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Annual Ash Wednesday Retreat

Wednesday, February 14, 10:15 AM - Wednesday, February 14, 1:45 PM

Note that registration will close Feb. 12 or earlier if capacity is reached.

Location:  Pope Saint Paul XXIII Room A14, Lower Level

Cost:  $10 (nominal fee covers light soup luncheon and retreat booklet)

Mass Options:   9:00 AM or 12 Noon.  Light soup lunch will follow noon Mass.

The Retreat Program:  There will be meditations on the bystander who cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant (Mk 14:47); the young man who was present when Jesus was arrested and ran off naked (Mk 14:51-52); Jesus’ comment that compares the temple made with hands and the temple not made with hands (Mk 14:58); the almost complete silence of Jesus during his trials before the Sanhedrin (Mk 14:61) and Pilate (Mk 15:5); the final words of Jesus on the Cross, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mk 15:34); and the centurion’s declaration, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” (Mk 15:39).

Luncheon:  There will be a light soup lunch after the noon Mass in A14 at approximately 1:00 p.m.  It will consist of meatless soups, crackers, rolls, coffee, and water.

Retreat Registration:  The retreat is limited to 125 participants because of the capacity of the room.  Registration is first-come, first-serve, and will close when full capacity is reached, or if not, until Monday, February 12, the final deadline.  Registration and payment must be completed in advance, and may be done in person at the parish office, on the parish website, or by mail.

A Retreat on Ash Wednesday:  A retreat at the beginning of Lent provides a strong spiritual beginning to the forty day journey.  It is a penitential season that focuses on the first words of Jesus:  “Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mk 1:15).  Lent is about conversion, Jesus’ urgent desire that we turn away from sin, grow in virtue, and strengthen our relationship with him.

Beginning with the End in Mind.  Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, looks forward to Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, the last Sunday of Lent.  Ashes remind us of our own mortality as we prepare to commemorate the death of Jesus.  It is spiritually beneficial to begin Lent with reflections on the Passion.

The Featured Passion.  This is Year B and the Passion on Palm Sunday will be taken from the Gospel of Mark.  There are a number of distinctive elements in Mark’s narrative that are not found in the other three, and they will serve as the points of reflection for the retreat.

The image used in the header is from Fr. Mike's personal collection of stained glass windows;  Jesus Crucified Between Two Criminals, St. Helen's Church in Milwaukee, WI.