How Will You Enter into Lent this Year?

We Need Lent!
It sounds counterintuitive to intentionally add suffering and penance to our lives, especially during Covid, but the riches awaiting us in Lent are well worth the sacrifices. If you want to become a better spouse, a better parent, a better person, and a better disciple of Christ, then buckle up, and get ready for the freedom and new life that awaits you!

Read the Scripture Readings here Genesis 9:8-15 | Psalm 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19 | 1 Peter 3:18-22 | Mark 1:12-15
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Come to the Mountain
The mountain top experiences we are told about in today’s readings was a life-changing encounter—it transformed Abraham, Isaac, Peter, James, and John; their lives were forever changed. Father Don asks us which mountain during Lent is the one we need to climb. Is it Mount Moriah, Mount Tabor, Mount Calvary, or all three?

Read the Scripture Readings here Genesis 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18 | Psalm 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19 | Romans Rom 8:31b-34 | Mark 9:2-10
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JOHN 3:16
Contrary to the popular bumper sticker proclaiming that Jesus is the answer, it seems more appropriate to say that Jesus is the question that requires a response from anyone who would believe. Take a further listen as Father Don speaks about John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life.”

Read the Scripture Readings here 2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23 | Psalm 137:1-2, 3, 4-5, 6 | Ephesians 2:4-10 | John 3:14-21
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Watch on YouTube link (please don’t forget to hit subscribe)
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Stockholm Syndrome
A universe without God means we’re free to live as we please, and to celebrate our creative ways of being “authentically ourselves”. But in practice, this worldview seems to do nothing for the chains we carry everyday. That’s because that isn’t our universe. God does exist, and so does a tyrant—one who seeks our capture and destruction. And the odd thing? We tend to trust the tyrant more than God! There’s good news though, and it comes from a man who sets prisoners free.

Read the Scripture Readings here Jeremiah 31:31-34 | Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13, 14-15 | Hebrews 5:7-9 | John 12:20-33
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Watch on YouTube link (please don’t forget to hit subscribe)
Comment on Facebook here

What are you doing for Lent this year? Perhaps the better question is ‘WHY’ you are doing it?

On Ash Wednesday, we ask for the intercession of our Lady of Mercy to help us ponder with her the mysteries of her Son’s sacred Passion, Death, and Resurrection.

Here is a list of the type of resources found on this page, that can help you enter into this solemn, holy season of Lent more deeply this year. 

Lenten Guidelines

  • Everyone 14 years of age or over is bound to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays of Lent.
  • All from the age of 18 years up to the beginning of their 60th year are bound to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
  • On these two days of fast and abstinence, only one full meatless meal is allowed. Two other meatless meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to each one’s needs, but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted on these two days, but liquids, including milk and fruit juices are allowed. When health or ability to work would be seriously affected, the law does not oblige.
  • To disregard completely the law of fast and abstinence is sinful.
  • Lent is the principal season of penance in the Church year. Therefore, all of the faithful are strongly urged to develop and follow a program of voluntary self-denial. All Catholics are encouraged to support generously the charitable works of the whole Church, pray and perform works of charity and mercy.
  • Those who are sick, pregnant, or nursing, or whose health would adversely be affected by fasting or abstinence, should not consider themselves bound by these norms.

Lenten Literary, Visual, or Audio Resources

Bishop Barron’s Lenten Gospel Reflection

Spend your time with Christ in the Gospel this Lent alongside Bishop Barron and the Word on Fire community.

Sign-up here to receive these daily Gospel reflections in your inbox every morning.

Dr. Tim Gray’s Daily Lenten Reflections

Journey with Dr. Tim Gray by signing up for Daily Lenten Reflections. Each day you will receive in your inbox a short video featuring Dr. Gray commenting on the daily Mass readings, explaining the Scriptures, and providing you with concrete ideas on how to apply them to your Christian life.

Sign-up here to receive these daily Gospel reflections in your inbox every morning.

Seminarian from USML Weekly Lenten Reflections

Begin each week of Lent with a reflection on the Sunday Gospel from some of our transitional deacons from the University of St. Mary of the Lake, who will be ordained to the priesthood in just a few short months.

Sign up here to receive via email

Sign up here to receive via text message 

Lenten Daily Apologetics from Catholic Answers

Receive a daily lesson about your faith every day of Lent that you can read and spiritually benefit from.

Sign up to receive the daily email

FORMED It’s a Catholic version of Netflix

Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church Has Purchased a Gift For You!  It’s easy and FREE. Click on the following to sign up for FORMED.

What is FORMED?  Check out the quick soundbite below.

40 Days of Catholic Podcasts for Lent by Spoke Street Media

Spoke Stree Media is a podcast network dedicated to providing you with high-quality, engaging content through an authentic Catholic lens.  We believe Catholic audio content is best served warm and inviting is their promise to you.

This Lent, they are sending out 40 podcasts over 40 days to all listeners! It’s free to join, so click here or the graphic to commit to going deeper this Lent!

Mercy Boys Podcast

Listen to Our Lady of Mercy parishioners and hosts of the Mercy Boys Podcast, Joe Wiacek and Brian Kibler as they invite guests to speak about their faith journey.  Below are several of the Lenten Podcasts.  Click on the graphic below to take you to previous podcasts; hear from parishioners and our parish priests on our Catholic faith journey.

Lent – A Lent a Miraculous Story of Forgiveness from one of our parishioners‬

Lent – What is Lent?

Magnificat or MagnifiKid

Paid subscription.  Magnificat (and its counterpart MagnifiKid for children between the ages of 6 and 12) is a spiritual guide to help you develop your prayer life, grow in your spiritual life, find a way to a more profound love for Christ, and participate in the holy Mass with greater fervor.

Magnificat is a monthly publication designed for daily use, to encourage both liturgical and personal prayer. It can be used to follow daily Mass and can also be read at home or wherever you find yourself for personal or family prayer.

Every day, in a convenient, pocket-sized format, Magnificat offers beautiful prayers for both morning and evening drawn from the treasures of the Liturgy of the Hours, the official texts of daily Mass, meditations written by spiritual giants of the Church and more contemporary authors, essays on the lives of the saints of today and yesterday, and articles giving valuable spiritual insight into masterpieces of sacred art.  Click here to get a paper or online subscription.

The Word Among Us

Paid subscription.  The Word Among Us includes daily meditations based on the Mass readings of the Catholic Church, inspirational essays, testimonies, and stories of the saints and other Christian heroes!

It is available in print (with or without the daily Mass Readings). They also offer digital editions for Apple iOSAndroid and Amazon Kindle. Print subscribers also receive their Web Edition—absolutely free! Choose which edition is best for you and join over 550,000 readers world-wide.


“We live in a society whose whole policy is to excite every nerve in the human body and keep it at the highest pitch of artificial tension, to strain every human desire to the limit and to create as many new desires and synthetic passions as possible, in order to cater to them with the products of our factories and printing presses and movie studios and all the rest. ” —Thomas Merton

Voluntary self-denial (asceticism) detaches us from sin and the things and desires that move us away from what is pure and good for us.   Intentional self-denial strengthens our will to love the things of God.  It is the athletic training of the spiritual life.  Let us become a spiritual athlete this Lent.

Practice of Virtues

A part of self-denial can be the practice of virtues, such as moderation or orderliness. We invite you to look at the virtues and determine how you might better practice them in your day-to-day life this Lent. Click on the graphic below or here

Why Fast by Fr. Mike Schmitz?

Fasting shouldn’t be simply something Catholics do to show they are Catholic. It is a way to show God that we give him our hearts and care about what He asks of us.

Chris Stefanick’s RISE 30 Day Challenge for Men

Begins 3/1st.  RISE is an investment toward building a better life for you and those you love.  The RISE 30-Day Challenge has transformed thousands of lives with a practical plan to help you live out your faith where it matters most…in everyday life.  It’s 30 Days of Powerful Videos & Challenges,  a world-wide community of brothers and LIFETIME Access. You won’t regret it. Take the challenge and be ready to receive what God wants to do in your life.  (Note this is the only one that has a fee).

Sign-up here to join the brotherhood.

Exodus 90 LENT: a 40 Day Spiritual Exercise

How have you prepared for Easter in the past? Like most of us, maybe you’ve given up chocolate or tried to pray more. But during Lent, our Lord invites us to go deeper by increasing our fervor for prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. “Lent” is a spiritual exercise for men that will immerse you in the Christian life and lead you through one of the most fruitful Lenten seasons you have ever experienced. Throughout these 40 days, allow the daily scriptures and reflections to be your guide as you begin your disciplined life of prayer, asceticism, and fraternity.

Click here for further details.


The gaze of contemplative prayer transforms us by the loving knowledge of Christ that it brings. It is a form of wordless prayer and attentiveness to God, in which we just enjoy being with Him.

Prayer doesn’t change God’s mind.  It doesn’t change God’s heart. It changes ours. Prayer is the antidote to what’s broken in us. It is the antidote for the hardening of our hearts and if we’re not sure what to do next, start with prayer. It’s never the wrong choice. So let us take the time this season to increase or start spending more time in silence with Jesus who always leads us to the Heavenly Father by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Meditating on Christ’s Paschal Mystery

Meditating on the scriptures is a wonderful way to enter more deeply into the life of Christ and the Pascal Mystery. Two traditional ways to meditate on Christ’s Paschal Mystery are:

Friday’s Way of the Cross @ OLM

Join us on Fridays during Lent 12pm in Spanish and 7pm in English for Friday’s Way of the Cross @ OLM.

Lectio Prayer on FORMED

If your prayer life has been dry, if you’re striving for a deeper intimacy with God, or if you’re just beginning to learn how to pray, Lectio Prayer is a must-see series on FORMED. In six video sessions, Lectio: Prayer captures the secret to opening our hearts and minds to Scripture as the means to hear from God and then respond in conversation, basking in His presence and resolving to live in and through His love.


Incorporate the “Examen” Prayer into your Prayer Life

The “Examen” prayer is all about living relationship with God and others: How much of myself have I revealed to God? How willingly have I done it? What kind of resistance do I experience? Examen can reveal yourself and the image of God you are holding.

Examen Prayer

Hallow Catholic Prayer App

“Hallow is an excellent resource for people searching for deeper spiritual lives, especially the younger generation of Catholics today. It helps make clear that a relationship with God is and can be extremely personal and can be a great source of peace, joy, and strength.” Most Reverend Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades (Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend)

Try it for free, click here.  Unlock 500+ prayers and meditations on finding calm, growing in humility, re-discovering the Saints, and falling asleep to Scripture.


“I need this app. It’s put quiet, prayerful time with God back in my life.”

“If anyone wants to start a prayer life, this is the way to go. I went from not praying at all to praying twice a day.”

“My experience with Hallow so far has revolutionized my prayer life.”


Acts of sacrifice are done to cling to God in communion of holiness. By these, we give our life to God. 

While Almsgiving traditionally encourages giving monetarily to the poor and needy, it can also include sacrifices of time or talent. Below are some creative ideas of how to practice almsgiving this penitential season:

  • Commit to tithing 10% of your income to charity this Lent
  • Give your time to the Lord by spending 10-15 minutes (or more) every day in prayer, spiritual reading, and /or starting a prayer journal
  • Limit your time on media and use that time for others (helping around the house, family time, etc.)
  • Volunteer for a charitable organization (soup kitchen, homeless shelter, parish, etc.)

If you are inspired to support Our Lady of Mercy as part of your Lenten almsgiving, consider donating to the CMAA. you can donate here. We thank you for considering us.

CMAA Catholic Ministries Annual Appeal 2021

The CMAA allows us, together, to do our part in building God’s kingdom here on earth.  Your donation helps the poor and vulnerable, form our future shepherds, and spread the faith through our Catholic schools, faith formation programs in parishes, and programs for young adults.

Our parish’s goal for the 2021 CMAA is $154,400, with 70 percent of any amount we raise over this goal returned to us for our use.

If you wish to donate now, please click here
Thank you for prayerfully considering supporting the 30 ministries and shining Jesus’ light brightly in our diocese.
Read the following report at this link on how your gifts to the CMAA helps. For further details, please click here

CRS Rice Bowls

CRS Rice Bowl provides an opportunity for your family to practice Lent together every day. When you join our community, you will receive daily reflections, prayers and activities, as well as an actual Rice Bowl for almsgiving! Join today and your family can experience this amazing Lenten journey together.


Lenten Schedule



Holy Week Schedule


Almighty God, through Your strength, renew our spirit

Keep us disciplined

Let us recognize our sin but focus on You

Let us grow in holiness and fill our hearts with gratitude in our prayers

May we know You are present in our confessions

May we find healing and forgiveness in our fasting

May we be filled by Your Word in our service

May Your perfect Love be seen

As we prepare our hearts to celebrate the resurrection, let us meditate on the gift of the Cross
so we can proclaim through our prayers and our praise, Jesus Christ’s triumph over sin and death.  Amen.