Lent is a season that invites us to reflect on the transformational change needed in our lives in anticipation of celebrating the new life in Christ at Easter. This Season often coincides with Spring – a season filled with the natural signs of rebirth, new beginnings, and new growth. And in the Third week of Lent this year, we do in fact mark the first day of Spring.
Lent provides the opportunity to grow deeper spiritually by engaging in the practices of fasting, almsgiving, and more frequent prayer from Ash Wednesday through Easter Sunday. These penitential days of Lent can truly help us to experience a spiritual transformation and thus to celebrate more fully the Easter Season.
This year the season of Lent is also offering us many moments and world events that invite a pause in the usual routines of living. The pandemic has taken a toll on people. And then, as things slowly began to return to normal pre-pandemic practices, Russia attacked Ukraine and the world watched in horror the images of innocent people caught in the middle of this violent conflict. It has been shocking and tragic to see the suffering of the people in Ukraine as their homes are bombed and more recently the hospitals and shelters that are being targeted and destroyed.
In the midst of this destruction and human suffering, there are witnesses to the faith who are reaching out to alleviate one another’s anguish. Mothers in Poland left strollers at a train station for those mothers arriving with children from Ukraine, a volunteer at the Polish border gave children candy and toys, people in Berlin greeted a train arriving from Ukraine with signs indicating how many people they could welcome with accommodation, etc. While the troubles of the world are many and they are very serious, these examples of human kindness and strength give inspiring witness to the faith and goodness of people. We join in this witness through donations to Ukraine, in supporting relief efforts, welcoming those displaced by the war to resettle in Canada and with our prayers.
Spiritual engagement is as important and needed as the relief efforts. The act of humbly seeking God’s mercy and grace in prayer this Lent can further the dialogue of peace. Such acts of penance can be transformational for us and the world.
Let us continue to pray for peace. From famine, pestilence, and war, O Lord, deliver us.
Most Reverend William T. McGrattan, D.D.
Bishop of the Diocese of Calgary
[excerpts from https://www.catholicyyc.ca/blog/a-penitential-season-of-transformation]
Regular Mass Times:
Tuesday - 6:30 pm
Wednesday - 6:30 pm
Thursday - 9:00 am
Friday - 9:00 am
Saturday - 5:00 pm
Sunday - 9:00 am & 11:00 am
To request prayers or to join the circle,
please contact Fran Murphy (403-335-4591)