Mrs. Kandy Harkin is the Chaplain at St. Ignatius of Loyola Secondary School. The Chaplain is available to support and guide all members of the school community on their faith journey. In order to do this the Chaplain provides opportunities for prayer, sacraments and celebrations of the Eucharist, staff and student retreats, pastoral counselling, resource for student projects, prayer services and class discussion.
By calling forth the talents and gifts of students and staff, the Chaplain encourages a strong sense of Christian community in our school. Fostering both a sense of caring and of social justice, the Chaplain shares in what makes our school a special experience for all who are a part of St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Secondary. Students are welcome to drop by the Chaplain’s office at any time.
The month of March is dedicated to St. Joseph. The entire month falls during the liturgical season of Lent which is represented by the liturgical color purple — a symbol of penance, mortification and the sorrow of a contrite heart.
The saints honoured and feasts days on the General Roman Calendar celebrated during the month of March are:
March 1: ASH WEDNESDAY
March 4. Saint Casimir of Poland
March 5. First Sunday of Lent
March 7. Saints Perpetua and Felicity
March 8: Saint John of God
March 9: Saint Frances of Rome
March 12. Second Sunday of Lent
March 17. Saint Patrick
March 18. Saint Cyril of Jerusalem
March 19. Third Sunday of Lent
March 20: Saint Joseph Principal Patron of Canada
March 23: Saint Turibius of Mogrovejo
March 25: The Annunciation of the Lord
March 26: Fourth Sunday of Lent
The Holy Father’s Intentions for the Month of March 2017
Support for Persecuted Christians: That persecuted Christians may be supported by the prayers and material help of the whole Church.
Lent Begins March 1st
Going Public for Lent: Catholics Wear Ashes to Work
From sports-show hosts to business consultants, Catholics across the country display the mark of Ash Wednesday as a sign of repentance and silent evangelization.
SOURCE: JONATHAN LIEDL – Catholic Registrar
WASHINGTON — Tune into ESPN this afternoon at 5pm Eastern, and you’ll catch Around the Horn, a lively and informative sports talk show hosted by Tony Reali. You’ll also see a Catholic symbol on prominent display: a cross of ashes smack-dab on the host’s forehead.
Reali, a cradle Catholic and current parishioner at St. Augustine’s in Washington, D.C., has worn ashes for Ash Wednesday his “whole life,” and he has been doing so for the 13 years he has appeared on TV. The 35-year-old husband and expectant father says his decision to keep the ashes on while on air isn’t anything extraordinary — just the simple product of living the faith.
“I’m a sportscaster and a television host, and I’m Catholic,” Reali told the Register.
The New Jersey native says his faith has been a constant influence throughout his life, from his days growing up in an Italian-Catholic family of nine to his time at the Jesuit-run Fordham University and now in his professional life. Wearing ashes while on national TV is simply staying consistent.
Reali also noted the symbolic power the simple gesture has: “I think it’s important for people to see someone young in a public setting stand for what they believe in. Stand for religion. I’m proud and want other people to feel they can be proud of what they believe in.”
Still, not everyone who watches the show is clear about just what Reali believes in — or what exactly is on his forehead each and every Ash Wednesday.
The sports website Deadspin has documented some of the confusion in recent years, highlighting tweets from people who mistook the sacramental sign for dirt, ink or even a bruise from a fight.
But for every ignorant or insulting comment, Reali can point to many more messages of support. He also credits his co-workers over the years for their openness to his act of faith.
Source: Kathleen Mulhern: Executive Editor of Patheos
Roman Catholic traditions have been less severe. Catholics are required to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and to forego meat every Friday in Lent. Fasting often means reducing consumption to one full meal a day rather than complete abstention from food.
In the West, many have encouraged a wide variety of cultural adjustments to the practice of fasting. Some practice a “fast” from some particular indulgence—chocolate, sweets, and wine are common choices—while others encourage a “fast” from regular practices that are time consuming and, perhaps, not conducive to the contemplation of God: watching television, listening to music, engaging in social media, texting, etc.
Prayer. Those who observe Lent inevitably use this time to renew their commitment to prayer and enrich its practice. Many turn to different forms of prayer as a way of refreshing their understanding and reigniting spiritual passion. Contemplative prayer—silent, wordless prayer—is frequently explored during Lent. Roman Catholics may engage more diligently in praying the rosary (a set of prayers and meditations on the life of Christ) and going to Adoration (a time of silent worship before the Consecrated Host). Christians of every tradition may choose to develop a time of family prayer or develop a prayer partnership with another believer during the weeks of Lent. Churches also often hold special prayer services during Lent.
Service. The three central practices of Lent—derived from Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 6:1-18)—are prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. The giving of alms—acts of charity and generosity to those in need—has always been part of church practice, just as it was a part of Jewish practice before the church began. Thus Christian worship services of all kinds nearly always include an offering, an opportunity for believers to voluntarily give money for the support of the church and the church’s ministries. During Lent, this practice is augmented by other opportunities to give—either through financial support of a ministry to the poor, or through acts of service: volunteering at food banks or soup kitchens, building homes for the homeless, mentoring youth, preparing meals, visiting the sick or those in prison, tutoring children, etc.
Scripture. The weeks of Lent are a time to return to the scriptures in order to better listen to God and follow the path of Christ. Churches often offer special Bible studies on the life of Christ during the weeks of Lent; many Christians purchase Lenten devotionals that help them individually study scripture. One ancient practice of the church, lectio divina, has been recovered by many Christians as a way to read, meditate on, and prayerfully integrate the word of God into their lives. During lectio divina, the reader reads a passage from the Bible slowly, listening carefully for God to speak into his or her life through the words of the scripture.
Stations of the Cross. During Lent, many Christians engage in a meditative practice that focuses on the last hours of Jesus’ life. This practice involves a series of fourteen stations, or places to pause and reflect on a singular event during Jesus’ passion. These usually include some pictorial element for each station—a statue or artwork or small plaque—and invite individuals to move from one station to the next prayerfully as they remember Jesus’ condemnation, suffering, death, and burial. Many meditative texts have been written to accompany this practice. The movement replicates the ancient practice of pilgrimage, during which believers would go to the holy places connected with Jesus’ life and death.
Are there special days during Lent?
Since Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, a tradition developed that involved cleansing the home of those food items that would be given up during the time of fasting—fats, oils, meats, sugars, eggs. The night before Ash Wednesday became known as Shrove Tuesday, shrove meaning confession. Many cultures, in anticipation of the long Lenten struggle, would have a time of rowdy excess in the days before Lent, ostensibly to consume all the forbidden food items. This is the source of most Mardi Gras celebrations, Mardi Gras meaning “fat Tuesday.”
Different Christian traditions count the days of Lent differently, and many have special feast or fast days in the middle of the season. The six Sundays during Lent are not considered days of penance, since every Sunday is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and therefore cannot be a fast day.
Nearly all Christian communities—even those that don’t recognize Lent—celebrate Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter Sunday. On this day, scriptures tell of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, a story told in all four gospels (Mt 21:1-11; Mk 11:1-11; Lk 19:28-44; Jn 12:12-19). This is the beginning of Holy Week, the most central time of Easter preparations.
The Thursday of Holy Week is called Maundy Thursday. Maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum, which means commandment. On Maundy Thursday, Christians remember Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples, at which he gave them his great commandment: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (Jn 13:34). Many Christians remember Jesus’ last meal by washing one another’s feet, something Jesus did for the disciples (Jn 13:1-17). After the footwashing, many churches strip the altar of candles, linens, and sacred vessels, and wash the altar. Some churches hold an all night prayer vigil from the time of the evening service until 9:00 the next morning, the time at which Christ was crucified.
The Friday of Holy Week is called Good Friday. Though it is the day of Christ’s crucifixion and death, it is considered good because on that day God’s love triumphed over the powers of sin and evil that had held the world in bondage. Christians honor this day with fasting and prayer. According to the gospel accounts, Jesus was crucified at 9:00 in the morning; from noon to 3:00 p.m., the sun eclipsed as Jesus suffered and then died. Many churches hold noontime services, and traditionally there is no Eucharist at that service. While crosses throughout the church building have been covered with purple cloth from the beginning of Lent, on Good Friday they are covered with black cloth.
The Saturday of Holy Week is often called Holy Saturday. It is a time of silence, waiting, mourning, and fasting. It ends at dusk, when the Easter Vigil begins. Christians gather in a darkened church, light the paschal fire, and begin the long worship service of recounting the salvation history from creation through the prophets and culminating in the work of Christ. The Easter proclamation—Christ is risen!—ends the time of mourning.
The time from Maundy Thursday until the evening of Easter Sunday are often called the Triduum—the three holy days of Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection. While Lent technically ends with the Maundy Thursday service, Lenten practices are continued until the Easter Vigil.
Prayer for Lent
you call us back to you with all of our hearts.
I feel your call for me deep in my heart
and I know you want me back
as much as I want to return.
give me the wisdom to know how to return.
Make my journey back to you this Lent
one of grace, forgiveness and gentle love. AMEN