An offering of time for Lent


Our time is precious; we can be reluctant to share it. We worry about wasted time waiting in line at the airport, grocery store, rush-hour traffic or customer service. If a friend is late for a lunch date or the wait staff is slow to serve us at a restaurant, we can be tempted to think, “My time is just as valuable as the person I’m waiting for.”

How easy it is to succumb to the temptation to be stingy with our time. During Lent, which begins March 6 on Ash Wednesday, Catholics are called to share some of that precious time in prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Sharing time during Lent will help us deepen our relationship with God and with one another.

The intercessions for Morning Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours on Ash Wednesday put the season in perspective. “We pray that in this time of salvation (God the Father) will fill us with the Holy Spirit, purify our hearts, and strengthen us in love…. Teach us to be loving not only in great and exceptional moments, but above all in the ordinary events of daily life.”

We are not asked to block out extraordinary amounts of time for our Lenten practices. But we are reminded to pay attention in our interactions with others and to convey love in the ordinary events of our day. We are called to look beyond ourselves to the needs of others. We are called to rekindle our faith, as individuals and as a community of believers inspired by the Holy Spirit to spread the joy of the Gospel. That is the very mission our diocese has embarked on through the Vision 20/20 initiative which Bishop Thomas Zinkula is spearheading.


The Vision 20/20 Steering Committee, comprised of Catholics throughout the Diocese of Davenport, has created a list of Lenten resources that you can find on the diocesan website at Click on the Vision 20/20 icon. A sample of offerings:

• A set of Stations of the Cross created by Father Corey Close, a diocesan priest. The stations are based on Pope Francis’ “Joy of the Gospel” and can be used as provided or modified.

• An “Examination of Conscience” that Patti McTaggart of St. Mary Parish in Iowa City created. Also based on the Joy of the Gospel, this Examination of Conscience can be used by schools and parishes, as part of a communal reconciliation liturgy, or for personal preparation for the sacrament of penance.

• The new diocesan hymn for Vision 20/20, “Renew Our Hearts,” composed by Joe Mattingly of the Newman Catholic Student Center in Iowa City. Parishes are encouraged to learn and sing this song during Lent. Individuals would benefit, also, listening to the song in personal reflection. Find the song at

Many other opportunities are available for sharing some of your precious time this Lent:

• Rice Bowl, an annual campaign of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to help combat hunger in our diocese and around the world. Visit the CRS website at for more information.

• Men’s Retreat: Disciples According to the Heart of Jesus, April 6, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., St. Mary Parish, Solon. Here’s an opportunity to reflect on what it really means to follow Jesus. The retreat is offered in English and in Spanish. Register by March 17 for early-bird pricing of $30 per person and $40 per person until April 1. Go to or call Rosina Hendrickson at (563) 888-4244 for more information.

• Women’s Retreat: Mary: The Yes that Changed the World, April 13, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Mary Parish in Williamsburg. Explore how Mary’s “yes” calls you to a deeper relationship with God in the silent moments of life, but also, and especially, in the loudest and most hectic moments. Be prepared to pray, laugh, share, create and change the world. This retreat will be offered in Spanish and English. Register by March 24 for early-bird pricing of $30 per person and $40 per person until April 8. Go to or call Rosina Hendrickson at (563) 888-4244 for more information.

• Visit the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website, which offers a wealth of ideas for observing Lent ( from prayer and abstinence to almsgiving and reflections on fasting to 10 things to remember during Lent.
Our time is precious. What better sacrifice to offer as a gift to the God who promises us eternity.

Barb Arland-Fye, Editor

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