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placeholder Lent

Lent is the annual catechumenate for all

Lent begins with
Ash Wednesday

Lenten Events

Invitation to a Roman Lent pilgrimage

Jubilee of Mercy

24 Hours for the Lord at the Cathedral

What does the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy mean to me?

Pope's plea: Stop death penalty

Year of Mercy Events

Franciscan Friars elect new leadership


Sister Anne Baxter, OP

Msgr. Fred Bitanga

Sister Margaret Spiller, SNJM


Spirits high in girl's CYO Volleyball Tournament

St. Lawrence
O'Toole student awarded Marty Mart volleyball scholarship

Influence of intelligent evil growing in our culture

KoC conducts formation ceremony in Menlo Park

Vocation dinner nets $10,000

Knights distribute coats to schoolchildren


Centers able to offer personal or private retreats

Rachel's Vineyard retreat step toward post-abortion healing

Lively day of music, song at youth retreat

Bay Area retreat centers


Pilgrimage reveals little known history at Holy Land sites

Pilgrimage reunion

Bishop's Vineyard wines win awards

Ten couples win Voice anniversary drawing

placeholder February 29, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 4   •   Oakland, CA

At The Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, administered ashes during Mass on Ash Wednesday.

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday

Receiving ashes as Lent begins is a public sign of our faith, explained Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, as the 40-day season before Easter, on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 10.

Three things signify Lent, the bishop said, are prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

Prayer the bishop said, quoting theologian Thomas Merton, is simply raising your hearts and minds to God, in effect having a conversation with God.

Pray in your car, Bishop Barber suggested. "Turn off your radio. It's like being in your own monastic cell," Besides, he smiled, "If you're saying your prayers, you'll curse less at the traffic."

As for fasting, "Catholics are all about creating good," he said, and can enjoy pleasures, but Lent is a time to detach from pleasure, and focus on spiritual desires.

With almsgiving, he said, put into practice the counsel of St. Thomas Aquinas: the things we own are not ours alone, but given for the common good by God.

So "Take it down a notch," for example, and donate the difference between an expensive bottle of wine and a lesser bottle. Give something to everyone who asks you.

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