Keeping a Holy Lent



At all the Masses on Ash Wednesday, you are invited to take a RICE BOWL. We are asking each household, as part of our Lenten journey, to fill the rice bowl through sacrificial gifts. With your support every year, the Catholic community in the United States assists more than 100 million of the world’s poorest people. Rice Bowls will be available at all entrances to the church after Ash Wednesday and will be collected on Holy Thursday, April 13, at the Mass of the Last Supper.


Our Twin Parish and School, Sacred Heart of Jesus located in Acul Des Pins, Haiti is also part of our Lenten Almsgiving. Please visit the display located in the Narthex beginning on Ash Wednesday. Please use the special envelopes provided and place them in the Sunday offertory collection or return them to the parish office.

Best Lent Ever


Best Lent Ever is a free, daily email program that will help you have a truly life-changing Lent. Sign up at and  you will receive daily emails with practical tips, short inspirational videos and personal reflections by Matthew Kelly and the Dynamic Catholic team members. Open your heart to God and do more than just give up chocolate for Lent.

Blessing of Easter Food Baskets

Saturday, March 26
1:00PM in the Church

The Tradition of Blessing Food at Easter
This is a Slavic tradition that was brought to the United States by immigrants from Poland, the Ukraine, Russia and other Slavic countries. It is a centuries old custom rich in symbolism and something that the whole family can do together. With the ethnic church becoming a thing of the past, many parishes are adopting this practice and it is spreading to parishioners of other nationalities.

“Swieconka” is the Polish name for the blessing of the food. If it is something that is being offered in your parish this is what you need to do. Get a large basket, one with a handle is traditional, but whatever you have will be fine.

Traditional Items

Maslo: Butter shaped like a lamb or a cross. This is to remind us of the goodness of Christ. These are really cute and sure to please the kids in the family.

Babka: Easter Bread. Christ is called the bread of life and the babka usually has a cross or a fish on top. You should be able to purchase a babka at your local grocery.

Chrzan: Horseradish with grated red beets symbolizes Christ’s passion and the sweetness is a reminder of his resurrection.

Jajka: Eggs are the sign of new life and the Christ rising from the tomb.

Kielbasa: Sausage reminds us of Christ’s generous spirit.

Szynka: Smoked Ham or Bacon reminds us of Gods generous nature in giving us His son and His mercy.

Sol: Salt. Jesus said you are the salt of the earth.

Ser: Cheese. This is usually shaped in a ball as a symbol of moderation.

Finally, a Candle is usually inserted into the basket to represent Christ the Light of the World. The basket is covered with a linen cloth and brought to the church to be blessed.

Most of us who are not of a Slavic tradition are not going to be serving most of these items. That does not mean that our Easter meal should not be blessed. It doesn’t matter what you are serving, what is important is that you are asking God to bless your meal. You in turn are thanking him for the blessing he has given to your family and the gift of His only son. Easter is a celebration of Jesus’ victory over death and the hope of eternal life that he has given us. “Swieconka” is a wonderful way to celebrate this.

Catholicism - The Pivotal Players

CATHOLICISM – The Pivotal Players
Tuesdays at 7pm in the Conmy Center

See the new journey Bishop Barron is on to unlock the truth behind the Catholic Church’s most influential people. CATHOLICISM: The Pivotal Players is a multi-part film series that illumines a handful of saints, artists, mystics, and scholars who, not only shaped the life of the Church, but changed the course of civilization. Journey with your fellow parishioners and Bishop Barron to explore the lasting influence of these Pivotal Players.

St. Francis: The Reformer – March 7 and 21
St. Catherine of Sienna: The Mystic – March 28 / April 4
G.K. Chesterton: The Evangelist – April 11

Walking with Purpose

Thursdays at 7pm in the Conmy Center

Walking with Purpose is a Catholic Bible study for women that aims to bring women to a deeper personal relationship with Christ. Through personal study and small group discussions, the group helps to link our everyday challenges with solutions given to us through the teachings of Christ and the Catholic Church. The six week course for Lent, Living in the Father’s Love, is the ideal way to revive and refresh yourself. Please join us and find out what it’s all about! For questions or to rsvp, email MaryAnn Dolsak or call (727) 733-0872.

Stations of the Cross


Fridays at 9:30am and 7pm in the Church

Join us for the Living Stations of the Cross on Friday, April 7 at 7pm. Following the Lenten Fish Fry, Our Lady of Lourdes students will re-enact the Stations of the Cross with accompaniment by the school choir and student narrators.

Lenten Fish Fry

Fridays in Lent, March 3-April 7
4:30-7pm in the School Hall

  • $8 includes two generous pieces of fried cod, fries, coleslaw, a roll, pickle, coffee and iced tea
  • $5 for children’s cheese pizza
  • Beer, wine and soda are available for a donation

A baked option is available, but orders must be placed by 3pm the day of by calling or texting Sarah Davis at 727-741-0284. All proceeds go to the teen program to benefit our teens attending summer camps, conferences, and World Youth Day 2019.


Regulations on Fasting and Abstinence


The dual disciplines of fasting and abstinence have a long history in the Catholic Church. Going back to the early Church, the purpose behind the custom of self denial is not punishment; it is to simplify our lifestyles so that we create a certain emptiness. In this way, freed from all distractions, we are able to hear and respond to God’s continued call to conversion and holiness.

  • Fasting is to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday by all Catholics between the ages of 18 to 59 years (inclusive). On days of fasting, one full meal is allowed. Two smaller meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to one’s needs, but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids are allowed.
  • Abstinence from meat is to be observed by all Catholics who are 14 years of age and older. Ash Wednesday, all the Fridays of Lent, and Good Friday are days of abstinence.

Note: If a person is unable to observe the above regulations due to ill health or other serious reasons, they are urged to practice other forms of self denial that are suitable to their condition.

Fasting, almsgiving, and prayer are the three traditional disciplines of Lent. The faithful and catechumens should undertake these practices seriously in a spirit of penance and of preparation for baptism or of renewal of baptism at Easter.