During Lent, we both reflect and repent while anticipating the celebration of Easter as a time of hope, new life, and new beginnings. There are many ways to spiritually prepare for your 2021 Lenten Journey. (For more information on worship services, visit the Mass @ St. Tom’s page or the parish calendar.)
Listed on this page are some of those opportunities.
- 40K IN 40 DAYS: Lent is a time for paying alms, abstaining, and most importantly, for prayer. And there’s no better way to share God’s love than by praying for others and their personal needs.
St. Tom’s annual Lenten Challenge “40K IN 40 DAYS” begins on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17. The objective is for at least 1,000 parishioners to pray for a different individual each of the 40 days of Lent.
1,000 parishioners x 1 daily prayer intention x 40 days = 40,000
Those who commit to the challenge:
- personally ask individuals if they can pray for them and what their prayers needs are
- log the first names of those that they have prayed for on a prayer intention card (PDF) or submit the names online.
Note: Prayer cards are available at the church. Drop your cards in the collection basket, and the names will be entered into the prayer intention book located in the south corner of the church.
Our progress will be charted through a mural on the south wall of the church. Each time we log 8,000 names a panel of the mural will be added to the wall so that by Easter the full mural is on display.
- Lenten Mission
St. Tom’s three-day Lenten Mission is a great way to start the Lenten season through the positive, practical, and hope-filled messages of Fr. Edward Ruane, OP. Titled “God’s desire … our friendship,” the mission will take place Wednesday, Feb. 24 to Friday, Feb. 26 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. each night via Zoom (Meeting ID: 834 2246 5843Passcode: 706329).
Fr. Edward Ruane, OP, is former Prior Provincial of the Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Albert the Great and Vicar of the Master of the Order at Santa Sabina in Rome. He currently serves as a professor of Homiletics at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis. A well-known preacher and retreat master, Fr. Ruane’s message flows from his contemplative spirit; he always has something worth listening to.
Topics for the mission include:
- Evening 1: God’s desire for communion; God’s communication problem.
- Evening 2: Incarnation in Christ and in the Church
- Evening 3: Eucharist, prayer, friends of God
- Stations of the Cross (Fridays @ 5:30 p.m., except for February 26)
The Stations of the Cross began as the practice of pious pilgrims to Jerusalem who would retrace the final journey of Jesus Christ to Calvary. Later, for the many who wanted to pass along the same route, but could not make the trip to Jerusalem, a practice developed that eventually took the form of the fourteen stations currently found in almost every church.
We will be alternating between three versions of the Stations of the Cross, and worship aids will be made available to attendees.
- Everyone’s Way of the Cross: For more than forty years, the simple, intimate, and powerful words of Clarence Enzler’s Everyone’s Way of the Cross have invited the faithful to grow closer to Christ by embracing the mystery of suffering in the world. We are invited to learn to become Christ’s disciples—his other self—to a hurting world. The original version has been adapted to a group setting to include music with permission of Ave Maria Press.
- St. Tom’s Stations of the Cross: The Way of the Cross on the back wall of St Tom’s are beautiful paintings of the Stations of the Cross. St. Tom’s has also published “The way of the Cross,” which includes brief reflections on each station by Dominicans. It has been adapted to include music.
- Stations of the Cross Overcoming Racism: These new Stations of the Cross can help you, your family, or and the community of St. Tom’s reflect on the Bishop’s pastoral letter against racism, Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love. A rich Lenten reflection, this prayer resource can help open our hearts to the persistent sin of racism and the call to help overcome it.
- Lenten Morning Prayer: The Liturgy of the Hours, also known as the Divine Office of the Word of God, is the daily prayer of the Church, marking the hours of each day and sanctifying the day with prayer. The two most important or hinge Hours are Morning and Evening Prayer. Priest and Deacons during their ordination make a commitment to praying for the Hours each day. All the faithful are encouraged to pray the Hours.
Dcn. Dan and his wife Georgana will be leading Morning Prayer each weekday morning at 7:30 am during Lent by Zoom (Meeting ID: 875 2821 1661, Passcode: 509361). The Morning prayer takes about 15 minutes and is a great way to start the day with a focus on our Lord and Savior. St. Basil the Great gives an excellent description of this character in these words: “It is said in the morning in order that the first stirrings of our mind and will may be consecrated to God and that we may take nothing in hand until we have been gladdened by the thought of God.”
So, grab a cup of coffee and plan to join Dcn. Dan and Georgana for Morning Prayer. Just go to the St. Tom’s Calendar and click on Morning Prayer. Or if you can’t join them live, the Morning Prayers will be recorded so you can view them on St. Tom’s Facebook page.
- Fratelli Tutti: Pope Francis wrote a letter to the world called Fratelli Tutti (Brothers and Sisters All). The Men of St. Tom’s (MoST) invites the parish community to explore this letter with them on three consecutive Wednesday evenings from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. starting on March 3. There is no charge to attend the facilitated Zoom sessions. To make a reservation, visit the Flocknote sign-up. For more information, contact MoST@boilercatholics.org.
Participants are invited to read the entire encyclical which has eight chapters and is about 95 pages long or to read a 19-page overview and a 6-page short summary in preparation for the discussion sessions. There is no requirement to attend all three sessions so plan to join when you are available. An introduction to Fratelli Tutti and the sessions are available on St. Tom’s YouTube channel.
Each of the three sessions will focus on a subset of the encyclical.
- Session 1 – Introduction, ills of the world, The Good Samaritan – will provide an overview of the whole program, a brief summary of the encyclical, and then focus on the first two chapters.
- Session 2 – Universal Love and Fraternity – focus on chapters 3, 4, and part of 6.
- Session 3 – Citizenship and Discipleship – focuses on the remaining chapters and summarizes the discussions.
Lenten Resources Online
Flocknote: We will be sending you a series of Lenten Challenge communications. Also, visit https://flocknote.com/lent to subscribe to daily reflections either through your email or text.
FORMED: Visit https://formed.org/lent to receive daily emails and links to short scripture videos from Dr. Tim Gray during Lent. Note: If you haven’t signed up for FORMED through the St. Tom’s subscription, first visit https://formed.org/signup and search for “St Thomas Aquinas.” Note: Be sure to respond to the Flocknote email requesting verification of your email address after signing up in order to complete the registration process.
Pilgrimage in Faith: A Virtual Lenten Journey Through the Holy Land Inspired by Abraham, Our Father in Faith. Visit magdala.org to sign up.