House Guests…

Once again, 9 students and 2 chaperones from Western Michigan University at Kalamazoo have arrived at St. Ann rectory, to take up residence for a week of service. They will be working with Beyond Housing, from about 9 am to ~3:30 pm daily. Then they will return here, for dinner, reflection, community building and support. They also will visit some of the city, as well as tap into some of the New-man Center sponsored programs during Social Justice month.

They’ll be sleeping on couches, floors and the occasional spare beds scattered through the house. And meeting in the Library and/or Living room. Some may join us for Sunday morning worship or Ash Wednesday mass, though I am not sure of the religious makeup of the group. So if you see all kinds of lights on, late into the evening, and a few mini-vans parked in the lots, you’ll know who it is… (And, no, they don’t do windows.)


Christ said, “Whoever wishes to be my follower must deny his very self, take up his cross each day, and follow in my steps.” (Luke 9:23)

The Church has always helped us fulfill these words of Jesus by prescribing very definite penance for all Catholics. Accordingly, the Pope and the American Bishops have outlined obligatory fast and abstinence as follows: Ash Wednesday (March 5, 2014) and Good Friday (April 18, 2014) are days of abstinence for all Catholics over the age of 14. On these two days, fast, as well as abstinence, is also obligatory for those from the ages of 18-59. Abstinence means refraining from meat. Fast means one full meal a day, with two smaller meals and nothing between meals (liquids are permitted). No Catholic will lightly excuse himself or herself from this obligation.

All Fridays in Lent are days of abstinence from meat. Here again Catholics will not hold themselves lightly excused, but if there is a serious health problem, this obligation would not apply.

We should strive to make all days of Lent a time of prayer and penance.

Finally, if you would keep all those who are reflecting on the Lent 4.5 materials in your prayers, that would be a great blessing for all. My hope is that the bulletin inserts will be fruitful for all of us, as we strive to create a world of justice, peace and love.