A variety of resources to help Catholics observe Lent, which this year begins on Ash Wednesday, March 5, is being provided by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
With the theme “Give Up, Take Up, Lift Up,” resources include a new series of audio retreat podcasts in English and Spanish for the Sundays of Lent, video reflections on Lenten themes, and a downloadable Lenten calendar with quotes from Pope Francis’Message for Lent. . . and other teachings and suggestions for taking an active approach to the three traditional pillars of Lenten observance: prayer, fasting andalmsgiving.
The website (www.usccb.org/lent) also includes facts about saints whose feast days or memorials fall within Lent, a reflection on fasting, information on rediscovering the Sacrament of Penance, and a section on Holy Week observances.
The Lenten audio retreats were produced for USCCB in association with Franciscan Media and are hosted by Elia Castillo. The 2014 retreat leaders are Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin, Texas; Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services; Bishop Liam Cary of Baker, Oregon; Archbishop José Gomez, of Los Angeles; Bishop William Michael Mulvey of Corpus Christi, Texas; Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso, Texas; Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati; Archbishop Joseph Tobin of Indianapolis and Bishop Michael Pfeifer, OMI, retired bishop of San Angelo, Texas.