Matthew Kelly, who gave a presentation at St. Mary's 3-4 years ago, wants you to have the best Lent ever. Sign up at his website for daily e-mails (some include videos with Matthew). In the introductory video he's asking us NOT to give up chocolate...this looks like something to explore!
You'll also find a daily Lenten reflection from Fr. Robert Barron, who brought us the Catholicism video series, on the parish website, in the right hand column of the home page, just under the calendar notes.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has determined that the following practices shall prevail in the United States: Fast and abstinence are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday by all those who have celebrated their 18th birthday until the until their 60th birthday. Abstinence from meat is to be observed on the Fridays of Lent by all who have celebrated their 14th birthday.
The church recognizes that there are chronically or seriously ill individuals who cannot fast or abstain. The church still calls for these individuals to participate in acts of penance and works of charity. These can be performed throughout the week; however, it is especially appropriate that these acts be performed on Fridays in place of the Friday fast.
No one can be dispensed from the necessity of doing penance. Catholics are strongly urged to practice voluntary acts of mortification and works of charity. The bishops of the United States have urged Catholics to consider abstaining from meat on Fridays “as a tangible sign of our need and desire to do penance for the cause of peace.”
You can find other ideas for making your Lent more meaningful at the USCCB website. Just click on the Lent slide a the top of the page or click here.