Lent 2017 | Give up, Take up, Lift up

Shrove Tuesday, A Lenten Retreat, CROP Walk, more ...

On Wednesday, March 1, we began the season of Lent, a time when each of us, as members of the Church, “are asked to devote ourselves to the spiritual and corporal works of mercy that remind us that faith finds expression in concrete everyday actions meant to help our neighbors in body and spirit.

“Take inspiration for your Lenten journey from prayer and the reading of Scripture, fasting and giving alms. The fasting that all do together on Fridays is but a sign of the daily Lenten discipline of individuals and households: fasting for certain periods of time, fasting from certain foods, but also fasting from other things and activities.

“Likewise, the giving of alms is some effort to share this world equally—not only through the distribution of money, but through the sharing of our time and talents." Contemplate the meaning and origins of the Lenten fasting tradition in this reflection. Read more in this essage from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

At Holy Cross, we have several opportunities to do all of these this Lenten season. Following are our upcoming opportunities

Opportunities for spiritual growth and service in the weeks of Lent

March 1 | Ash Wednesday
Mass and distribution of blessed ashes are scheduled for 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.Every Friday during Lent, 7 PM | Stations of the Cross and Benediction, beginning Friday, March 3. Join Deacon Phil in this prayerful experience. Bring the children, teens, neighbors who may not be able to get out on their own. Participants are encouraged to take turns as readers at each of our beautiful stations. Reflections will be adjusted as needed, depending on the age of children participating. Those who can help lead singing are especially encouraged to participate.

Families Moving Forward Hosts | Holy Cross has committed to supporting Families Moving Forward with volunteers on March 6 and 7 and June 5 and 6. This ministry provides a temporary home to families with children in the crisis of homelessness. Working together, FMF creates a path to stability and self-sufficiency through personalized services and ongoing community support. Holy Cross is one of three churches in the ‘volunteer rotation’ program that is a key part of Families Moving Forward. Elizabeth Deshaies. Holy Cross’s representative volunteer coordinator for our parish, is requesting five volunteers to help with our scheduled service evenings in March and June. The first of our two service dates is coming up quickly. Please consider prayerfully this service opportunity and contact Elizabeth this week to let her know if you can help in March, and again in June. You can reach her by email at egdeshaies@gmail.com.

Wednesdays, March 9 - April 5, 6:30 p.m. - 8:15 p.m. | Soup and Scripture
Gain a deeper understanding of each Sunday's scripture readings at Soup and Scripture. Participants read the upcoming Sunday's scripture readings, reflect privately, then join in a discussion on what they understood from the readings. The friendly, comfortable conversation takes place over a simple soup supper. Participants bring canned, fresh or frozen vegetables for the soup, which simmers on the stove during the reading and reflection portion of the evening. All are welcome; no registration needed. Just bring a can or other container of food to contribute to the pot of soup. 

Friday, March 17, 4:30-6:30 PM | Knights of Columbus Fish Fry
Enjoy a great KC's Fried Fish dinner ... then stay for Stations of the Cross and Benediction.

Friday – Saturday, March 24 – 25 | Overnight Retreat: Lent with St. Francis of Assisi
Enjoy the peaceful, spiritual setting of the Avila Retreat Center in north Durham and grow in your understanding of how Franciscan spirituality can further build your relationship with God. This event is open to all Holy Cross parishioners, ages 18 and older.

About this retreat

Julie McElmurry, director of Franciscan Passages in Greensboro, N.C., will provide insight regarding St. Francis of Assisi and help us see how we can draw from his model of holiness for our own lives. Through his example of prayer, fasting, almsgiving and stepping away from the world for a hermitage experience, we, too, can have a richer Lent (although our time away will have more creature comforts than St. Francis had on his hermitage experience).

> $80 for those staying the night at Avila
> $50 for commuters, those who will go home after the Friday evening session and return Saturday for the morning and afternoon sessions.

Register today. Payment (cash and checks only, please) will be collected when checking in at the retreat center.

For more details, contact members of the Holy Cross Spirituality Committee: Eric Crump (elcrump@nc.rr.com) or Deacon Phil Rzewnicki (deacon@holycrossdurham.org)

Sunday, April 2 | Durham CROP Walk: Ending Hunger One Step at a Time
Support Durham’s 43rd Annual CROP Hunger Walk by joining the Holy Cross team or sponsoring someone from the parish who is walking. The 4.8 mile begins at 2:00 PM on the Quad in front of the Chapel on Duke University’s West Campus. Signup sheets and envelopes for walkers are in the gathering space. For details, talk with Debbie Hilliard after 5 p.m. Saturday Vigil Mass or Joyce Ellis after 10 a.m. Sunday Mass. 

The cumulative amount raised by the international CROP Walk organization since its start in 1975 surpassed the $4 million dollar mark last year, with $146,600 raised last year, despite the cold weather on the day of the hike. Here's a link to Durham agencies that benefit from funds raised during the CROP Walk.

A strong showing from Holy Cross will help the CROP Walk reach its 2017 goal: 2,000 walkers from churches, businesses, organizations, raising $180,000 to change the lives of hungry people in Durham and around the world. This is a great family event. It would also be a great way for those who joined the parish in the past year to connect with other Holy Cross members. Help will be available for those who find they cannot complete the full walk.

Registration sheets are near the CROP Walk sign in the gathering space; sign up with your name and email address/phone number, and one of our parish CROP Walk coordinators will give you your donation collection envelope. Read more about the Durham CROP Walk. 

Saturdays, 11 AM – 3 PM, March and April - various times throughout the summer. | Growing Produce for the Poor
The Holy Cross Parish Garden yielded 300 pounds of produce last year, which was donated to the Durham Catholic Charities Office for distribution to families in need. It’s time to get gardening again. Join the garden project for an afternoon or whenever you can throughout te growing season (now through November).


> Rent a garden bed to grow produce for your home use and to donate a portion to Catholic Charities; cost, $25 for each garden bed
> Help one or more Saturdays during March and April, 11 AM - 3 PM, to get the garden ready and start spring plantins
> Help maintain the garden throughout the summer. Sign up for an evening during the week or a few hours on a weekend
> Help plant - any time throughout the summer ... sign up when you can come
> Help harvest and prepare produce for delivery to Catholic Charities, any time throughout the summer
> Help weed, water and turn the compost pile, any time throughout the summer

Have your own garden? Consider donating extra produce to Catholic Charities. Put in the Catholic Charities donation bins in the gathering space when you come for weekend Mass.

Not a gardener? All parishioners are encouraged to bring a few items to church and deposit them in the Catholic Charities donations bins in the parish hall. View the list of items needed on a regular basis.

Every Day | Opportunities to Encounter and Serve Christ

Catholic Relief Services provides these reflections that remind us to be alert to ways that we can encounter Christ. One way to reinforce their reflections is drop a few coins into a CRS Rice Bowl each day and say a prayer of thanks for Christ’s presence in your life that day, and another prayer for the person who will benefit from your donation.

Other opportunities include making a donation to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal and getting involved with parish life and outreach ministries. Following are links to parish ministry and service opportunities. If donating online, please remember to enter Holy Cross Durham as your parish. Click here to reach the BAA online pledge site (or click the second BAA image at the top of our website). Remember to enter that you're contributing on as a Holy Cross parishioner.

Contact one of our ministry coordinators to see how you can jump start your parish involvement this Lenten Season and continue throughout the year. Following are links to information about our various ministries. 

Check other opportunities under the Ministries and Parish Life tabs on our website. 

Tags: Benediction, Stations of the Cross, Lenten Programs, Crop Walk, Lenten Retreat

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