Lent is coming!

February 11 – Lent is coming!

Lent begins this week! This is an intentional season of penance, repentance, turning away from our distractions, vices, and sins, and turning intentionally towards Christ.

We do this specifically by focusing on prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. I will be writing more about how to help us do these well in upcoming weeks of Lent.


A word about Almsgiving – giving money to charitable causes to help the poor.

While of course there are many great ministries you could support, our parishes will be focusing on collecting “alms” for two particular causes.


1) On a local level, we will be collecting money for Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of Dubuque. They provide and support a variety of services in our region of Iowa including, but not limited to: affordable housing, disaster resources, counseling services, immigration legal services, and jail/prison reentry services. You will be receiving more information about them in future weeks. But if you would like to learn more you can visit, catholiccharitiesdubuque.org/our-services.


2) Secondly, on an international level, we will be collecting “alms” for the Diocese of Fort-Liberté in Haiti, where both Fr. Frantz and Fr. Jangill are from. You may recall a couple of years ago we collected money during Lent for this cause. In Haiti there are very few government funded social services available to people. Thus, the Catholic Church in Haiti is one of the main institutions that provide a variety of social services for the poor. Thus, we will be supporting the efforts of the diocese in caring for both the physical and spiritual needs of the people of Haiti.


We will be collecting this money is by sending home coffee cups that you can set out in your house to remember to put money in. This is also a reminder that you can combine your almsgiving with fasting. You could give up a cup of coffee or latte for a day and donate the money in almsgiving to these causes. You could fast from a meal, and donate what you would have paid for that meal.

You could then use the time you would have spend eating the meal as time for a little extra prayer in your life!



– Fr. Kevin

PS: Reminder that Wednesday is Ash Wednesday! Mass will be at 6:30 p.m. in Hampton (bilingual) and 7 p.m. in Ackley.

Also, a reminder that Ash Wednesday is an obligatory day of fasting (eating less food than usual) and abstinence (not eating meat). The United States Bishops Guidelines for fasting are as follows, “… the norms on fasting are obligatory from age 18 until age 59. When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal. The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding upon members of the Latin Catholic Church from age 14 onwards.”