Lenten Activities

Lenten Activities at St. Joseph the Worker

The 2024 Lenten season begins on Ash Wednesday, February 14.  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:  February 14, 2024 at 8:30am and 5:30pm
  • Private Celebration of Reconciliation:  Every Saturday from 3:15 - 4:00pm;  each Monday evening 5:00-5:30pm before Mass and stations, February 16, February26, March 4, March 11, March 19 and March 25; from  5:00pm-5:30pm. Fr. Joe can also meet with you by appointment.  Please call the Church office 217-483-3772.
  • Communal Celebration of Reconciliation:  The Lenten Communal Reconciliation Service for SJW will be held on March 14 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.
  • Weekday Mass:  Join us in the Church on Monday at 6:00pm for Mass followed by Stations of the Cross or on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 8:30am
  • Evening Prayer and Stations:  There will be Evening Prayer on Fridays at 5:00pm followed by Stations of the Cross, except for March 1 when our youth will present Living Stations at 7:00pm
  • Adoration of the Eucharist: There will be Eucharistic Adoration in the Church on March1 from 7:15am-8:15am and from 9:15am-11:30am, wtih Benediction.
  • Living Stations Friday March 1- 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 were handed out.  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 by March 4 at 217-483-3772 and talk to Sr. Judy to request a visit.

March 28 - Holy Thursday ~ Mass at 6:30pm

March 29 - Good Friday ~ Liturgy at 3:00pm

March 30 - Easter Vigil ~ Mass at 7:00pm

March 31 - 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.