Wealth of Lenten events offered - Catholic Courier
Chris Newhook, a member of The Franciscan Mystery Players, plays the role of Jesus during a Living Stations of the Cross performance at Victor’s St. Patrick Church in March 2015. Chris Newhook, a member of The Franciscan Mystery Players, plays the role of Jesus during a Living Stations of the Cross performance at Victor’s St. Patrick Church in March 2015.

Wealth of Lenten events offered

At the start of Lent Father Michael Upson, pastor of Catholic Community of the Blessed Trinity in Wolcott, Red Creek and Fair Haven, asked his parishioners to each select five items and put them in a box. He asked them to choose these items carefully.

"These are articles that are very important to them and their spiritual journey to this point," Father Upson explained. "It could be a religious article. It could be a picture of a grandmother or great-grandmother, someone who was very precious to them, someone who guided them or was very strong in their faith. It could be anything that was very precious to people and has drawn them closer to God and a better understanding of their spiritual life."

Father Upson asked parishioners to bring their boxes — which he dubbed "spirit boxes" — to a series of suppers and faith-sharing discussions to be held each Tuesday evening during Lent. During these events, parishioners share and discuss the contents of their spirit boxes with each other, and by doing so, they hopefully are getting to know one another in a comfortable and nonthreatening way, Father Upson said.

"It’s encouraging them to share about their experiences of God in a different way," he said.

Other parishes in the Finger Lakes region also have planned special Lenten offerings for their parishioners. Some of the highlights from these Lenten schedules include:

* Parishioners at St. Benedict Parish in Canandaigua and East Bloomfield are reading and discussing The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming by Henri Nouwen. Large copies of Rembrandt’s painting, "Return of the Prodigal Son," are prominently displayed in the sanctuaries of both churches. Parishioners also are meeting each Thursday morning at 10:15 a.m. to study the parables of mercy, found in the Gospel of Luke, with Father Daniel Ruiz-Sierra, parochial vicar. The parish’s Knights of Columbus are collecting coffee for local hospices

• Father Francis Pompei, OFM, gave a parish mission at St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Wayne County in February. Father Pompei is the author and director of the Franciscan Mystery Plays, which are sometimes performed at parishes during Lent.

* Members of St. Patrick Parish in Victor are reading and discussing Forming Intentional Disciples by Sherry Weddell and collecting food for the Victor-Farmington Food Cupboard. They also are discussing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy after weekly soup suppers, which begin at 5:30 p.m.

* Parishioners at Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Community will journey each Friday evening to one of the parish’s four worship sites in Naples, Penn Yan, Stanley and Prattsburgh for a soup supper at 6 p.m. followed by Stations of the Cross at 7 p.m.

* St. Peter Parish is offering families the opportunity to pray the Stations of the Cross each Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m. at St. Felix Church in Clifton Springs. Parishioners also have been reading and discussing The 15-Minute Prayer Solution by Gary Jansen.

* Auburn Catholics are invited to participate in the city’s annual Ecumenical Lenten Lunches, which take place each Tuesday during Lent. These events begin at noon with a lunch of soup and bread, followed by a Scripture reading and reflection from a local spiritual leader and a concluding prayer at 12:45 p.m. St. Mary Parish will host the March 15 lunch. St. Mary also will offer sung Compline, or the night prayer of the church, by candlelight each Sunday at 8 p.m.

* The Rosary Society of Our Lady of Peace Parish in Geneva will hold an Evening of Reflection March 7 at 7 p.m. in the chapel in the Parish Center. Father Thomas Mull will give a reflection, and light refreshments will be provided afterward.

* "Hearing the Voice of God in Our Spiritual Disciplines" is the theme of the annual Wider Parish Lenten Series of Good Shepherd Catholic Community in southern Cayuga County. Sessions are held each Sunday during Lent and will begin with a soup supper followed by a presentation.

Contact the parishes for more information regarding any of these offerings.


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