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Seasonal Features View Calendar
Lent
For each day of Lent, we offer reflections from Lent With the Saints by Greg Friedman, O.F.M. Click here to go to the main calendar page. You can also use the link in the upper right corner of this column.
Catholic Greetings
Watch Franciscan Father Don Miller's Ash Wednesday presentation.



Fr. Don will help you make the most of Lent by explaining not only the “rules” but the deeper call to conversion.

Lent is meant to be about not what we lack, but what we gain in the form of spiritual growth and conversion. Inspired by the life of St. Francis, Father Don discusses how these 40 days help us become the people God calls us to be.
from St. Anthony Messenger
The prophet Joel calls us to the Lenten season of repentance each year. Take a fresh look at this Old Testament figure.
from St. Anthony Messenger
The parish fish fry has become a Lenten tradition. Read about a multicultural celebration at St. Cecilia's parish in St. Louis.
from St. Anthony Messenger
What Jesus revealed at the Last Supper led one Jewish man from the Seders of his youth to the Eucharist, the Bread of Life.
from St. Anthony Messenger
Read about a Good Friday tradition that began as a local event and is now a one-of-a-kind pilgrimage drawing people from all over the world.
Lent Videos
Wondrous Encounters
Franciscan Father Richard Rohr offers daily reflections on the Scriptures for Lent.



Click here for the Catholic Update version.
Click here to purchase a copy of the book.
Giving Up on Giving Up?
Susan Vogt writes: "A year ago, I was facing Lent—again. I was ready to repeat the routine of what I usually do for Lent: no sweets or complaining, extra prayer, and the usual fasting and abstinence. I realized, though, that I wasn’t growing or being challenged. I decided to find a practice that would remind me daily of this penitential season and join me to Jesus’ sacrifice of his life for others." Read the rest of the article here.
A new season of the popular Lenten Radio Retreat series begins with the First Sunday in Lent, February 17. Join us each week for prayers, music, a question-and-answer segment, and a homily from a US bishop. Our retreat leaders for week one are Bishop Daniel Conlon of Joliet, Illinois (English), and Bishop Paul Sanchez, auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn, New York (Spanish). For week two, Bishop Francisco González, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., guides our reflections in both English and Spanish.
Why do Catholics fast and give things up during Lent? Why are there ashes on Ash Wednesday and palms on Palm Sunday? When does Lent end? Find the answers to these and other frequently asked questions here.
The Stations of the Cross are a Catholic custom of Lent that commemorates the passion of Jesus on Good Friday.
More Lenten Information






John of Capistrano: It has been said the Christian saints are the world’s greatest optimists. Not blind to the existence and consequences of evil, they base their confidence on the power of Christ’s redemption. The power of conversion through Christ extends not only to sinful people but also to calamitous events. 
<p>Imagine being born in the 14th century. One-third of the population and nearly 40 percent of the clergy were wiped out by the bubonic plague. The Western Schism split the Church with two or three claimants to the Holy See at one time. England and France were at war. The city-states of Italy were constantly in conflict. No wonder that gloom dominated the spirit of the culture and the times. </p><p>John Capistrano was born in 1386. His education was thorough. His talents and success were great. When he was 26 he was made governor of Perugia. Imprisoned after a battle against the Malatestas, he resolved to change his way of life completely. At the age of 30 he entered the Franciscan novitiate and was ordained a priest four years later. </p><p>His preaching attracted great throngs at a time of religious apathy and confusion. He and 12 Franciscan brethren were received in the countries of central Europe as angels of God. They were instrumental in reviving a dying faith and devotion. </p><p>The Franciscan Order itself was in turmoil over the interpretation and observance of the Rule of St. Francis. Through John’s tireless efforts and his expertise in law, the heretical Fraticelli were suppressed and the "Spirituals" were freed from interference in their stricter observance. </p><p>He helped bring about a reunion with the Greek and Armenian Churches, unfortunately only a brief arrangement. </p><p>When the Turks captured Constantinople in 1453, he was commissioned to preach a crusade for the defense of Europe. Gaining little response in Bavaria and Austria, he decided to concentrate his efforts in Hungary. He led the army to Belgrade. Under the great General John Hunyadi, they gained an overwhelming victory, and the siege of Belgrade was lifted. Worn out by his superhuman efforts, Capistrano was an easy prey to an infection after the battle. He died October 23, 1456.</p> American Catholic Blog When we are linked by the power of prayer, we as it were, hold each other’s hand as we walk side by side along a slippery path; and thus by the bounteous disposition of charity, it comes about that the harder each one leans on the other, the more firmly we are riveted together in brotherly love. —St. Gregory the Great

 
PICKS OF THE WEEK
When the Church Was Young
Be inspired and challenged by the lives and insights of the Church's early, important teachers.
Newly released in audio!
One of Merton's most enduring and popular works, now in audio!
Fearless
Learn about the saints of America: missionaries, martyrs, bishops, heiresses, nuns, and natives who gave their lives to build our Church and our country.
New Seeds of Contemplation
One of the best-loved books by one of the greatest spiritual writers of our time!
Catholics, Wake Up!
“A total spiritual knockout!” – Fr. Donald Calloway

 
CATHOLIC GREETINGS
Anointing of the Sick
May all who suffer pain, illness or disease realize that they are chosen to be saints.
St. John Paul II
“…let us always give priority to the human person and his fundamental rights.” St. John Paul II
Godparents
For the one to be baptized, godparents represent the Christian Catholic community, the Church.
Birthday
You have the heart and soul of a child of God, no matter how long you've been around.
World Mission Sunday
The Church in North America sprang from the blood of martyrs such as this missionary and his companions.



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