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Time given to prayer during Lent should draw us closer to the Lord. We might pray:

• For the grace to live out our baptismal promises more fully.
• For the elect who will be baptized at Easter and support their conversion.
• For all those who will celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation with us during Lent that they will be truly renewed in their baptismal commitment.
• For those young people who will be confirmed during the Easter Season that they will continue to grow in love and closeness to the Lord.
• For those children who will receive their First Holy Communion.

The Church has two forms of official penitential practices. -Fasting and abstaining from eating meat.

Practicing fasting and abstinence on the designated days is one of the precepts of the Church (bare minimum requirements for practicing Catholics). They are offered in reparation for our sins and the sins of others and as a way to prepare for the great Easter feasts of the Lord’s Resurrection.  They help us to develop self-mastery and the freedom of heart which enable us to love God fully and completely and grow in holiness. (CCC#2043) 
 
ABSTINENCE

Catholics 14 years of age and older should abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday, & ALL FRIDAYS during lent.

FASTING

• Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence.
• Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence.
• The norms of fasting are obligatory from age 18-59. • When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal. (if necessary) 
 
Note: Invalids, pregnant & nursing mothers are exempt from the obligations to fast & abstain. 

Almsgiving, the third traditional practice  of Lent, means donating money or goods to  the poor and performing acts of charity.   It is a witness to charity to our brothers  and sisters in need and a work of justice  pleasing to God. 

Parish Lenten Almsgiving – SVDP This year we will focus on our very own St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry. 
 

AT ST. MARY'S
Throughout Lent you will see a grocery cart in the gathering area with  brown paper bags, and a list of items of
nonperishable items attached.  Take a  bag home, fill it up or donate what you can,  all donations are appreciated no matter  how small or large.  If you would rather donate money instead of food you will find envelopes and a box marked ‘LENTEN SVDP DONATIONS”  on the table in the gathering area.  

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