1. The Catholic observance of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, which falls on February 13 this year, and is a day of fast and abstinence for Catholics. At Mass on Ash Wednesday, the imposition of ashes replicates an ancient penitential practice and symbolizes people's dependence upon God's mercy and forgiveness
2. Catholics believe in the dignity of human life from conception until natural death. In this moving interview just two weeks ago,Bishop John M. D’Arcy of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, spoke aboutfacing illness. Bishop John M. D’Arcy died this Sunday.
3. Many parishes this weekend will take up the Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe. This Collection supports Catholic organizations that provide food, shelter, medical care, catechesis, and companionship for the lonely in a region still struggling in the aftermath of atheistic Soviet rule. Donations help to restore the strength of the Church in the region. Visit www.usccb.org/nationalcollections to learn more.
4. Last night there was a debate on PBS' Downton Abbey about whether baby Sybil would be baptized Catholic like her father or Anglican like her mother's family, the Crawleys. Everyone's talking about it on the Internet. It's a great time to talk about what a Baptism actually means.
5. God loves you.