Lent, a 40-day season of prayer, self-discipline, and almsgiving, begins with Ash Wednesday on Feb. 22 and ends during Holy Week in April—more specifically, sundown of Holy Thursday.
Each year, La Salle University Ministry, Service, and Support (UMSS) develops a series of programs and events, and provides access to sacraments, focused on togetherness and faith during the Lenten season.
Here is how to celebrate Lent at La Salle:
UMSS will distribute ashes at the following times and locations on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 22):
During Lent, almsgiving is an intent focus on donating money or goods to the poor and performing acts of charity. CRS Rice Bowl is the Lenten program of Catholic Relief Services, the official relief and development agency of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Through CRS Rice Bowl, faith communities in dioceses throughout the United States put their faith into action through prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Lenten alms donated through CRS Rice Bowl support the work of CRS in more than 100 different countries each year. This year La Salle’s Rice Bowls will raise money for earthquake relief in Turkey and Syria (25% of the funds raised will support CRS and 75% will support a fund created by the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools) and support relief efforts especially for the members of our Lasallian family at St. Michel and St. Joseph in Istanbul, St. Joseph in Izmir, and the Marist Brothers community in Aleppo. Since its inception in 1975, CRS Rice Bowl raised more than $320 million.
You can pick up your CRS Rice Bowl—a simple cardboard box for collecting Lenten alms—at the De La Salle Chapel throughout the first days of Lent. Bowls can be returned during the week of April 3.
In the Catholic Church, fasting is a practice in self-discipline with a penitential focus. In the context of Lent, it refers to reducing food intake and limiting how many meals we have. For example, on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, fasting rules allow Catholics to eat only one full meal and two smaller meals which, combined, would not equal a single normal meal. Additionally, Catholics may not eat meat on these two days–or on any Friday during Lent. Learn more about fasting and abstinence during Lent.
Celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation by scheduling time for confession with Father Frank Berna, Ph.D. During Lent, you can schedule a confession for any Monday and Thursday (3:30–4:30 p.m.) or Wednesday (11 a.m.–12 noon) by appointment. Email Fr. Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each week, Mass is celebrated several times throughout Lent, including Sunday at 5 p.m. On weekdays, Mass also is available Monday through Thursday at 1 p.m. All Masses are offered in the De La Salle Chapel in College Hall. (Mass is not offered during the University’s spring break between March 12–16.)
Join others from campus at a weekly Eucharistic adoration every Wednesday from 1:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. in the De La Salle Chapel.
This devotion is offered every Friday at 1 p.m. in the De La Salle Chapel, with the officiant reminding us of Jesus’ path toward his crucifixion and death.
Reserve time in your calendar this Lent for mindfulness. Join others in a mindfulness sitting session every Monday at 12 noon in the Interfaith Prayer room, located on the lower level of College Hall.
We get it—life is busy. Everyone can benefit from a moment of peacefulness and reflection in an otherwise congested schedule. Every Thursday in Lent, stop by De La Salle Chapel at 1:30 p.m. for a short, reflective experience on the Gospel of the upcoming Sunday.
This weekly student-led prayer and reflection service begins at 5 p.m. every Thursday in De La Salle Chapel. All are welcome. (There is no Evensong scheduled for the Thursday of spring break, on March 16.)
—Christopher A. Vito