How Newman observes Lent

By Abigail VanNatta

The 40 days of Lent are halfway over: The season ends on March 28 and will be followed by Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.

At Newman, Catholic students, faculty and staff have spent the three weeks since Lent started observing it in their own unique ways.

Father Adam Grelinger, Newman’s chaplain and Director of Campus Ministry, said Lent is an intentional time for Catholics to “get serious” about the things that they know they should be doing.

“I really like Lent,” he said. “I can recognize things I should do better. Maybe I’m not praying as much or I’m too attached to my phone.”

Lent, which started on Feb. 14 – Ash Wednesday – is a season that is honored primarily by Catholics through fasting and personal sacrifice. 

Isabel Porres, who is the student president of Campus Ministry, said she puts an emphasis on making sacrifices during Lent and she looks for something more meaningful than just cutting back on candy or trying to lose weight.

“Lent is a time to sacrifice something, even something that causes us suffering, for the sake of those in need and as a means to glorify God,” she said.

For one member of Newman’s staff, Lenten sacrifices also require a positive replacement. Sister Theresa Wetta, ASC and Director of Mission Effectiveness, said her plan for Lent is to replace any of her own judgmental thoughts towards others with positive ones.

There are other ways Campus Ministry plans to observe the season outside of making personal sacrifices.

Members of Campus Ministry also decided to meet over four Saturdays during Lent and read the entirety of each of the four gospels. They read Matthew on Feb. 17 and Mark on Feb. 24. They’ll read Luke on March 23 and John on March 30. 

Anyone is welcome to attend the readings, which will be at 9:30 a.m. in the Campus Ministry Office. Those who decide to come can enjoy breakfast treats and are encouraged to bring their own Bible translations.

PHOTO: Courtesy photo, Unsplash