-going spiritual growth; for an appropriate response to the call to holiness; and for a deeper commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord. Women's group offered at the parish for Lent. Click here to learn more...

Why do we receive ashes?

Ash Wednesday is one of the most popular and important holy days in the liturgical calendar and takes place 46 days before Easter Sunday and comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting. The practice includes the wearing of ashes on the head which symbolize the dust form which God made us and are intended to humble our hearts and remind us that life passes away on earth. As the ashes, made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year, are applied to a person's forehead while the minister speaks the words: "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return." While the ashes symbolize penance and contrition, they are also a reminder that God is gracious and merciful to those who call on Him with repentant hearts. His Divine mercy is of utmost importance during the season of Lent, and the Church calls on us to seek that mercy during the entire Lenten season with reflection, prayer and penance. Click here to read more of this article at Catholic Online.