Downtown parish celebrates Lent


Members of St. Patrick’s Church in Kent, Ohio wait in line for confession on Wednesday, Mar. 2, 2016.

Anne-Marie Colant

Around the world, Catholics reflect on the sacrifice Jesus made during the season of Lent. They also use the practices of fasting, prayer and almsgiving to grow their faith. The season lasts 40 days, beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter Sunday. Typically, Catholics also give up or try to do something to help them along their Lenten journey. This year, the church has selected the theme, “Year of Mercy.” 

St. Patrick Parish in downtown Kent embraced the Lenten season with many different activities. On Feb. 21, it hosted its first program, “The Church Family Gathers for Lent.” During this event, parishioners came together for a meal and some simple activities they can practice at home. They also focused on ways to make the Lenten season one of growth. Father Richard Pentello commented on how the program was a huge success and he can’t wait for the next one in March.

“We had about 35 people of all ages; parents, teens, grandparents. We had lunch and various activities focused on the year of mercy,” Pentello said. “The second session will give people the opportunity to talk and learn more about their patron saints.”  

The parish also offers the opportunity to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet on Tuesdays at 6 p.m., Stations of the Cross on Fridays at 7 p.m. and confession on March 2 at 7 p.m. Rice Bowls are also something very popular in the parish. These are cardboard bowls parishioners take home and use to collect money for the poor.

“People like tangible ways of seeing the three traditions of Lent,” Pentello said.

Father Pentello enjoys the parish and has served there for ten years. He thinks the fact the parish is in a college town is a good thing.

“I see the university as a great resource for us,” Pentello said.

Students around campus are also embracing the Lenten season as well. They are going to church, making sacrifices and participating in community service. Brittany Johnson, a junior public health major enjoys taking this time to reflect.

“This year I gave up my favorite food: pizza,” Johnson said. “I know it is something small, but I am also trying to volunteer around campus as well.”

Kristen Horton, a sophomore nursing major used this season to make positive change in her life.

“I decided I would add a positive change to my life, so I’ve been getting back on a regular schedule of going to church,” Horton said. “I started it as a Lent goal, but now that I found a church to go to and have been going, it’s something I plan to continue after Lent.”

St. Patricks is looking for students to be more involved in the liturgy. Mass is Saturdays at 5 p.m. and Sundays at 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Anne-Marie Colant is a business and neighborhoods reporter. For more information contact her at [email protected].