It is time again for deep reflection and prayer as we prepare ourselves for the agony of Good Friday and the joy of Easter.
Our prayers continue for a conversion of hearts and minds to nonviolence. We pray for all who live in war: for those affected by the ongoing war in Ukraine; for the people of Yemen, who have been bombarded for years; for the people of the Great Lakes region of Africa; for the people of Palestine; for those around the world who endure constant threat from state or paramilitary actors. We lament the continued loss of life and health caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, from the continued threats of white nationalism and racial injustice to the intractable issues of poverty and unequal access to healthcare.
The season of Lent allows us to root ourselves ever more deeply in discipleship to the nonviolent Jesus, to demonstrate the unbreakable bond that exists between an authentic spirituality and our commitment to social justice, between the proclamation of the gospel and the call to practice peacemaking, fortifying us to address injustice, violence, and oppression as we have for the past 50 years.
We hope the resources below for prayer, study and action will be helpful to you as we journey through Lent together, walking the way of discipleship with Jesus toward the Cross by challenging systems which dominate and oppress in our world today.
REFLECTIONS FOR SUNDAYS AND HOLY DAYS
On this page throughout the season, we will feature reflections from this year’s Pax Christi USA Lenten reflection booklet and other excerpts from past booklets (based on Cycle A of the liturgical year.) We’ll also send our weekly Lenten emails directly to your inbox if you’re subscribed to our free email service. (Click here to sign up if you are not already subscribed.)
- Ash Wednesday, February 22 by Charlene Howard
- First Sunday of Lent, February 26, by Michael Howard
- Second Sunday of Lent, March 5, by Jim Forest (from 1990)
- Third Sunday of Lent, March 12, by Sr. Rose Marie Tresp (from 2020)
- Fourth Sunday of Lent, March 19, by Angie O’Gorman (from 2011)
- Solemnity of St. Joseph, March 20, by Michael Howard
- Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, March 25, by Charlene Howard
- Fifth Sunday of Lent, March 26, by Michael Howard
- Palm Sunday, April 2, by Marie Dennis (from 2008)
- Holy Thursday, April 6, by Linda Ballard, OSC (from 2006)
- Good Friday, April 7, by M. Shawn Copeland (from 2003)
- Holy Saturday-Easter vigil, April 8, by Dorothy Stoner, osb (from 2000)
- Easter Sunday, April 9, by Bishop Kenneth Untener (from 1995)
PRAY-STUDY-ACT EACH WEEK OF LENT
Each week, we’ll be crafting a special Pray-Study-Act e-bulletin (PSA) with resources for us all to use and to act on in common. Each PSA will be sent out a few days prior to the week to which it refers; links will be made available closer to the dates.
- First week of Lent, February 26-March 4
- Second week of Lent, March 5-11
- Third week of Lent, March 12-18
- Fourth week of Lent, March 19-25
- Fifth week of Lent, March 26-April 1
- Holy Week, April 2-8
OTHER LENTEN RESOURCES
- Lenten penance and the Synodal journey, Pope Francis’s message for Lent 2023
- A reflection for Lent 2023 from Rosemarie Pace, co-coordinator of Pax Christi New York State
- A reflection from Bishop Marc Stenger, co-president of Pax Christi International
- The Lent 2023 reflection guide from the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
- A Lenten calendar from the Laudato Si’ Movement
- A prayer for peace in Ukraine by Sr. Pegge Boehm, PBVM (in MSWord and as a PDF)
- Litany of Peace: A prayer from Pax Christi USA to use daily throughout Lent (pdf)
- An Examination of Conscience (pdf)
- The Risk of the Cross: Living Gospel nonviolence in the nuclear age: This book by Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace Art Laffin is organized into five study sessions, each of which focuses on Jesus’ call to discipleship in Mark’s gospel. It includes links to information and inspiration for embracing the way of Gospel nonviolence and taking action to avert nuclear annihilation and abolish nuclear weapons. Recommended for parish study groups during Lent.
- A contemporary adaptation of Isaiah 58:1-12 by Art Laffin
- Find resources from last year’s Lenten program at this link.
SPECIAL EVENTS AND DAYS OF OBSERVANCE
>> Weekly events
- Every Monday in Lent: Pax Christi USA invites all to join in a 30-minute prayer service, 8:30-9 PM Eastern, each Monday in Lent: February 27, March 6, March 13, March 20, March 27, and April 3. Click on this link to register with Zoom — you only need to register once in order to participate each week. Click here to see videos and programs of prayer services from past weeks.
- Every Sunday in Lent: Jesus’ vision for living the good news in 2023. Pax Christi Southern California and Pax Christi Los Angeles are co-sponsors of this weekly online event; visit the St. Camillus Center for Spiritual Care website to register. $25 per session, or $100 for all six sessions. Each session begins with Mass at 4 pm (Pacific), followed by 1.5 hour presentation. Speakers include Sr. Simone Campbell, Cecilia Gonzalez-Andrieu, Fr. Jim Martin, Rev. Alexia Salvatierra, Marie Dennis, and Megan McKenna.
- March 15: The Pax Christi USA Young Adult Caucus held an online Lenten prayer service to reflect on the lives and witness of the six African American Catholics who are being considered for sainthood.
Continue to check this page for announcements of additional events and opportunities
Traditionally, many Pax Christi USA local groups plan and stage a “Way of the Cross” event on Good Friday, connecting the sufferings of Christ during his passion with the suffering of our brothers and sisters at the hands of violence, greed, poverty, sickness and war.
>> Let us know if you have a Way of the Cross planned in your community by FILLING OUT THIS FORM.
- Virtual Good Friday Way of the Cross for Economic and Ecological Justice, noon-1 PM, organized by the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns; Pax Christi USA is one of the participating organizations. Use this link to register.
- Pax Christi South Dakota will hold a Good Friday service for an end to the death penalty in South Dakota, noon-1 pm (Central), at the South Dakota Penitentiary in Sioux Falls. A homily will be shared by Deacon Henry Knapp from St. Mary Parish. Notaries will be available for those wishing to sign a “Declaration of Life.” The public is invited to pray, sing, and hear messages of hope at this interfaith service. Feel free to bring a chair for yourself if you wish. Meet by the flagpole in the parking lot east of the penitentiary. Click here for the PDF of the program.
- Pax Christi Metro New York will hold a Way of the Cross from 8:30 AM-12 PM, starting at East 47th Street and 1st Avenue (New York City) by Holy Family Church; walking required between stations at multiple locations. Reflections available on request, booklet available on Good Friday. In English and español. Click here for the PDF flyer.
- Pittsburgh Area Pax Christi will partner with St. Mary Magdalene Parish’s Peace and Social Justice Committee for a procession that will begin at St. James Church, 718 Franklin Avenue, Pittsburgh 15221, at 10 AM. Open to the public, in person only, multiple stops. Participants are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items, paper products and personal hygiene items for the St. James Ministry Center. Immediately following the Way of the Cross, a brief prayer service will be held with the Waverly Presbyterian Church and the Wilkinsburg Sanctuary Project for Peace. For more information, check this flyer from Pittsburgh Area Pax Christi.
- Pax Christi New Jersey will hold its annual Way of the Cross/Witness to Suffering and Injustice in Newark, starting at 12 PM in front of One Gateway Center at the corner of Market Street and Raymond Plaza West, and ending at Peter W. Rodino Federal Building, 972 Broad Street. See flyer here.
- The Emmaus Faith Community of Sonoma County (California) will hold a hybrid Good Friday event, 8 San Luis Place, Santa Rosa, California, 3 PM.
- In Los Angeles, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE), the LA Catholic Worker, and UNITE HERE Local 11 have organized a Stations of the Worker’s Cross. Participants will meet at 7th and Figueroa Streets in downtown LA at 11 AM. Use this link to RSVP.
Below are resources for groups interested in undertaking a Way of the Cross in their community on Good Friday, April 7.
- From the Gainesville Catholic Worker/Pax Christi-Gainesville, Way of the Cross template and sample script (MSWord, free download)
- An Earth Day Eco Stations of the Cross (MSWord, free download)
- The Stations of Justice (MSWord, free download)
On Ash Wednesday:
- In Washington, D.C., Pax Christi USA and Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore joined with the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker and other Catholic organizations for a prayer service of repentance at the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. (Photo: Marie Dennis, 2022 Teacher of Peace, blesses Ambassador of Peaces Jean Stokan and Scott Wright with ashes.)
- Pax Christi New Jersey offered a morning service of lamentation at Liberty State Park and an evening vigil at Elizabeth Detention Center. The day’s events were livestreamed on the Pax Christi New Jersey Facebook page.
- Pax Christi Upstate New York, the Ben Salmon Chapter and friends gathered at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 259 East Onondaga Street, Syracuse, NY 13202, to encourage those attending Mass to hold dear and practice the nonviolent gospel of Jesus, resist drone warfare, end the U.S. shipment of weapons worldwide and to call for peace negotiations to end the war in Ukraine. Pax Christi Upstate New York invited Pax Christi members to organize similar nonviolent actions at churches and cathedrals around the United States and abroad on Ash Wednesday morning.
- Pax Christi Dallas held a vigil at Cathedral Guadalupe on Ross Avenue in the Arts District.
- Pax Christi Rhode Island prayed the rosary and held a vigil for peace outside the Quonset Shopping Plaza, Quonset Point, RI. Electric Boat, a division of General Dynamics Corp, currently employs more than 4,000 people in Rhode Island, most involved with submarine production at Quonset Point, as well as at an engineering office outside of Newport.
2023 LENTEN REFLECTION BOOKLET
Purchase and download this year’s Lenten reflection booklet, Witnesses on the Way: Reflections for Lent 2023, which includes reflections based on the daily liturgical readings for the entire season of Lent, from Ash Wednesday through Easter.
- Read more about this year’s Lenten booklet at this link.
- Purchase and download the e-version for your e-reader at this link.