You raise a valid point, to wit, that the penitential nature of these two days ought not to be compromised.
However, there are a couple of points:
• Church law does define Ash Wednesday and Good Friday as days on which Catholics must fast, but not all Catholics. Only those aged 18-59 are obligated to fast, and even then, those whose health would be seriously injured by a strict fast are allowed to consume as much food as necessary.
By Jennifer Brinker | firstname.lastname@example.org | twitter: @jenniferbrinker
It started with a call to Msgr. Mark Rivituso — a pastor asked about moving his parish to another deanery to join with parishes that were more similar.
It prompted the archdiocese's vicar general — the archbishop's second in command, if you will — to take a closer look at the organization of the archdiocese's 10 deaneries, which span 11 counties and the City of St. Louis.
By Dave Luecking | email@example.com | twitter: @legacyCatholic
An arsonist caused only material damage at St. Monica Church in Creve Coeur two days after Christmas, destroying the Nativity scene, perhaps irreparably damaging the altar, and creating smoke and water damage to close the building for a few weeks.
However, the parish suffered no harm in a spiritual sense. Masses and confessions went on as scheduled, just relocated to the adjoining school building — the gymnasium for weekend Masses, and a classroom for daily Masses and confessions.
In a workshop on parish hospitality during the annual conference of the International Catholic Stewardship Council held Oct. 2-5 in New Orleans, Christine Heusinger, associate director of stewardship for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, put up a cartoon on the big screen.
The 1988 cartoon by Steve Phelps is timeless. Standing in the middle aisle of the church are "The Martins," staring down at a pew that is occupied. The problem is, for all intents and purposes, that pew was "The Martins' pew."