lent 2012

Lenten Prayer Opportunities and Events

Each year, Catholics set aside 40 days to "rend our hearts" and "return to God." All of us are given this opportunity to deliberately examine what we are doing well and what we are doing not so well, and we are invited to come back to God.

As we start this journey called Lent, let us take some time to understand where we are in our faith lives and where we would like to go during the season. We invite you to use this page as a guide. It contains many individual and communal opportunities for prayer and reflection that may be of interest to you on your spiritual journey and all people of faith are invited to participate.

Together, let's look forward to receiving a renewed sense of the fire of God's love for us and the forgiveness that is always freely offered to us as we prepare for the Risen Christ Jesus at Easter.

Masses During Lent

Monday, 4:30 PM, Chapel of Saint Michael the Archangel

Monday - Friday, 11:30 AM, Chapel of Saint Michael the Archangel

Sunday, 11:00 AM and 7:00 PM, Chapel of Saint Michael the Archangel

Ash Wednesday
March 6, 11:30 AM and 7:00 PM, Chapel of Saint Michael the Archangel
Please don't forget to pick up your Rice Bowl today!

Palm Sunday Mass 
April 14, 11:00 AM and 7:00 PM, Chapel of Saint Michael the Archangel

Triduum Services

Holy Thursday
April 18, 7:00 PM, St. Pius X, Essex Center
7:00 PM, St. Stephen's, Winooski

Good Friday
April 19, 7:00 PM, Saint Pius X Church, Essex Center
7:00 PM, St. Stephen's, Winooski

Easter Vigil
April 20, 7:45 PM, Saint Lawrence Church, Essex Junction
7:00 PM, St. Stephen's, Winooski

Easter Sunday
April 21, 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM, Chapel of Saint Michael the Archangel
No 7:00 p.m. Mass

Dear Students, Parents, Alumni, and Friends,

In the weeks before Ash Wednesday, a group of Edmundites, faculty, staff and students considered the readings of the Sundays of Lent and extracted the statement which appears on banners hanging outside on our campus Chapel above the main entrance. This Lent our focus statement is "Strain forward to become a new creation in Christ." We have also planned a number of devotional activities outlined on our web page and we have again made available a daily blog containing reflections on the scripture readings from the liturgies in Lent and Holy Week accessible at http://smclent.blogspot.com/.

Often in speaking with people about the events in their lives the phrase “God’s plan” eventually is mentioned as an explanation of happenings that have taken place. Whether it is an unfortunate incident or a tragedy in one’s life, some people in trying to understand the “why” of something fall back on the idea that somehow it must be part of “God’s plan.” This is a coping mechanism intended to give an explanation to some events in our lives that really may not have any explanation whatsoever. Some bad things happen to us and there may be no explanation at all. This certainly can present a profound testing of our faith. Yet we can be confident that God does not will or plan to have bad or evil things happen to us.

Another thing I am certain of is that however we understand the notion of “God’s plan” for us, the understanding has to safeguard the gift of free will that God gave us in creation. God’s mysterious plan for us has to encompass our ability to make free choices in determining the future of our lives. God’s plan for us is not predetermined as if we live out the pre-written script of a play and the ending is already determined. In a larger sense, God may already know where we might end up in life but God knows this respecting our free will decisions in getting there.

An example of exercising free will is contained in the beautiful passage known as the Prodigal Son which we hear proclaimed on the 4th Sunday of Lent. Luke the Evangelist manages to describe a realistic family drama complete with dynamics among children and siblings. Perhaps we all have been in the shoes of each of the characters at one time or another. The younger son makes a hasty decision and soon realizes the errors of his ways. The elder son who resents the mercy shown to the younger son feels as if his loyalty and efforts are overlooked. Whereas the parent figure loves each of the children equally with unconditional love illustrating that neither of them can earn such love. There lies the message for us: God’s love will always be there for us like the love of a welcoming parent and we can never earn this for it is a free gift.

Living the Christian life is a task of constantly straining forward to become the new creation Christ intended us to be. Lent is a time to refocus our efforts in becoming this best version of ourselves for the great glory of God and for love of others. May this Lent lead us to deeper conversion and help us experience again that our loving Redeemer lives.


Rev. Brian J. Cummings, S.S.E. ’86
Director of Edmundite Campus Ministry

Daily Lenten Reflections

Saint Michael’s College students, faculty, staff and members of the worshiping community have come together to offer their reflections on the daily Scripture readings and what they are saying to us in our lives today–how they challenge and encourage us to feel God's presence, love, and forgiveness each day during this sacred time. We hope that these reflections inspire and help you grow deeper in your prayer life during the journey of Lent as we prepare for the Resurrection of Christ Jesus!

The daily Lenten Reflections can be found at: http://smclent.blogspot.com 

Guidelines for Lent

The time of Lent is observed by Catholics as a special season of prayer, penance and works of charity.

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, in particular, are the most penitential days of the liturgical year. They are days of both fast and abstinence. All Fridays in Lent are days of abstinence.

The rule of fasting states that only one full meal a day can be taken. Two small meals, sufficient to maintain strength, are allowed, but together they should not equal another full meal. The rule of fasting obliges Catholics from age 18-59.

Abstinence refers to the eating of meat. The common estimation of the community is used to determine what falls under the category of meat. Self-imposed fasting on the other weekdays of Lent is recommended. Abstinence on all Fridays of the year is also highly recommended.

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