The season of Lent, the season of changes

2014-03-20T00:00:00Z The season of Lent, the season of changesGeorge Grenchik Times Columnist nwitimes.com
March 20, 2014 12:00 am  • 

Happy Lent.

I’ve used that expression periodically and have sometimes gotten some mildly confused looks.

For those of you who may not be familiar, Lent is a yearly season observed in many Christian denominations, especially Roman Catholicism. It’s a time set aside for individual preparation by believers in Christ for remembrance of the central events and beliefs of Christianity, namely the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The 40 days of Lent are usually marked by individual prayer (reflection), repentance for wrongs done, charitable works, self-denial, and almsgiving (donation to those in need).

There are also many rituals, observances, and rules associated with Lent that are, to one degree or another, followed by many.

One of those rules for Catholics is the abstaining from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays of Lent. Some of you, like me, are old enough to remember when all Fridays of the year were to be meatless.

But I must confess, I have never quite understood how indulging in shrimp, lake perch, cod, scallops, and other gifts from the seas (lakes, rivers) was or is a “sacrifice.”

Anyway, it seems to me the acts of reflection, repentance, charity, self-denial, and alms giving would be well worth practicing regardless of whatever your religious affiliation might be. Or even if you have no affiliation.

In church news ... the Rev. Dave Pavlik, pastor of St. Victor Church in Calumet City, has been asked by Cardinal Francis George to be the temporary administrator of Our Lady of Knock parish, also in Cal City.

After many years of faithful service, the Rev. Pat Lyons will be retiring as Our Lady of Knock's pastor at the end of June. With a dwindling number of priests, there is no current replacement for Lyons as full time pastor.

Along with this, news comes that discussions have been and will be held regarding the closer workings and better utilization of the human and physical recourses of the three Catholic parishes in Calumet City — St. Victor, Our Lady of Knock and St. Andrew.

The day of fully attended Masses and multiple clergy at each of these parishes is not the current reality. As to the future ... plans will be developed.

SPEAKING OF LENT…

Meatless Fridays means some excellent fish frys.

The American Legion Post 330, at 950 Legion Drive in Cal City, sponsors great shrimp, lake perch, and cod dinners from 4 to 7 p.m. every Friday during Lent (and sometimes beyond). There is consistent good quality, both of the dinners and the large crowds that attend.

St. John Bosco School, Cal City native Mark Kielbania, principal, also has a great fish fry. It’s sponsored by the school’s parent organization. There’s a great salad bar, and like at the American Legion, you won’t be dining alone. The school is located on 171st Street right off of Columbia Avenue in Hammond. Times are from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Both of these events benefit worthwhile causes.

St. Andrew’s Rosary Confraternity is having a bingo to benefit the “Restoring Our Home” campaign of the parish. It will take place at 1 p.m. March 30 in the gym at 156th Street and Freeland Avenue in Calumet City.

A SAD NOTE

Don Campbell passed away recently. He was the prop rioter of Aggie’s in Calumet City. The large turnout for his wake attested to the friendliness, care, and concern Don gave to others. Peace to the family.

IT MIGHT BE MY FAULT …

… the endless winter. I put a few snowmen and some little pine trees on my porch as an exterior decoration. It’s been stupid cold and snowy since they went up. I’m taking them down today. Sorry.

Thanks for reading.

The opinions are solely those of the writer. George Grenchik is a longtime Calumet City resident and retired instructor at Bishop Noll Institute in Hammond. He can be reached at gjgrenchik@aol.com.

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