Lenten Journey: Week 1

Lenten Journey


Week 1

Fasting, Praying, and Charity during the First Week of Lent
The ultimate goal of the Season of Lent is a conversion of heart or a turning away from our sinful ways in order to embrace the Gospel. One of the phrases used during the imposition of Ashes on Ash Wednesday is this: Repent, and believe in the Gospel. This is a very direct and clear statement. This is what we are called to do during Lent.
Each Friday of Lent we will offer you one attainable suggestion for the three Lenten disciplines of fasting, prayer and charity. You might look at these as cumulative as we journey through the season. For this First Week of Lent we invite you to: fast from noise; engage in Centering Prayer; and be a Simon of Cyrene to others.
Fasting from Noise
  • Our world is filled with constant noise. As individuals and as a society we have become estranged from silence. And yet it was not in the loud thunder but rather in the silent breeze that God was revealed. 
  • This Lent we might do well to make time for silence in an intentional and prayerful way. 
  • The kind of silence we pursue is not simply the absence of noise or a suspension of speech. We seek the kind of stillness where the Word of God is revealed, the voice of God is recognized and the love of God is experienced.
Centering Prayer
  • This type of Contemplative Prayer is a perfect companion to our attempt to fast from noise. Centering Prayer is the prayer of silence. In this deep silence, reaching beyond thoughts, words and emotions we open our mind, heart and soul to God.
  • For more information on Centering Prayer we invite you to visit:

Charity: Being a Simon of Cyrene for someone

  • A simple and silent way to train ourselves in acts of kindness is through the exercise of being a Simon of Cyrene. Like Simon helped to buttress Jesus’ cross we are asked to help others. 
  • Put the names of your family and/or friends into a bag. Each Sunday in Lent draw a name and keep it a secret. Try to do something kind for that person during the week without letting them know who did it. At the end of the week, you might try to guess who your “Simon of Cyrene” was.   
Throughout Lent please remember to be patient with yourself and others.  Lent is neither an endurance test nor a time to prove our Christian stamina. Rather, Lent is a time to slow down and ponder what is essential to our faith and thus to our life as Christians. So please pace yourselves. Give yourself and others the necessary space. And above all be forgiving.



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Preparing for Lent

The Season of Lent

Prepare for a fruitful celebration of the Season of Lent.



Lent Schedule: Join us online or in-person during the Season of Lent.

Pray the Stations of the Cross: these stations were commissioned by The Basilica from local artist Lucinda Naylor to mark the second millennium of Christianity. The Meditations were inspired by the art.

Lectio Divina: Lectio Divina invites us into scripture, meditation, prayer, contemplation and action.

Pray the Rosary together either in person or virtually: we have made a virtual Rosary available on our website. 



Visit the online Lent and Easter Art Collection


40 Days of Lent

Week 1

Lent is an Invitation by Johan van Parys, Ph.D.


In our weekly art video series Johan van Parys, Ph.D., our Director of Liturgy and Sacred Arts, veers off a bit to discuss a symbol rather than a work of art and shares an edition of "Symbols that Surround Us."
On Wednesday we begin our forty day long Lenten journey in preparation of the celebration of the Paschal Mystery: the mystery of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. In this episode, Johan discusses the Biblical and liturgical roots in the custom of imposing ashes on Ash Wednesday.
In years past, teens in our Basilica Youth Engaged in Service (or YES) group would gather the Sunday evening before Ash Wednesday to make the soups, and members of our Parish Council and Finance Committee would serve the Ash Wednesday meal.
This year, unfortunately, we will not host our soup supper event due to COVID-19. To honor our soup supper tradition, in this video we present three new vegetarian soup recipes made by members of our staff. Our guest judges, including Fr. Bauer, will award a Golden Ladle to the soup chosen as their favorite.
These soup recipes, plus some favorites from years past, are available at, should you want to make a delicious Basilica soup at home this year for your Ash Wednesday.
This year, you are invited to Mass with the distribution of ashes on Ash Wednesday, February 17. In-person Masses are at 7am, 12 noon and 5:30pm. Pre-registration for in-person attendance at the noon and 5:30pm Masses opens on Monday at (Guests attending the 7am Mass can register at the east church door by Cowley Center. Guests at all other masses enter at the ground level west doors.)
We will livestream the 12 noon and 5:30pm Masses on and Facebook. For those who livestream Mass, we will also distribute ashes outside on 17th Street for 30 minutes after the noon and 5:30pm Masses. Those receiving ashes outside may stay in their cars.


Basilica Community,

I hope this message finds you and your family continuing to stay well during these challenging times.

Today I have three things I would like to mention. First, next Wednesday February 17, is Ash Wednesday. We will have three Masses at 7:00am, Noon, and 5:30pm. The Noon and 5:30pm Masses will be livestreamed and ashes will be offered at each of these Masses.

Due to the pandemic, we won’t be making the sign of the cross with ashes on people’s foreheads. Instead we will drop a few ashes on the crown of each person’s head. This is the custom in much of Europe and it was suggested by our Liturgy Office as a way to distribute ashes this year. After the Noon and 5:30pm Masses ashes will also be offered to those who want to come to The Basilica.

The process will be the same as we have in the past. People will drive up 17th Street, stop at the rectory to receive a prayer card, and then drive to the front of the school to receive ashes. Given the logistics of offering ashes to people in their cars, we will use Q-tips to offer these ashes. Certainly none of this is ideal, but we want to do everything we can to ensure people’s safety and security.

The second thing I want to mention is that after the 9:30am Mass on the First Sunday of Lent, February 21st, we will once again distribute communion to those who want to come to The Basilica after livestreaming Mass at 9:30am. As on Ash Wednesday, we ask you to stop at the rectory to receive a prayer card and then drive to the front of the school to receive communion.

The third thing I want to mention is that, as is clearly evident, Lent will be very different this year. If you are not able, or don’t feel comfortable joining us in-person for any of our liturgies, we invite you join via our livestream. Also on our website you will be able to find suggestions for celebrating Lent and Holy Week at home this year.

Finally, as always, if you have questions or concerns about anything that is happening at the Basilica, please contact me at the parish office or send me an email. My contact information is available on our parish website.

Let me close today in prayer.


Loving God, Your desire is for our wholeness and well being.
We hold in tenderness and prayer the collective suffering of our world at this time.
We grieve precious lives lost and vulnerable lives threatened.
We ache for ourselves and our neighbors, standing before an uncertain future.
We pray: may love, not fear, go viral.
Inspire our leaders to discern and choose wisely, aligned with the common good.
Help us to practice social distancing and reveal to us new and creative ways to come together in spirit and in solidarity.
Call us to profound trust in your faithful presence,
You, the God who does not abandon.


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In our weekly video series "Art That Surrounds Us," Johan van Parys, Ph.D., our Director of Liturgy and Sacred Arts, shares information about a piece from The Basilica of Saint Mary's art collection. This week, Johan discusses our new icon of Saint Josephine Bakhita, by local iconographer Deb Korluka.
"If we had no hope in the Lord, what would we do in this world?"
- Saint Josephine Bakhita
Saint Josephine Bakhita

Bakhita Hymn Premiere

We dedicated our newest icon of Saint Josephine Bakhita today, by local iconographer Deb Korluka. We also premiered Bakhita Hymn, a new composition by our composer-in-residence, Donald Krubsack, Ph.D. Krubsack hopes the "musical intent and message [of the hymn] is something that can live in the hearts of the people who sing and hear it." May this hymn help us enter more deeply into the life and holiness of Saint Josephine Bakhita.