By Jim Lambert
For the second year in a row, Union Catholic’s Lenten Challenge, which begins with an Ash Wednesday Service on Feb. 14 in the school gym, will focus on the seven Principles of Catholic Social Teaching.
Mrs. Barbara Dellanno, Union Catholic’s Dean of Academics and Faith Formation, hopes that the Principles of Catholic Social Teaching will become ingrained in the minds of everyone, and explain why service is such a vital part of the fabric of Union Catholic.
‘‘We want Catholic Social Teaching to become part of everyone's vocabulary and part of their thinking,’’ said Mrs. Dellanno. “It’s good to remind people of these principles.’’
Each week of Lent will offer a different challenge at Union Catholic,
“Lent is a 40 day period where we are trying to become more like Jesus through prayer and service, and we are preparing ourselves for Easter,’’ said Mrs. Dellanno. “A lot of students will give something up for Lent, which is great. It’s something that’s been ingrained. But we want to emphasize that to be like Jesus it’s about what you do. Let’s focus on what you can do to spread the message of the Gospel, and spread the love and peace of Jesus.’’
As part of the first Catholic School Teaching Principle, which is called Life and Dignity of the Human Person, Union Catholic will be collecting winter hats and gloves throughout Lent for the poor and the homeless in the Elizabeth area with the help of the St. Joseph Service Center. The greatest need is for men’s hats and gloves, new or gently used, but women’s and children’s are also welcome. Through the donations, Union Catholic is promoting and protecting the human dignity of our brothers and sisters and becoming more like Jesus.
Here’s a look at the other six Principles of Catholic Social Teaching (CST) that will be part of UC’s Lenten Challenge.
First Week of Lent, Sunday, February 18-Saturday, February 24
Call to Family, Community, and Participation: CST #2- Do something unexpectedly kind for someone each day this week. For ideas, go to www.randomactsofkindness.org
Second Week of Lent-Sunday, February 25-Saturday, March 3
Rights and Responsibilities: CST Principle #3- Reach out particularly to people in need of comfort and support, and pray for them daily
Third Week of Lent-Sunday, March 4-Saturday, March 10
Option for the Poor and Vulnerable: CST Principle #4 - Apologize to someone whom you have hurt or whose needs you have neglected. Act to right the wrong.
Fourth Week of Lent-Sunday March 11-Saturday, March 17
The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers: CST Principle #5 - Lighten someone else’s load by learning and taking responsibility for a new chore or task. Work harder to become all that God is calling you to be in every area of your life.
Fifth Week of Lent-Sunday, March 18-Saturday, March 24
Solidarity: CST Principle 6 - Make an effort each day to practice peace through your actions and words. For ideas, go to http://daymakermovement.com
Palm Sunday, March 25-Holy Saturday, March 31:
Care for God’s Creation: CST Principle 7 - Do two things this week: 1-Find new ways to help the environment (walk or cycle instead of driving, choose to reuse, reduce food waste, etc.for 2-Pay attention to the beauty of God’s creation all around you and offer a prayer of praise and thanksgiving in gratitude.