Southern Tier parishes see strong return of Lenten activities - Catholic Courier
Youth members of Blessed Trinity/St. Patrick parishes in Tioga County perform Living Stations of the Cross at St. James Church in Waverly April 1. (Photo courtesy of Annette Larrabee) Youth members of Blessed Trinity/St. Patrick parishes in Tioga County perform Living Stations of the Cross at St. James Church in Waverly April 1. (Photo courtesy of Annette Larrabee)

Southern Tier parishes see strong return of Lenten activities

With Lenten activities at their highest levels in two years, Southern Tier parishes showed strong signs of ongoing recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Programs and initiatives around the Tier for the recently ended Lenten season included the following, listed by county:


Parish of the Most Holy Name of Jesus in Elmira featured studies of the writings of Thomas Merton; Scripture study after the 12:05 p.m. Mass on Fridays; and a March 27 session on fasting. In addition, a Living Rosary was held March 1o; a service noting Jesus’ passion through Scripture and music took place March 20; and a Tenebrae service was held April 13.

Last but not least, kindergarten faith-formation students from Most Holy Name of Jesus conducted a Lenten project, collecting toilet paper for the parish pantry.


Father Michael Fowler, cluster pastor of St. Agnes, Avon/St. Rose, Lima/St. Paul of the Cross, Honeoye Falls, took part in an ecumenical initiative through which weekly Lenten reflections were made available as downloadable podcasts.

The social ministry committee at St. Mary, Honeoye/St. Matthew, Livonia promoted an increase in donations to area food pantries during Lent.

St. Luke the Evangelist Parish supported CRS Rice Bowl — as did many other diocesan parishes — as well as Teresa House, a comfort-care ministry in Geneseo.


Father Jeffrey Tunnicliff, parochial administrator of Schuyler Catholic Community, conducted seminars on healing that took place March 10, March 24 and April 7 at St. Benedict Church in Odessa. That series followed a presentation by Father Tunnicliff, “Starting Lent Right,” on Feb. 17 at St. Benedict.

Meanwhile, a holy hour with adoration took place each Friday evening at St. Mary of the Lake Church in Watkins Glen.


At St. John Vianney Parish, Stations of the Cross and rosary recitation took place on Wednesday evenings, alternating between St. Mary Church in Bath and St. Gabriel Church in Hammondsport.

Holy Family Catholic Community conducted a Bible study, focusing on St. Paul’s letter to Philemon, on Lenten Wednesdays at St. Mary Church in Dansville.

Our Lady of the Valley Parish utilized Hallow — a Catholic meditation and prayer app — to reflect on themes surrounding Jesus’ death on the cross. The western Steuben County parish also offered weekly adult faith-sharing reflections on the Lenten Scriptures.

At All Saints Parish in Corning, Zoom sessions were offered to expand understanding of the sorrowful mysteries; Lenten Bible study was held on Wednesdays; and Friday-night meals were offered after Stations of the Cross.

At Ss. Isidore and Maria Torribia Parish in central Steuben County, Deacon Douglas Farwell organized a variety of prayer opportunities and also led reflection on the United States bishops’ 2021 document The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church.


At Blessed Trinity/St. Patrick parishes, a mission took place March 6-8 at St. James Church in Waverly featuring Catholic speaker and evangelist Rocco Fortunato.

Also at Blessed Trinity/St. Patrick, Living Stations made its return. The largely teen contingent depicted Christ’s passion April 1 at St. James, April 8 at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Endicott and Good Friday, April 15, at St. Margaret Mary Church in Apalachin.


At Immaculate Conception Parish in Ithaca, a young-adult holy hour was held every Sunday evening at the church. In addition, the parish continued its tradition of furnishing collection bags — into which donors put their spare change during Lent — to benefit Catholic Charities.

In northern Tompkins County, penance services were combined with holy hours at Lansing’s All Saints Church on March 19, Dryden’s Holy Cross Church on March 29 and Groton’s St. Anthony Church on April 2.

At St. Catherine of Siena in Ithaca, the liturgy committee assembled a calendar of Lenten prayer intentions that was posted on the parish website.

Tags: Chemung County News, COVID-19 Pandemic, Livingston County News, Schuyler County News, Steuben County News, Tioga County News, Tompkins County News
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