Bishop offers guidance for Lenten journey
With this week’s arrival of Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., recently issued his 2018 Lenten message, and instructions to his flock on a faithful observance of Lent.
In his message, Bishop O’Connell shared a family memory of his mother’s love for cooking and baking, recalling that on special occasions she would often check the recipes even though she had long committed them to memory. “She wanted to get it right for her family,” the Bishop wrote.
The Bishop stressed the importance of “getting it right” as Lent arrives. He writes: “As we begin the Holy Season of Lent, our thoughts turn once again to this penitential time of grace the Church gives us every year for the forty days before Easter! This is an important period in our Catholic life deserving some serious reflection and attention on our part. We need to ‘get it right’ and the Church offers us some ‘recipes’ to help us on our Lenten journey.”
The ingredients in that recipe, the Bishop explains, are prayer, almsgiving and fasting, which he expands to include “Pray more intensely,” “Go to Confession,” “Give something” and “Give something up.”
You can read the full text of Bishop O’Connell’s message here or listen to a podcast of it here.
In issuing his guidelines for Lent, Bishop O’Connell identifies the following:
The days of FAST (only one full meal) and ABSTINENCE (no meat) are Ash Wednesday, Feb. 14, and Good Friday, March 30. No dispensations are granted on these solemn days except for reason of sickness or those provided in Canon Law below. Valentine’s Day falls on Ash Wednesday this year; since Ash Wednesday is one of only two solemn penitential days, no dispensations will be granted. All other Fridays of Lent are days of ABSTINENCE.
You can review the Lenten guidelines here.
Bishop O’Connell will celebrate Mass for Ash Wednesday in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral in Trenton. Stay connected with TrentonMonitor.com for Ash Wednesday coverage beginning late in the day.