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Lent 2018: A Season of Conversion in Catholic Schools

To Teach as Jesus Did:

Catholic Education in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee

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“Lent 2018:  A Season of Conversion in Catholic Schools”

Lent will arrive early this year.  Signs of Christmas have not completely been removed, and winter is definitely not over.  Still, as we are marked with ashes on February 14, we’ll begin the Church’s season of springtime and renewal:  the 40 days of Lent.  Just as our gardens and grass will no doubt be different on April 1, Easter Sunday, with soil that’s ready to bring forth life, so should our hearts.  Lent is a time for conversion of spirit.

As always, I urge every school community to plan carefully for Lent 2018.  If you have not already done so, please consider a school-wide theme that’s closely linked to the parish’s, where that applies, and is based on Scripture.  Also plan to implement specific practices based on the three primary Lenten goals of prayer, almsgiving, and fasting

Examples of each Lenten goal may include: 

  • Prayer:  daily opportunities for silence, prayer, and reflection; liturgies and prayer services; a focus on the Sunday readings; Stations of the Cross; the Sacrament of Reconciliation; Scripture study; spiritual reading. 

Could we commit to spending 1% of each Lenten day (just 15 minutes) in quiet reflection on God’s word?

  • Almsgiving:  service projects that immerse us in a culture not our own; outreach to the disabled, the grieving, and those who struggle; visits to the sick and the elderly. 

Could we look for at least one opportunity each day “to walk in the shoes of another?”

  • Fasting:  forms of self-denial that call us to remember how abundantly we’ve been blessed; abstaining from words, thoughts, or actions that may hurt others and counteract peace. 

Could we make a promise to “do no harm” to anyone or anything this Lent?

For our archdiocesan Catholic school Lenten reflections this year, sent each morning to all principals and ideally also forwarded to teachers and staff, I’ve chosen to use the theme of this year’s Catholic Stewardship Appeal, “Decide to Lead,” and challenge us each day to take action on behalf of those who especially need our prayer, our attention, and our love.

I wish each of you a most blessed and fruitful Lenten season. 

Kathleen A. Cepelka, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Catholic Schools

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