Lent 2021

Prayer, Fasting & Almsgiving


“For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.”  -St. Therese of Lisieux (CCC 2558)

During Lent, we are asked to devote ourselves to seeking the Lord in prayer and reading Scripture, to service by giving alms, and to practice self-control through fasting. Dive into God’s word in Scripture this Lent or pray the rosary with your family.

Prayers & Devotions


Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics. In addition, Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence.

For members of the Latin Catholic Church, the norms on fasting are obligatory from age 18 until age 59. When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal. The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding upon members of the Latin Catholic Church from age 14 onwards.

If possible, the fast on Good Friday is continued until the Easter Vigil (on Holy Saturday night) as the “paschal fast” to honor the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus and to prepare ourselves to share more fully and to celebrate more readily his Resurrection.


The foundational call of Christians to charity is a frequent theme of the Gospels.  During Lent, we are asked to focus more intently on “almsgiving,” which means donating money or goods to the poor and performing other acts of charity.  As one of the three pillars of Lenten practice, almsgiving is “a witness to fraternal charity” and  “a work of justice pleasing to God.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2462).

CRS Rice Bowl is also one way Catholics can enhance their Lenten fasting practice by giving up meals and donating the cost of those meals to Catholic Relief Services in order to help those who do not have enough to eat. At SMP, our Lenten almsgiving has focused on CRS Rice Bowl for many years.

Ignatian Spiritual Workout

Each day of Lent, participate in a short spiritual workout consisting of Scripture reading, reflection, prayer, and action found in Tim Muldoon’s book The Ignatian Workout for Lent.

Books are still available to parishioners for $5—just come by the office!

Audio Reflections

Stations of the Cross every Friday at 6:30pm


Fridays 5:30–7pm | Saturdays 2–4pm

More times may be added as we progress through Lent.

Stations of the Cross

Every Friday at 6:30pm. Also livestreamed on our YouTube channel!

SMP Small Groups

Even if you weren’t able to join a small group this Lent, you can still follow along with the videos and reflection sheets. Break open the Scriptures with Lectio Divina and reflect on the readings with Fr. Jim, Fr. Lou, and fellow parishioners.


FORMED Daily Reflections

This Lent, we invite you to journey with Dr. Tim Gray by signing up for Daily Lenten Reflections. Each day you will receive in your inbox a short video which features Dr. Gray commenting on the daily Mass readings, explaining the Scriptures, and providing you with concrete ideas on how to apply them to your Christian life. Available for free on FORMED.

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Word on Fire reflections

This year’s Lenten Gospel Reflection books contain brand new reflections from Bishop Barron, the full Gospel reading for each day, questions for reflection, journal pages, and Stations of the Cross reflections. It’s short, simple, but extremely powerful. It’s like getting a mini-homily each morning from Bishop Barron! You can also just sign up for a day email!

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Bible in a Year

Ascension’s Bible in a Year Podcast hosted by Fr. Mike Schmitz guides Catholics through the Bible in 365 daily episodes. Each 20-25 minute episode includes two to three Scripture readings, a reflection from Fr. Mike, and guided prayer to help you hear God’s voice in His Word.

Listen now