Lessons from this Longer Lent

I’m having a longer Lent than usual this year. Most years it begins on Ash Wednesday.  This year, however, it started on January 4 when I decided to join a small group of local men, including some parishioners, to participate in a program called Exodus 90, which basically extends Lent from its official 40 days to 90 days (the amount of time experts say it takes to form new habits).  So,Continue reading “Lessons from this Longer Lent”

Thoughts on Ash Wednesday

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, which is typically one of the busiest days of the year in every Catholic parish.  This year was no different.  We started with our normal 7:30am Mass, which reached maximum capacity (160) under the current COVID restriction, which was really nice.  Just after the parish Mass, we had Mass for some of the students at the Catholic Academy of Stamford. Continue reading “Thoughts on Ash Wednesday”

Who Are These People?

The Mass can sometimes feel like this: a few readings from the Bible, a sermon, a collection, the priest saying a bunch of stuff while we kneel down, the Our Father, Communion, announcements, dismissal. If this is our experience of Mass, it might surprise us that the most fascinating part of it actually takes place during the part where the priest saysContinue reading “Who Are These People?”

Learning Our Prayers

Priests have the privilege of being with people as they near the ends of their lives.  Some of the people I’ve helped prepare for death spent their whole lives active in the Church, some were less active, and a few were resistant to the idea of seeing a priest and receiving the sacraments.  I remember one gentlemanContinue reading “Learning Our Prayers”

Singing Our Prayers

Music matters in liturgy. Ever since the resumption of public Masses last summer, however, we have been using a different style of music in the parish than what we were accustomed to hear prior to the COVID shutdowns.  We can’t use the popular hymns that we’d otherwise hear at Mass because the current health protocols prohibit congregational singing during liturgies in order to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.  Because the musicContinue reading “Singing Our Prayers”