Catholics in the Southern Tier embraced the recently ended Lenten season with a variety of events and initiatives.
Among the array of spiritual, social and service activities:
‚Ä¢ Father James Jaeger conducted presentations on the Way of the Cross for military veterans at St. Mary Church in Bath. In addition, St. Mary presented Stations of the Cross, Mass, dinner and a program each Lenten Wednesday.
‚Ä¢ St. Gabriel Church, Hammondsport, took part in a local ecumenical worship/lunch program on Wednesdays.
‚Ä¢ Holy Hour, including recitation of the rosary, was offered on Lenten Fridays at St. Mary of the Lake Church in Watkins Glen.
‚Ä¢ An annual Palm Sunday breakfast took place March 25 at St. Benedict Church in Odessa.
‚Ä¢ Holy Family Catholic Community in Steuben and Livingston counties offered soup suppers during Lent as well as a Seder supper. The parish also directed an almsgiving effort for local food pantries and conducted a “Preparing for Lent” family activity night Feb. 7.
‚Ä¢ Soup suppers took place on Ash Wednesday at St. Catherine of Siena, Ithaca, and St. Mary Our Mother, Horseheads. Also at St. Mary Our Mother, adult discussion and prayer gatherings were offered.
‚Ä¢ Living Stations of the Cross were presented weekly by youths from Blessed Trinity/St. Patrick parishes in Tioga County. Meanwhile, two Blessed Trinity/St. Patrick churches offered Lenten fish dinners: St. James in Waverly March 9; and St. John the Evangelist in Newark Valley March 23. In addition, youths took part in a 24-hour food fast March 9-10 at St. John the Evangelist.
‚Ä¢ Each Lenten Wednesday in Elmira, the city’s Catholic churches hosted a Holy Hour with Benediction on a rotating basis. Additionally, discussions based on Thomas Merton’s writings took place weekly at St. Mary Southside, and “Soup and Scripture” gatherings followed 12:10 p.m. Friday Masses at St. Charles Borromeo in Elmira Heights. And, on March 10-11, Deacon Kevin Carges spoke on behalf of CRS Rice Bowl and a free Rice Bowl supper was held.
‚Ä¢ A Forty Days for Life vigil concluded March 25 in Ithaca. Participants joined in peaceful prayer to end abortion, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily, near the Planned Parenthood facility at 620 W. Seneca St.
‚Ä¢ The Hornell Knights of Columbus conducted a “40 Cans for Lent” drive, collecting canned goods for Steuben County Rural Ministry.
‚Ä¢ At St. Mary, Honeoye/St. Matthew, Livonia, Friday soup suppers were followed by presentations and discussions. The cluster also raised funds for Mary’s Place, a Rochester ministry for refugees. And, on March 14, St. Matthew joined in an ecumenical Lenten luncheon.
‚Ä¢ All Saints Parish in Corning/Painted Post presented a parish mission March 4-6, with guest speakers lecturing on the Eucharist. Other Lenten activities included Friday Stations of the Cross featuring parish youths, and Following Christ gatherings each Wednesday.
‚Ä¢ Immaculate Conception, Ithaca, gathered collection bags to benefit Catholic Charities. The parish also offered a Lenten family retreat and teen retreat.
‚Ä¢ A parish mission took place in the cluster of All Saints, Lansing/Holy Cross, Dryden/St. Anthony, Groton. In addition, a book-reading initiative featured The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen, and a Tenebrae service was presented March 25 by the Holy Cross youth group.
‚Ä¢ St. Luke the Evangelist in Livingston County held a retreat March 11-12 featuring John Bergsma, theology professor at Franciscan University of Steubenville. Also at St. Luke, parishioners took part in soup suppers and engaged in service projects for CRS Rice Bowl and Teresa House, a comfort-care facility.
‚Ä¢ At St. Ann in Hornell, a lecture on the Eucharist was presented March 7 by Father George Heyman, president of St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry.
‚Ä¢ Events at St. Agnes, Avon/St. Rose, Lima/St. Paul of the Cross, Honeoye Falls included a family Lenten program March 11 and discussions on the Eucharist, the Bible and suffering. Teaching Masses were offered in the cluster as well.
‚Ä¢ The Catholic communities at Cornell University and Ithaca College conducted a six-week winter/Lenten prayer retreat based on the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola. Participants prayed daily and met each week with a spiritual director.