This time during Lent, Catholics are called to do self evaluation of our spiritual growth and learn new ways to journey with Christ. This is a special time for us to take steps forward in our commitment to discipleship. You are encouraged to break habits that keep your whole heart from being a vessel for God and build new holy habits that open your heart to following Christ. 

Here are some resources we thought might be helpful. 

  • Preparing for Lent: a reflection about what to do for Lent, by Ascension Presents. 
  • Notably, there are 3 Pillars of Lent – Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving. Here is a lesson on where in the bible Jesus speaks of their importance and the meaning of each.
  • This daily (2 minute) Lent video from CatholicBrain.com is for children. It provides a brief overview of the day’s reading and a reflection that helps kids understand the reading lesson. Contact Margaret Lee for a user login.

 Opportunities to reflect and pray: 

  • “The Search” Lenten Small Groups
    • Did you pick up this year’s Christmas book “The Search?” Copies are still available.
    • Take a look at this video from the book’s study series! The Search – Trailer
    • If you are interested in joining a discussion group, please email Jon Metz jmetz@saintsebs.org 
    • Sessions begin soon and will be held at the following times
      • Sundays 9am at St. Sebastian
      • Tuesdays 9am at St. Catherine
      • Wednesday 7pm through Zoom
  • The Way of the Cross, also known as the Stations of the Cross is a devotional practice that has been cherished by Catholics for centuries. It is a prayer form that invites the faithful to reflect, deeply, on the Passion, Crucifixion and death of Jesus during his final days on earth. Many faithful pilgrims have actually traveled to the Holy Land over the centuries, to “walk in the footsteps of Christ.” However, since the vast majority of the faithful could not actually make the pilgrimage to the Holy Land, the Way of the Cross became popular as a prayer that invited everyone to make the “spiritual” pilgrimage with Christ where they were. During Lent this year, we invite you to also reflect on the Way of the Cross.  
  • St. Sebastian will host an archdiocesan Lenten prayer service on Wednesday, March 3 at 7pm. Here is the Lenten Mission Flyer with directions for registration. 
  • Praying Lent – Creighton University provides prayers for the entire Lenten Season. 

Ideas for Fasting:

Family Fasting Activity: As a family have a conversation about fasting.  

Parents- Start by saying that one of the pillars of Lenten practices for Catholics is to fast.

Ask: Who knows what it means to fast? Why do you think we fast?

One of the reasons we fast is to become more aware and intentional in our daily lives.  When we become aware or think about our fasting, we remember Jesus’ suffering on the cross and we can grow in our appreciation for Jesus in our lives.  Whenever we get a little hungry or miss our screens we connect to the spirit of sacrifice. This makes us more aware in our daily lives. Sometimes as Catholics we give up something for the season of Lent.  Instead of or in addition to giving up something individually, what is something that our whole family can give up this season of lent.  It has to be something that the whole family can participate in. 

Take some time as a family to brainstorm some ideas, and then come to an agreement.  Maybe your family won’t bicker or you will agree to turn off devices at a certain time at night etc…  Everyone in the family should agree to the idea.

In addition, oftentimes we add something to our lives during the season of Lent to be proactive in our intentionality during the season of lent. As a family brainstorm you can do as a family to add something positive during this Lenten season. This might involve a shared activity, eating dinner together on a certain night of the week, committing to extra chores, or participating together in one of the service projects like the rice bowl. As a family decide on an action you will commit to do together. Remind your family that every time you do this activity to remember Jesus’ journey to the cross.

Almsgiving-a spirit of generosity:

Almsgiving is one of three pillars of Lent, and during the Lenten season we are requested to share material generosity to the less fortunate. It is the action that leads Catholics to see others-, love them, listen to them, share with them, it is any action that guides us to walking with those in need. Here are ways we want to help families fulfill this obligation. 

  1. The faith formation team supports  the human concern’s request in helping to fill the food pantry. Parishioners can always bring food any Sunday, during Lent, we are hoping to increase donations. The volunteers have asked for donations of any non perishable food items, specifically peanut butter, canned soup, tuna and chicken. The parish’s food pantry is also in need of toilet paper, the pantry is asking for packages in any amount. Please consider donating to this vital ministry during Lent. 
  2. The Capuchin Community Services are hosting a Hygiene Bag Drive and we have signed on to help them deliver these essentials to people in need. The list of items needed are on the bag, just like the holiday food boxes. Bags can be picked up in the Gathering Space. Parishioners who want to help the Capuchins in their ministry can do so by picking up empty bags and returning the filled bags to the parish by Palm Sunday, on the 28th of March. 
  3. We will be giving out rice bowls again this year. Look for them in the gathering space at St. Sebs or in the back of the church at St. Catherine beginning Sunday, February 14th. You may pick them up and know that the money will go towards the designated Catholic Relief Services campaign and 25% goes toward our local food pantry initiatives. New this year, you can donate online. Here is the link to our parishes’ donation page. St. Catherine & St. Sebastian Rice Bowl 2021 This link will be in next week’s bulletins and posted to both parish websites. 

Please take advantage of our parishes’ subscription to FORMED.

Free for all parishioners. Create a New Account if you have not signed up yet. 

Here is a link where you can sign up for FORMED Lenten Reflections

Check out these Lenten themed resources.

Loving and Serving the Poor with Fr. Mark Mary Ames, CFR 

Into Your Hands, Father: Abandoning Ourselves to the God Who Loves Us by Fr. Wilfrid Stinissen

 My Beloved Son: Meditations for Lent by Bishop Robert Barron 

Save the Date!

 A Virtual Palm Sunday Family Session

The formation team will host a Family Zoom  

Palm Sunday, March 28th  

We will have this Zoom session at 2pm! 

We will share the link in the coming weeks.

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