Lent 2023


Collaborative Lenten Offerings

Fasting, prayer, and almsgiving are the three traditional disciplines of Lent. The faithful and catechumens should undertake these practices seriously in a spirit of penance and of preparation for baptism or of renewal of baptism at Easter.

Below are some suggestions for you. At the bottom of the page are some resources for children.

Stations of the Cross and Simple Supper

Immaculate Conception Parish--Fridays during Lent
Stations of the Cross begin at 5:15 p.m. in the church
Simple Supper will follow, around 5:45 p.m. in St. Louis Hall

Holy Redeemer Parish--Fridays during Lent
Simple Supper is served at 5:15 p.m. in Nativity Hall
Stations of the Cross will begin at 6:00 p.m. in Nativity Church

Confessions During Lent

Additional Confession times have been added during Lent. No appointment necessary: just drop in. Wednesdays at HR and Thursdays at IC.
Holy Redeemer Parish
A priest will be available for Confessions Wednesday evenings in March from 6:30–8:00.
March 1: St. Ann
March 8: Nativity
March 15: St. Ann
March 22: St. Ann
March 29: Nativity
Immaculate Conception Parish
A priest will be available at IC Church for Confessions Thursday evenings in March from 6:30–8:00 (during Adoration) and Saturdays from 3:00–3:30 p.m.

Holy Week & Easter Family Festival

April 2, 10:00–11:30 a.m.–IC Pastoral Center
All are welcome to attend and walk together with our Lord as we celebrate His last days in Jerusalem through His Passion, death, and wonderous Resurrection on Easter Sunday.


Thursdays, 7:00–8:00 p.m.–IC Church
Fridays, 9:30 a.m.–12:00 noon–IC Church (Unless there is a funeral scheduled for that day. Please check the Collaborative calendar for changes.)

Prayer Groups

Centering Prayer for Lent: Virtual
Our Lenten reflection on Jesus' words and works reveals Jesus' intimate relationship with his Father. We see the depth of Jesus' faith, trust and love for God. This relationship developed through prayer. Often we see Jesus withdraw from the crowds and even his apostles to pray alone in silence. Jesus tells us “When you pray, go into your private room, shut yourself in, and  pray to your Father who is in that secret place, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you”(Matt 6:6).  In Centering Prayer you enter your private room.

Lent is a time to follow Jesus more closely and learn from the fully human Jesus how to pray by entering your secret room, spending time that places God at the center of your life, opening yourself to a loving Father, surrendering your will and in trust allowing God to transform you.  This is how we pray as we Center in silence.

Through prayer, Jesus, strengthened and moved by his Father’s love for him could willingly surrender his human life for love and reveal our God to us. Through the Paschal Mystery, Jesus of Nazareth was transformed to become Jesus the Christ. We too can be transformed through prayer that unites us to God. Lent is the time to pray as Jesus taught us and enter into the Paschal Mystery, receiving new life in God through death to self.

Centering Prayer is an ancient Christian practice available to all who seek transformation through a more intimate relationship with God. This daily practice deepens our faith as we come to better know our God as one who loves us unconditionally just as we are and trust God has plans to give us a future of hope.

Centering Prayer helps us say to the Father, “Not my will but yours be done” (Lk. 22: 42). Please consider joining us for weekly group Centering Prayer and let God move you closer to him.  We gather via Zoom each Wednesday from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm  for 30 minutes of Centering Prayer and 30 minutes of Lectio Divina. All are welcome. Please contact Elizabeth McCarthy (978-462-7483) if you are interested in learning more about this simple prayer of resting in God.


Women at the Well Prayer Group: Virtual and in-person
We invite all women to come join us at any time, no matter where you may be in your relationship with God. The new study, Keeping in Balance from Walking with Purpose, is all about managing life’s pace and pressure while living with calm and steadiness rooted in Christ. We meet Mondays at 6:30 p.m. in person at the IC Parish Center and virtually on Zoom. If you have any questions, or would like to join via Zoom, please email [email protected] for the link.
If you are unable to make it to every meeting, please do not worry! This group is designed to allow you to drop in whenever you are able to join us, no pre-reading necessary from week to week.


Recitation of the Rosary: in person Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. at IC Church or watch on Facebook Live
Join us for recitation of the Rosary in person at IC Church or live on Facebook (www.facebook.com/hriccatholic/) twice every week.


Going to Mass
Daily Mass is celebrated at Immaculate Conception, Newburyport, Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.

Our weekend Mass schedule can be found here


FastingAsh Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fasting. Catholics over 18 and up to the beginning of their 60th year are bound to the obligation of fasting. On these days, only one full meal is allowed. Two other meatless meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to each one’s needs, but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids, including milk and fruit juices are allowed.

Abstinence—Abstinence is to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on all Fridays of Lent. On days of abstinence, meat may not be used at all. Catholics over 14 years of age are bound to the obligation of abstinence.

Ideas of other things to fast or abstain from during Lent:

  • Screen time and digital devices
  • Negative talk and criticism
  • Hot showers
  • Non-essential shopping
  • Snacking
  • Music, radio, television
  • Take the worst parking spot you can find in the parking lot and walk the extra steps

Consider taking up something
Instead of giving up something for Lent, maybe try “taking up” something for Lent:

  • Prayer
  • Look for a Lenten playlist on Spotify, Apple Music, or other music service
  • Find a Catholic or Lenten podcast
  • Letter writing or phone calls to the important people in your life
  • Acts of kindness or words of kindness
  • Make your bed every day or other daily chores
  • Attend daily Mass

Here are some other ideas: https://catholicallyear.com/blog/outside-box-66-things-to-give-up-or/



Online Resources for Prayer and Reflection During Lent

Catholic Link: Here is a good place to start: Catholic Link website has a resource guide for Catholics during Lent, which starts with a "what should you give up for Lent" quiz. https://catholic-link.org/lent-2023-a-resource-guide-for-catholics/

Simply Catholic's guide to everything Lent:This page has some simple difinitons like "What is Lent?" and "Who is required to fast?" https://www.simplycatholic.com/your-guide-to-a-catholic-lent-everything-you-need-for-a-more-spiritual-lent/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_email=Omeda&utm_campaign=NL-Simply+Catholic&utm_term=4791B3314367F9X&oly_enc_id=4791B3314367F9X

Formed: If you would like to pray and reflect on the written word or inspirational videos in the privacy of your home, take advantage of the Collaborative’s offer to sign up for FORMED, a free online resource on faith formation for Catholics. Click here to link to our website's FORMED page or click here https://formed.org/lent to go directly to the FORMED website.

Consider praying with the daily Mass Scriptures using the Lectio Divina method as described on the Collaborative website: https://www.hriccatholic.org/lectio-divina.

FORMED Daily Lenten reflections (email): https://daily.formed.org/

Bishop Barron’s 2023 Lenten Gospel Reflections (online and email): https://www.wordonfire.org/reflections/https://www.lentreflections.com/

Weekly Lenten reflections with St. John's Seminary, Boston (email): https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/wTC8Xmj/lentenreflections 

Our Sunday Visitor Daily Lenten Reflections: quick and easy Scripture-focused reflections, prayers, and achievable actions to make the most of Lent. (email): https://mydailyvisitor.com/lent/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_email=Omeda&utm_campaign=NL-OSV+Consumer&utm_term=4791B3314367F9X&oly_enc_id=4791B3314367F9X

Loyola Press Living Lent Daily (email): Reflections based on Bible verses featured in a daily 3-minute video. Each day you’ll receive a message with one of these reflections and a link to pray the 3-Minute Retreat that inspired the words. The messages also include suggestions for further exploration of Lenten themes through additional online articles and prayers. https://www.loyolapress.com/catholic-resources/liturgical-year/lent/living-lent-daily/

Loyola Press Resources for your Lenten Journey: Offers many ideas for Lent including activities for children and "Arts & Faith: Lent" which features commentary on works of art: https://www.loyolapress.com/catholic-resources/liturgical-year/lent/

Ignatian Spirituality Lent resourceshttps://www.ignatianspirituality.com/lent/

Lent in 3 minutes Busted Halo (video): https://bustedhalo.com/video/watch-lent-3-minutes

Busted Halo’s Lent resources (website): https://bustedhalo.com/tag/lent

25 great things you can do for Lent: https://bustedhalo.com/ministry-resources/25-great-things-you-can-do-for-lent

USCCB Daily Readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/021820.cfm

Lentspiration, Franciscan University resources for Lent: https://weare.franciscan.university/lent-inspiration-lockscreens/?fbclid=IwAR3VA2lULb8Whblp89kg2IEbCFmDq5MW2RdNEPn0m8Kx8nltkaiDBusgK38

Dynamic Catholic Best Lent Ever: https://www.dynamiccatholic.com/lent.html#form-onehttps://dynamiccatholic.com/best-lent-ever?utm_source=CathAdNet&utm_medium=Display&utm_campaign=BLE2020&utm_content=728x90MT

Relevant Radio's 40 Lenten Lessons on the Mass by Fr. Rocky: https://relevantradio.com/father-rockys-40-lenten-lessons-mass/

Franciscian Media's "Lent with St. Clare": https://www.franciscanmedia.org/stclare/

Augustine Institute's "AMEN" Catholic Prayer App. Download in the App Store or on Google Play or learn more here: https://amenapp.org/signup

The God Minute. The God Minute is an online prayer community, led by priests, nuns and lay people who start their day in prayer. Soft music, sacred scripture and a thoughtful reflection are weaved into a 10 minute guided reflection and then uploaded for all to share. Listen/pray with your coffee in the morning, while driving to work or taking the dog for a walk. www.thegodminute.org

EWTN Fr. Joseph's Weekly Lenten Meditations. We’ll send weekly messages to your inbox beginning on Ash Wednesday and then on each Sunday of Lent and Easter Sunday. In addition, we’ll send you an eBook with these same meditations. https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/seasons-and-feast-days/lent-14353?utm_campaign=fy23_lenten_meditations&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=245221624&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-938QjSEpkg1EcyTP_IG-5gAe2fhsCOu-TioHKw8TMxSRPH02_97pPhspWU7DH5XkZ-PU1H6i3on-T1bcWAAdb_dheR1A&utm_content=sign_up_1&utm_source=housefile.

Online series: Total Abandonment to God's Will: https://www.scienceofsainthood.com/total-abandonment-lent-optin




Almsgiving can be giving of your time as well as monetary donations. Here are some ideas for local giving.

Holy Redeemer St. Vincent de Paul

With the Lenten observances of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving upon us, our conference is bringing back the tradition of the Mite Box. These boxes will be available in the back of the churches. Please take one. Try to add a few coins each day. Try to engage your children and grandchildren in the meaning of “giving back” so that a life-long tradition is established. Simply return the Mite Box during Holy Week.
Checks can be made out to HR SVdP and mailed to 4 Green St., Merrimac, MA 01860 or place your donation into one of the poor boxes at the back of the churches.

Immaculate Conception St. Vincent de Paul
Donations can be made payable to Society of St. Vincent de Paul and sent to Immaculate Conception Church, 42 Green Street, Newburyport, MA 01950. People can also donate directly to SVdP Newburyport through their new website at www.svdpnewburyport.org.

Care Packs for the Homeless
Post-pandemic inflation has brought new suffering to many in our communities, and we will be collecting Care Packs for the Homeless at all three churches in the Collaborative. The packs consist of a one-gallon Ziploc bag filled with travel size, new and unused personal care items for men, women, and children. They will be distributed to local agencies serving those in need, including Cor Unum, Salvation Army, Community Service of Newburyport, Lazarus House, and others.

Easy-to-carry, travel-size personal care items can be found in many local stores. There will be a collection bin at the entrance of each church and in the lobby of the IC Parish Center for your donations. Please, no clothing or used or damaged goods, as these are discarded. For more information or to help with collection, sorting and delivering, contact Aaron: [email protected], or Jonathan Temple at [email protected]. Thank you for your generosity and compassion.   
Items needed:
(No mouthwash or loose items please)
shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, razor, socks, gloves, shaving cream, cough drops, protein bars, soap, Life Savers candy, disposable face cloths, Kleenex travel packs, hand sanitizer, feminine hygiene products (women), umbrellas, antiseptic wipes

All Saints Parish, Haverhill
All Saints operates a food pantry and is always in need of food donations and volunteers. Visit their website to learn more about how you can help (https://www.allsaintshaverhill.org/foodpantry)

Lazarus House Ministries
Lazarus House helps those people who live a daily struggle to get the most basic needs. They provide physical, emotional, and spiritual shelter from the hardships suffered in their lives, giving them the opportunity to have choices they otherwise would not have.  Visit https://lazarushouse.org/ways-to-give/ to donate online or to view items that are needed.

Community Service of Newburyport
You can mail your tax deductible contributions to: Community Service of Newburyport, Inc., P.O. Box 843, Newburyport, MA 01950 or donate online at https://www.csn1912.org/.

Our Neighbors Table
Please visit our website for more information on how to donate online. https://www.ourneighborstable.org/donate.html

Emmaus, Haverhill
Our Mission: We affirm the value of human dignity and self-respect for every person. We are called by our collective spiritual and social responsibility to serve all people in need—the homeless, disadvantaged, disabled, unemployed, and oppressed. Our goal is to enhance societal and personal advancement through provision of housing and support services that empower individuals and families to reach their fullest potential. Visit https://emmausinc.org/ to learn how you can help.

Pregnancy Care Center, Haverhill
The Pregnancy Care Center is a non-profit ministry of Jesus Christ committed to saving lives physically, spiritually, and emotionally...one life at a time. Visit https://pccnortheast.org/ to help our mission—whether by offering prayer support, volunteering time, or making a financial gift, you provide hope for women facing a crisis. Pregnancy Care Center (PCC) accepts monetary donations as well as donations of clothing, baby food, and baby furniture.

Fostering Care Inc., West Newbury
Fostering Care seeks to support children entering foster care by providing basic necessities and personal care items. Please consider donating your child’s gently used clothing, new clothing, new socks and underwear, backpacks, outerwear, books, gift cards and any personal care items such as diapers, wipes, deodorant, body wash, toothbrushes, and toothpaste (those handy little kits the dentist gives away are perfect!) We create gender, size, and seasonally specific bags for children heading to their new/temporary homes. Visit our website https://fosteringcareinc.wordpress.com/ to make a donation and learn how you can help.


Lenten Ideas for Children

Join us for our Collaborative Lent Family Festival on February 26 at 10:00 a.m. in the IC Pastoral Center.

Join us for our Collaborative Holy Week Family Festival on April 2 at 10:00 a.m. in the IC Pastoral Center.


FORMED: Lent with Brother Francis videos: https://watch.formed.org/lent-with-brother-francis.

Katie Bogner's blog has many ideas for children during Lent. Scroll down the page to see many links. https://www.looktohimandberadiant.com/

Loyola Press 40 Ideas for 40 Days calendar: https://catechistsjourney.loyolapress.com/2011/02/getting-ready-for-lent-40-crosses/ 
The activities are grounded in the symbols, Scripture readings, devotions, and traditions of the Lenten season. Check this calendar each day to find another Lenten activity that you can adapt for your own setting.

Loyola Press Lenten Ideas for Children: https://www.loyolapress.com/catholic-resources/liturgical-year/lent/activities-and-resources/lenten-activities-for-children/

Sadlier printable resources for Lent: https://www.sadlier.com/religion/blog/bid/79007/resources-for-lent

Catholic Sprouts 40 Faith-Building Lenten Activities https://catholicsprouts.com/40-faith-building-lenten-activities/

Catholic Inspired Lent Activities https://www.catholicinspired.site/lent-activities.html