Christians commence the Lenten season

Tyler Clarke
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A group of about 100 Catholics convened at St. Joseph’s Parish on Tuesday to kick-off the Lenten Season with Fat Tuesday celebrations.


The 40-day fasting that is the Lenten Season can’t begin without clearing one’s cupboards, Bishop Albert Thévenot explained between flipping pancakes.

“In the olden days it was to finish all of our eggs and all of the things in our house,” he said, explaining Tuesday’s food-centred event, which is perhaps best known as Mardi Gras -- French for Fat Tuesday.

“We got rid of everything so we could start properly our Lenten Season.”

The Lenten Season consists of “40 days of preparation,” he explained.

“Just like the people of the Old Testament gave 40 years to get to the Promised Land, we take 40 days to get to Easter -- the centre of our faith.”

“Tomorrow everybody begins lent in their own way -- by praying, by helping the poor and changing their own lives.

“It helps us to look at our own selves and how I’m living out my faith, and it helps me to see whether my faith corresponds to what Jesus is asking of us.

“It’s a time of reflection, it’s a time of meditation, it’s a time of saying ‘I have to open my heart more to others.’”

Beginning with Ash Wednesday on March 5, which commemorates the first of 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert, local Christians will begin their own homage to Jesus’ fast.

“My own personal thing is, I take no pop or chips or things like that -- none allowed in my house,” Fat Tuesday event organizer Andrea Langlois said.

“After that we have the Holy Thursday celebration, which is the washing of the feet,” she said, noting that this year’s Holy Thursday will take place on April 17.

“Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, so it represents that -- that he’s here to serve us.”

Tomorrow everybody begins lent in their own way -- by praying, by helping the poor and changing their own lives. Bishop Albert Thévenot

Good Friday will be celebrated on April 18 beginning at 3 p.m. -- hopefully in the Sacred Heart Cathedral, which Langlois said should re-open by then, following ongoing renovations.

An Easter Vigil will be held on Saturday, April 19, and a regular Easter services will take place the following morning.

At Tuesday’s Fat Tuesday celebration, vicar general Rev. Maurice Fiolleau was seen selling copies of the two volumes of cookbooks members of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Prince Albert put together as an effort to raise money for building renovations.

They’ve sold 4,000 books so far, bringing in $10,000 of profit, Fiolleau said.

Books will continue to be made available at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Prince Albert offices south of the Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Organizations: Sacred Heart Cathedral, Roman Catholic Diocese of Prince Albert

Geographic location: Promised Land

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