Personal Lenten Devotions

Ash Wednesday is February 14, 2024.  Sometimes people like to “give up” something as a self-imposed penance during Lent. It is also possible to “do something special” as a Lenten practice. I will have Stations of the Cross and Benediction at St. Ann on the Friday evenings of Lent at 7:00 p.m. (Good Friday of Holy Week is different) and Stations of the Cross during Lent on Sunday Afternoons at Sacred Heart at 3:00 p.m. (No stations on Palm Sunday)

Dietary Rules of Lent

Rules of Fasting and Abstinence are not intended to do any harm. They are designed tomake us aware of “why” we are fasting or abstaining. The self-deprivation reminds usthat Jesus died on the cross for us. Our act of penance reminds us of who we are and whywe do what we do. During Lent, Catholics are asked to abstain from meat on AshWednesday and the Fridays during Lent, and fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.Abstinence simply means “abstaining from meat.” The flesh of mammals and birds(essentially any animal that is warm blooded) is considered meat. The flesh of reptiles,fish (cold blooded), bird “eggs” and cheese are not considered meat. The chicken itself iswarm blooded and thus is considered meat. Anyone fourteen years of age or older whowill not be physically harmed by the diet is asked to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays during Lent.We define fasting for Lenten purposes as meaning eating only one regular meal and twosmaller meals or snacks, with no eating between meals. Fasting only applies on AshWednesday and Good Friday and then only to those between the ages of 18 and 59 who have no medical problem aggravated by the practice.

Looking ahead!

Remember that Easter is early this year, so Ash Wednesday is also a bit earlier than usual.  Lent begins with Ash Wednesday February 14.  Ashes will be distributed at the regular weekday Masses at St. Ann and Sacred Heart, plus we will have a special 7:00 p.m. Mass at Sacred Heart on Ash Wednesday at which ashes will be distributed.  Ash Wednesday is NOT a Holyday of Obligation.   There is NO obligation to attend Mass or receive ashes.

Lenten dietary practices have been listed above.


Lent is traditionally a time for almsgiving.  Here in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati we began the tradition of charity last Sunday with Commitment Sunday for the CMA.  Remember that the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Paragraph #2447) defines our duty to participate in corporal works of mercy.  Sometimes the scale of the task is beyond that which any one parish or Catholic parishioner could do.  Participation in the CMA allows every Catholic in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati by his or her donation to the CMA to fulfill their obligation to participate in these vital ministries; ministries that are clearly beyond the scope of any singular parish. 

Thank you for considering a donation or pledge to this year’s CMA.  I will report each week the results I have in the bulletin.

Beacons of Light Phase Two

As we move through the end of January into February, St. Ann and Sacred Heart will be conducting meetings and discussion sessions regarding the process for “visioning for the future.”   At present this has been done through Parish Council and some of the various committees.   Soon this will expand to include ideas for worship enhancement, stewardship (Finance Committee), evangelization, and an all-inclusive look at charitable outreach (aka Love in Action). 


I keep running this article because there are new scams everyday

Remember I NEVER solicit funds, donations, favors, or any request of any kind over the telephone, text, email, carrier pigeon, drone, etc.   NEVER!  Do not allow yourself to be taken in by scammers.  Even if they have my recorded voice, be assured it is computer generated fake!  It is not me!!!  

Reminder for volunteers who work with or around children

Please be aware that failure to register with and complete the requirements of Safe Parish will result in your inability to continue to work with or around children in any parish and/or school setting.  We have been informed by the Archdiocese that there can be NO EXCEPTIONS.

Live Streaming for Precept Masses

Please remember to access the Sacred Heart / St. Ann Pastoral Region You Tube site by clicking on the following link:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVLLqbEY5hKWinwz069MVcg

Reflection on Scripture:

Leprosy at the time of Jesus required you to be separated from the community by quarantine of distance and proximity.  To be socially acceptable, you had to tear you garments, put dirt on your face, and yell out the warning “unclean” to anyone foolish enough to approach you.  The quarantine could only be lifted by the priests.

Today, the fad among politicians and celebrities is to say, “I am very spiritual, but not religious.”  In other words, I am not affiliated with any organized religion.  This is intended to socially denigrate religion to being the new leprosy.    Clearly you can be nondescript “spiritual” and not offend anyone.  The advisor of faith and morals has become the opinion of celebrity or the majority in the most recent poll.  Conscience has been relegated to the perceptions of the majority, not adherence to any code or rubric authored by any deity.  If you dare to identify your religious affiliation by wearing a cross or “chi rho” pin, you may be asking to be cancelled.   It is fine to be proud of your personal faith.  It is not socially acceptable among the elite to be proud of your Catholic Faith.  Identifying as a member of the Catholic Church is the new leprosy. 

I suggest we not worry about wearing the vestiges of faith as much as we concern ourselves with  living our faith so openly and eloquently that our charity becomes the symbol.  St. Mother of Teresa of Calcutta and her order wore the simplest of habits, so that their looks blended in.  They are identified by their charity and poverty of spirit. 

Fashion sometimes requires that the manufacturer of your clothing place their doing business as name conspicuously on the article of clothing.  Showing off the label supposedly makes you accepted or “cool.”    If you are a follower of Christ, let charity become your symbol.  It may not be looked upon as fashionable on earth, but you will be stylish forever in Heaven. 

NEXT SUNDAY  The First Sunday in Lent

Gn 9:8-15

1 Pt 3:18-22

Mk 1:12-15

Theme: The new leprosy is being religious!