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Father Ronan: These 40 Days ...

A weekly column by the pastor of St. Mary-St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Charlestown.

Try as I might, I find it hard to plan for events and programs long in advance. Every time someone tells me, “We have to meet to talk about ...” and the event is several months in the future, it seems silly to me that we are planning today for something so far ahead! One would think I would learn after all these years that several months away is really around the corner, and little happens well if it is not planned well.

So to my surprise, we find ourselves on the eve of the Lenten season! On Wednesday, Feb. 13, these holy days begin with the distribution of ashes. We are called to remember our mortality, and this sobering recollection can well place us ready to look to the holy season ahead in a beneficial way. Life is fragile, astonishingly brief, and often our sinfulness and brokenness can seem to dominate the landscape.

But this is not a time to become depressed. Actually, it is a very healthy time—a good time to take a reality check and to see things with greater clarity and simplicity. For the shadow of the Cross reaches across these Lenten days—the constant reminder to each of us of the radical love of our God for us, made present in Jesus and His choice to save us through this act of selflessness. These are the days that lead us toward our great Hope.

At our Parish, we are planning many special celebrations to assist all of us in our Lenten journey. You have heard us speak of the Faith Sharing Groups as an excellent way to live Lent and grow in faith. To a person, everyone who has ventured to participate in one of these group experiences has been thankful for the gift of growing in Faith! Please make the leap and sign up for one of these groups.

There is nothing that can nourish and sustain us more than participation in Daily Mass. Consider joining us as often as you can at 8 a.m. in St. Catherine of Siena Chapel. Additionally, we will celebrate Mass each Thursday evening in Lent at 7 p.m. along with an opportunity for reflection on the Sacred Scripture of these days. You are hardily encouraged to join with us for these times of prayer.

Our Bulletin and web site will always have more details about other activities and opportunities to enrich your faith and grow in your relationship with Christ. Give yourself a gift—have a good Lent. You deserve it!

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