Lenten Season at the Cathedral Basilica

February 13, 2021

Ash Wednesday and the Beginning of Lent

On Wednesday, February 17th, we will enter into the Season of Lent. We will hear the words of the Prophet Joel, who says: “Even now, says the Lord, Return to me with your whole heart. With fasting, and weeping, and mourning; Rend your hearts, not your garments, And return to the Lord, your God. For gracious and merciful is he, Slow to anger, rich in kindness, And relenting in punishment.”

Masses at the Cathedral will be at 7:30AM, 12:00 Noon, and 6:00PM. Ashes will be
distributed at each of these Masses. Because of COVID restrictions we will not be able to allow more than 300 persons per Mass. Ash Wednesday is a day when many, many people come to Church. I apologize in advance if you are not able to get into Church for Mass. Please remember that Ash Wednesday IS NOT A HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION. It is a good and worthy thing to begin Lent by being signed with ashes, but it is not obligatory.

The Fridays of the Season of Lent are days of abstinence from eating meat. Anyone who is fourteen years of age is obliged to abstain from eating meat on Fridays. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fast and abstinence, which means that we eat only one full meal that day (and two smaller meals) and abstain from meat. All adults up to the age of sixty are obliged to fast and abstain. Fasting on these days, however, is still recommended for
children and seniors.

To be reconciled with God, and with the Church, and with one another, is a very important part of our Lenten penance. We humble ourselves and put away our pride by admitting our sins and weaknesses. That’s our part of the process. But it is so important that we allow God the opportunity to do His part, and speak to us words of forgiveness and peace. Because God is “slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment.”
On the Wednesdays of Lent, Confessions will be heard from 4:00 -5:00 PM: On Friday, from 4:00 to 5:00; and each Saturday, from 11:00 to 11:50, and from 4:15 to 5:00. On Saturdays, we will have two Priests available for each hour of confessions. On Good Friday, from 1:30-3:00, we will have at least four Priests present to hear confessions. I encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities for confession before Easter Sunday.


J. Gerald Schreck, Rector