Lenten Activities

Lenten Activities at St. Joseph the Worker

The 202 Lenten season begins on Ash Wednesday, March 2.  Below are some activities that we offer at St. Joseph the Worker to help you prepare during Lent.

  • Ash Wednesday Mass with Distribution of Ashes:  March 2, 2022 at 8:30am and 5:30pm
  • Private Celebration of Reconciliation:  Every Saturday from 3:15 - 4:00pm;  March 10, March 22 from 5:00 - 6:00pm; April 7 and April 12 from 10:00 - 11:00am.  Fr. Joe can also meet with you by individual request, please call the Church office (217-483-3772).
  • Communal Celebration of Reconciliation:  The Lenten Communal Reconciliation Serve for SJW will be held in conjuctin with Little Flower Church on Tuesdya, March 29 at 6:00pm.
  • Special Collection - Ark of Hope Project:  Our Faith Formation classes are collecting donations for the Lenten season.  Cowpoke Pete and Cowgirl Cora will be in the gathering space to collect your donations and children can donate in the Faith Formation classes as well.  No gift is too big or too small.
  • Men's Bible Study Groups:  Men of the parish are invited to join other men to study and reflect upon the scriptures for the upcoming weekend Masses.  Tuesday mornings from 6:30am-7:30am, or Thursday Evenings starting March 10 from 6:00 - 7:00pm.  Contact Joe Malek at 515-450-1010 for additional information. 
  • Titus Women's Group:  Women of the parish are invited to join other women to study and reflect upon the scriptures for the upcoming weekend Masses. This session is held via Zoom on Tuesday morning.  Contact Paula Staab-Polk at 217-7256655 or Jodie Kos at 217-622-3715 for additional information.
  • Weekday Mass:  Join us in the Church on Monday at 5:30pm for Mass followed by Stations of the Cross or on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 8:30am
  • Fridays in Lent:  There will be Stations of the Cross at 5:30pm followed by Evening Prayer, except for March 11 when our youth will present Living Stations at 7:00pm
  • Adoration of the Eucharist: There will be Eucharistic Adoration, with a closing benediction on March 4 and April 8 from 9:15 - 11:30am in the church.
  • Living Stations Friday March 11- 7:00pm:  The public and the parish are invited to come witness, remember and reflect on the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ as our youth bring to life this comtemporary version of the Stations of the Cross.  You will not want to miss this moving performance!
  • Little Black Book:  To assist in your preparation during Lent, the Little Black Book will be handed out after Masses before Lent.  The daily meditations contained within this booklet will help you live out the Lenten season.
  • Private Devotions and Prayer:  The Church is open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4:00pm (enter through the office doors).
  • Sacraments to the Homebound:  Eucharist and Anointing of the Sick are available to our Parish homebound.  Call the Parish Office at 217-483-3772 and talk to Sr. Judy to request a visit.

April 14 - Holy Thursday ~ Mass at 6:30pm

April 15 - Good Friday ~ Liturgy at 5:30pm

April 16 - Easter Vigil ~ Mass at 7:00pm

April 17 - Easter Sunday ~ Masses at 8:00am and 10:30am



Lenten Activities outside of our parish:

From the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

During Lent, we are asked to devote ourselves to seeking the Lord in prayer and reading Scripture, to service by giving alms, and to practice self-control through fasting. Many know of the tradition of abstaining from meat on Fridays during Lent, but we are also called to practice self-discipline and fast in other ways throughout the season. Contemplate the meaning and origins of the Lenten fasting tradition in this reflection. In addition, the giving of alms is one way to share God's gifts—not only through the distribution of money, but through the sharing of our time and talents. As St. John Chrysostom reminds us: "Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life. The goods we possess are not ours, but theirs." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2446).

To read more check out their website HERE.

Lenten Prayers & Devotions:

• Begin each morning with the prayer: "Lord, I offer you this day, and all that I think, and do, and say."
• Attend Daily Mass as often as possible.
• Pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary.
• Make the Stations of the Cross at home or in a parish celebration.
• Read Scripture for 10 minutes every day.
• Pray the Seven Penitential Psalms (Psalm 6, 31, 50, 101, 129 and 142).
• Spend some time in quiet prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.
• Abstain from meat for an extra day or two each week.
• Listen to spiritual music or a spiritual speaker.
• Keep a Lenten journal with your spiritual insights, special intentions, people you want to pray for, hurts and disappointments that you want to offer up, and progress reports on your Lenten resolutions.

10 tips for making the season more meaningful

  1. Slow Down - Set aside 10 minutes a day for silent prayer or meditation. It will revitalize your body and your spirit.
  2. Read a good book - You could choose the life of a saint, a spiritual how-to, an inspirational book or one of the pope's new books.
  3. Be kind - Go out of your way to do something nice for someone else every day.
  4. Get involved - Attend a Lenten lecture or spiritual program.
  5. Volunteer at your parish - Whether it's the parish fish fry, cleaning the church or helping with the food drive, it will give you a chance to help others.
  6. Reach out - Invite an inactive Catholic to come with you to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday.
  7. Pray - Especially for people you don't like and for people who don't like you.
  8. Tune out - Turn off the television and spend quality time talking with family members or friends.
  9. Clean out closets - Donate gently used items to the St. Martin De Porres Center (website HERE).
  10. Donate — Pick one mission and decide how you can help by sending money, clothing or supplies.

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned…

If you haven't gone to confession in a while, Lent is the perfect time to reconcile yourself with God and the Church. Most parishes have communal penance services with prayers and Scripture readings, followed by the opportunity for individual confession (a necessity for absolution of mortal sins). Or you can also make a private appointment with a priest.

Preparation for confession should include an examination of conscience, which means you think back on sins you have committed since your last confession.

What happens during confession depends on the priest and the person. Most people still start with the formula: "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been (state the number of months or years) since my last confession."

If you can't remember the words or you don't recall how long it's been, don't worry. Just tell the priest it's been a long time, and he will guide you through the process.

What you will experience is the healing gift of God's love, the chance to start over with a clean conscience, and an overwhelming sense of gratitude.