Statement of Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley
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Seasonal Information


Lent is a season of prayer, repentence, and fasting.  It lasts for 40 days beginning with Ash Wednesday and ending with Easter, which reflects the 40 days Jesus spent in prayer and fasting in the desert. 

Resistance to temptation is an important spiritual exercise practiced during Lent.  Many faithful make a Lenten sacrifice, giving up something dear for the 40-day period, so they will become capable of filling themselves with Christ instead.  In addition to giving something up, many take on additional responsibilities, chores, or penances.  Fasting in its simplest form, called abstinence, involves abstaining from meat on Fridays.  Most substitute seafood and vegetables as opposed to skipping entire meals.

Sundays are not part of the fasting period.  They are excepted because Sundays are celebrations of the resurrection of Christ.  Each Sunday is a mini-Easter, therefore it is appropriate for people to partake in whatever they may have given up for the 40 days.

The Stations of the Cross, which follows Christ from His condemnation to His entombment, are practiced as a form of devotion.

The last week of Lent is known as Holy Week, and it begins with Palm Sunday.  On Holy Thursday, the Last Supper is celebrated.  On Good Friday, the trial, suffering, and cruxifiction of Christ is commemorated.  Easter Sunday marks the end of Lent and the beginning of the Easter season.

Online Self-Guided Retreat

These days, everyone is being tugged in a million different directions.  Even finding time to pray and feed one's soul has become difficult.  Carving out a weekend for a retreat is nearly impossible.  So we're offering this online retreat to do wherever and whenever you have a few minutes to spend with God.

Each week, we will post reflections, Lenten resources, and even a meatless meal recipe.  Follow along at your own pace.  You're only one click away from the renewing peace and revitalizing joy of a spiritual retreat.

Lenten Retreat

Week One: Week 1, Meatless Meal Recipe 1

Week Two: Week 2, Meatless Meal Recipe 2

Week Three: Week 3, Meatless Meal Recipe 3

Week Four: Week 4, Meatless Meal Recipe 4

Week Five: Week 5, Meatless Meal Recipe 5

Week Six: Week 6, Meatless Meal Recipe 6



Click here to view the Lenten Resources booklet with FAQs, the Lenten and Easter Schedule, and links for great family-friendly ideas for your Lenten journey.


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