Pray. Fast. Give.

Lenten regulations and initiatives

Julie Filby

The penitential season of Lent begins Ash Wednesday, Feb. 18, and continues through Holy Thursday, April 2. Easter, the commemoration of Christ’s resurrection, will be April 5. The following are regulations and initiatives to help enrich one’s Lenten experience.

– Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence from meat for Catholics, according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. In addition, Fridays during Lent are days of abstinence from meat. The norms on fasting are obligatory from age 18 until age 59. When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal. Two smaller meals may also be taken, but not to equal a full meal. The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding on members of the Church from age 14 up.

– Catholics are encouraged to make confession a significant part of their spiritual lives during Lent. For the fourth year The Light is on for You confession campaign is returning to the Archdiocese of Denver. From 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. March 5, all churches are asked to participate in an archdiocesan-wide night of confession. In addition to The Light is on for You, many parishes also host penance services during Lent. These will be promoted in weekly bulletins, on parish websites and listed at www.archden.org.

– Catholics are asked to focus more intently on almsgiving during Lent, which means donating money or goods to the poor and performing other acts of charity. Almsgiving is “a witness to fraternal charity” and “a work of justice pleasing to God” according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC no. 2462).

– In his papal Message for Lent 2015, Pope Francis asked the faithful to open their hearts to God and to overcome a “globalization of indifference.” “Usually, when we are healthy and comfortable, we forget about others,” he wrote. “We are unconcerned with their problems, their sufferings and the injustices they endure … It is a problem which we, as Christians, need to confront.” Read the pope’s full message here.

– Many parishes pray the Stations of the Cross devotion at church on Friday evenings during Lent. Please check parish bulletins and websites for details. These are sometimes preceded or followed by a modest community meal, such as a fish fry.

– Retreats offered by parishes and apostolates will be listed on Denver Catholic’s online calendar here and included in the Bulletin Board section of the print edition throughout Lent.

COMING UP: Late St. Joseph deacon ‘reached out into the peripheries’ during ministry

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Deacon Maclovio (Max) Sanchez, 87, passed away peacefully in Olathe, Kansas on April 30. Deacon Sanchez was assigned to St. Joseph’s Parish in Denver throughout his diaconal ministry.

Maclovio Sanchez was born on May 21, 1931 in San Luis, Colorado, to Estevan and Emily Sanchez. He was baptized at Most Precious Blood Parish in San Luis, Colorado, on June 2, 1931 and grew up in Walsenberg, Colorado.  He graduated from St. Mary’s High School in Wasenberg.

On April 24, 1954, he married Mary Frances Marquez at Holy Rosary Parish in Denver.  Over the 65 years of their marriage, the couple was blessed with three children: Martin, Debra and Joshua. They also had numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.

In Denver, Max worked for Midwest Liquor Company, delivering products to the area stores. But his love was directed towards the poor communities in the metro area.  Max was vice chairman of the Coalition for the Westside Betterment and President of the St. Vincent de Paul Society Food Bank. He and his wife were also very involved in the parish at St. Joseph’s.

On March 22, 1975, Maclovio was ordained a deacon at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception by Archbishop James Casey. This was only the second class of men ordained in the archdiocese at the time. He was immediately assigned to St. Joseph’s Parish where he also conducted numerous Spanish Missions and served at the Westside Action Center. Retiring from ministry in 1993, he continued to serve at St. Joseph’s Parish as long as his health would allow.

“Deacon Max reached out into the peripheries and brought the lost back into the Church,” said Deacon Joseph Donohoe, Director of Deacon Personnel. “We have been blessed to have such a dedicated Cleric and Servant of the Church in Denver.”