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The Catholic Community  of St. John Neumann
A Christian Church of the Catholic Tradition
Califon, NJ

weekly Writing

Lent that will last all year long
       The Catholic Community is getting ready to welcome the liturgical season of Lent. Starting on Ash Wednesday, with the ash on our fore head, and ending with Easter, we imitate Jesus Christ’s 40 day fast in the wild.
       Lent has traditionally been a time for many Catholics to sacrifice and go without.  I remember as a child not having candy and going without drinking soda. When I was a young adult, I went to mass everyday with my father during Lent.  These were ways of proving myself to Christ.  A more modern version of Lenten sacrifice is doing the Lord’s work in some manner.  Some examples are: visiting people in their home, working in a soup kitchen, building housing for needy families and delivering packages and food to people unable to get out.
       However, the real purpose of lent is to prepare us for the sacrifice and death of Christ and the celebration of his Resurrection. It is a time to work towards purifying our minds and hearts and work towards being a better Christian, all in preparation for the coming of the Risen Christ.   Lent was and still is a period of fasting, repentance, self-discipline, moderation, prayer and self-denial. These actions help us to share Gods sacrifice and allow us to feel the spirit of oneness with him. It reminds us that as a Christian we have much to be thankful for.  Lent will always be a look towards a new beginning.
       Our Catholic Community of St John Neumann is also getting ready for our own “Lent.”
       We have a new Pastor arriving at our parish, and we too should prepare the way for our priest to enter our kingdom.  We should not just get the church building ready and spruced up so that it looks good for our new family member. Our new Pastor doesn’t care how we look, he cares about our hearts being pure and ready to accept the Risen Christ.  We should look within ourselves this Lent to sacrifice for St Johns and try to help our new Pastor and our Community.  Volunteering, cooking, cleaning, attending events at St Johns and generally helping out in what ever-way we can. Not just here in our Church, but beyond our borders to other people and communities. Jesus embraced all of mankind.
       Let us also look to our prior Pastors who laid the foundation of St Johns, the belief that as a Catholic Community, we can make a difference.  St Johns has always believed in outreach, compassion, understanding and community.
       Let us welcome our new Pastor with a Lent that will last all year long. Let us be renewed in our sprit and actions and share that with him and Christ.
    Peter Royal