Wednesday, March 1, 2017

March 1: Ash Wednesday – the Beginning of Lent

March 1: Ash Wednesday – the Beginning of Lent
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a season of fasting and prayer as Christians prepare for the celebration of EasterIt is one of the most popular and observed days by many Catholics in the liturgical calendar.
Ash Wednesday takes place 46 days before Easter Sunday.  While it is chiefly observed by Catholics, many other Christians observe it too.  Ash Wednesday comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting.  The practice includes the wearing of ashes on the forehead, which symbolize the dust from which God made us.  As the priest applies the ashes to a person's forehead, he speaks the words: "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return."
Alternatively, the priest may speak the words, "Repent and believe in the Gospel."  Lent, therefore, offers a reminder for us to go out, live out the Gospel as disciples (followers) of Christ!

 March 17 – 19, 2017: Come and See Weekend
The Sisters are still talking about our February Come and See Weekend.   That was a great weekend – and if you didn’t and/or couldn’t come, I invite you to consider coming in March!  Not only do you get to stay, pray and play with the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids, but you also get to meet other women who are discerning their life vocation. 
I invite you to come spend some time with us –
Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids
March 17th – 19th, 2017
I have heard from some of you already, and I look forward to meeting you in person! 

Please register 
– even if you have already told me that you’ll be attending – 
by clicking on the following link:

This way I’ll be sure to have a room reserved for you.
Remember: There is no cost for this weekend.  
Room and meals are provided.   

Embrace Trust – RE Congress 2017

I just got back from attending the Religious Education Congress in Anaheim, CA last night – or, should I say, very early this morning!  I’m still feeling the exhaustion of the airport adventures, but I’m not complaining.  I look forward to Congress each year.  This is my annual ‘spiritual shot in the arm!’  I have been attending since 1980 (missing maybe four or five times) – and I’m still on a high!  I could sit here and try to tell you what Congress is, but will share just a few pictures instead.  I also copied some information from their website below ( – they have lots of pictures)! 
While this started out as a local diocesan event (still is) sixty-one years ago, participants come from all over the world – including the Vatican!  I would add that they have the cream-of-the-crop presenters!  
  • Nation's Largest – The Religious Education Congress, sponsored by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Office of Religious Education, is the nation's largest annual gathering of Roman Catholics!
  • With 40,000 in Attendance – Our last Religious Education Congress brings in nearly 40,000 for the four-day event, which includes 20,000 registered from across the country and as far away as the U.K. and Australia. Attendance at Youth Day draws in about 15,000 youth! 

  • Variety of Topics – Over the three days, Congress offers over 300 workshops presented by more than 200 speakers. Topics range from personal growth to music to spiritual topics – in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.
  • Representing Many Cultures – Congress annually offers a number of liturgies of different character. Congress 2017 offered 16 Eucharistic Liturgies of different character, including Care of the Earth in the Hawaiian Tradition; Celtic; Contemplative in the Filipino Tradition; Immigrants, Exiles, Refugees (in English) and Inmigrantes, Exiliados, Refugiados (in Spanish); Joy of Love – Celebrating Christian Marriage; Maronite Divine Liturgy; Mass of Healing; Preservation of Peace & Justice in the African-American Tradition; Spanish; Vietnamese; Young Adult and Evening Prayer and Taizé services.
  • Free Exhibits – Congress showcases 500+ booths housing over 260 companies as exhibitors – ranging from religious art to music, and from publishing houses to educational institutions, in addition to the represented ministries of the host Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
  • Free Entertainment for Registrants – Admission to Congress includes both free lunchtime and evening concerts – ranging from contemporary Christian music to the leading Latino composers and artists.
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