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The three traditional pillars of Lent are prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Through the three pillars of Lent we journey to an Encounter with Christ to develop a closer relationship to God.

Preparing and Journeying Together Through Lent

We are not called to do only one, but all three pillars to prepare our hearts for Christ on Easter. As Catholics we take up the Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving every year. These practices help us to remember the merciful love and compassion that God shows all people. Participating in these practices, we journey with our community and God and toward the celebration of the Paschal Mystery of our Lord. We do not make this journey alone. The whole Church prepares for the celebration and together, along with those who are preparing to enter the Church at the Easter Vigil, we try to live more faithfully to God’s call to be merciful, loving, and compassionate to those around us. Our acts of love through sacrifice and prayer are a tangible witness of God’s love to those around us.

The third week of Lent begins March 19.  How is your Encounter with Lent 2017 going?

The Pillars of Lent: Fasting | Almsgiving | Prayer

Fasting

Lenten Pillar of FASTING

Beginning on Ash Wednesday and on all Fridays during Lent, all persons fourteen and older are bound by the law of abstinence— no meat.

On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, all those who are eighteen, and not yet fifty-nine years old, are also bound by the law of fasting. Fasting on these days means we can have only one full, meatless meal. Some food can be taken at the other regular meal times if necessary, but combined they should be less than a full meal. Liquids are allowed at any time, but no solid food should be consumed between meals.

Why Go Meatless on Fridays?

Each week during Lent, the health Ministry will showcase a meatless recipe that is healthy. Every parishioner who goes meatless every Friday during Lent will be eligible to enter a drawing for a $100 gift certificate to Metropolitan Market.

Going meatless every Friday during Lent is not only good for the soul but also good for the body.

Fasting Can Lead to Almsgiving

Voluntarily abstaining from other foods or making an offering to charity of the money they would have otherwise spent for food or drink is encouraged.

Consider donating the money saved to CRS Rice Bowl or support the Dominican Sisters of Tacoma at the second Annual Lenten Fish Fry Dinner hosted by the Knights of Columbus Tacoma Council 809 on March 31, 2017 at 5 P.M. in the Church Hall at Saint Patrick Catholic Church.

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Almsgiving

Lenten Pillar of ALMSGIVING

When we think of almsgiving with think of donating money.  Almsgiving extends beyond money we might give to CRS Rice Bowl when we forgo restuarant meals during Lent or the contribution we make to the Dominican Sisters of Tacoma at the Fish Fry Dinner in support of their continued care.

Almsgiving encompasses our time and talent given freely to be Jesus in disguise.  Jesus identified himself with our poorest brothers and sisters.

Support Catholic Community Services Family Housing Network 

Consider the Works of Mercy as a ways to give.  The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy are actions we can perform that extend God’s compassion and mercy to those in need. “Faith finds expression in concrete everyday actions meant to help our neighbors in body and spirit,” said Pope Francis in his message for Lent 2016.  The Pope encourages all to feed the hungry, visit the sick, welcome strangers, offer instruction and give comfort.

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Prayer

Lenten Pillar of PRAYER

Often times the most overlooked pillar of Lent is prayer.  There are so many wonderful ways to pray during Lent.  More time given to prayer during Lent should draw us closer to and Encounter with the Lord. We might pray especially for the grace to live out our baptismal promises more fully. We might pray for the Elect who will be baptized at Easter and support their conversion journey by our prayer. We might pray for all those who will celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation with us during Lent that they will be truly renewed in their baptismal commitment.

Get inspired by the Stewardship of Time Witness Talk presented by parishioner Julie Fitchitt. Julie shared how prayer works in her life.

Find a prayer partner. “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Mt. 18:20)

Not only is it good to pray with another, it can help us stay on the right path, holding us accountable. Invite a friend or a family member to pray with you then join together with your parish faith community to Encounter Christ through prayer this Lent. Here are some way to do just that.

Parish Mission
Join us March 20-24 for a week long experience of spiritual instruction and different prayer devotions focused on five themes of our Catholic faith: God in All Things; Obstacles to Faith; the Incarnation; the Life of Jesus, and finally the Passion of Christ.

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The Rosary
Encounter Christ by praying the Rosary with fellow parishioners between Masses each Sunday at 9:55 AM.  Gather near the Marian altar for this special devotion.

Rosary Encounter

Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross is a traditional Lenten devotion.  The 14 devotions, or stations, focus on specific events of His last day, beginning with His condemnation. The stations are commonly used as a mini pilgrimage as the individual moves from station to station. At each station, the individual recalls and meditates on a specific event from Christ’s last day. Specific prayers are recited, then the individual moves to the next station until all 14 are complete.

Gather each Friday at 7 PM and at 9:30 A.M. and 3 P.M. on Good Friday at Saint Patrick Catholic Church.

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Prayer Intention Box

As part of continuing effort to encourage prayer at Saint Patrick Catholic Church, the parish offers a Prayer Intention Box. Individuals who have a special intention and would like the parish faith community to pray for the intention are invited to write the intention on a note card and place it in the Prayer Box before Mass.  The Prayer Box is located in the vestibule of the Church. During the Offertory at Mass, the prayers will be brought forth, along with the bread and wine.  The prayer intentions will be included in the general Prayers of the Faithful.  You can also submit a prayer request through the parish website on the Prayer Line Ministry page with the click of a button or via Prayer Requests button on myParish app from an a mobile phone.

Votive Candles
Last year during Lent, votive candles were re-introduced near the Marian Altar. Feel free to light a candle for a special intention before or after Mass. This is a wonderful tradition of remembering loved ones and praying for other special intentions.

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
Will you sit with the Lord? Join us for Adoration in the Parish Center Chapel on Mondays, 3:00-6:45 P.M. 24 hour Adoration is available at Holy Cross Church, 5510 North 44 Street in Tacoma, Washington too.

Prayer Journal

Get and keep a prayer journal. Many of us benefit from the simple act of writing out our thoughts in a journal. In this same spirit, keeping a prayer journal can be edifying. It need not be fancy, expensive or complex. Buy a simple notebook and record your prayers, and how you believe God is working as you pray.

Share Your Lenten Journey

How are you living a life of encounter?  Tell us about your Encounter Lent 2017 experiences. Send us an email and share how your family is living out the pillars of Lent— prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

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