Lenten initiative will have respect life theme

By | February 5, 2010

1006fastforwardweb2Pallini said the Lenten initiative “is an opportunity to engage in the battle, to build a culture of life.”

“Sometimes to make a change, we have to use more of our God-given gifts, like fasting, prayer and almsgiving,” she said. “FASTforward is an opportunity to change for Lent — for life. … To ask God to wake up the sleeping and bring truth to the ones who don’t truly understand that all life is sacred, from the moment of conception until natural death.”

The FASTforward initiative also includes a song-writing contest. Pallini has composed several lines relating to respect for life. Contestants will be invited to create a song, with the winning contestant’s music featured in diocesan respect life materials.

Pallini has also compiled a resource guide for parishes and individuals which offers guidelines and suggestions for fasting, prayer and almsgiving. Among the fasting ideas:

• Fast for people in Haiti;

•Fast for the elderly and those with chronic illness;

•Fast for women who have had and men who have experienced abortion and need to know God’s healing and forgiveness.

She also offers suggestions for action. These include:

•Donating to Catholic Relief Services’ Operation Rice Bowl;

•Organizing a “Walk the 40 Days for LIFE” vigil;

•Supporting or volunteering at apostolates that help women to choose life;

•Visit a nursing home and schedule to play the piano or sing for 30 minutes before the residents’ dinner;

•Take one hour a week to visit with an elderly friend whose spouse has died;

•Stop by to visit our retired priests and take them a box of chocolates.

“Let’s begin by searching our own hearts and minds,” said Pallini. “Let’s learn as much as we can about the Gospel of Life.”

She urges FASTforward fasters to study church teachings, including the “Catechism of the Catholic Church,” to learn what the church says about life issues. Opportunities for prayer will also be part of the Lenten initiative. Among prayer activities suggested are attending Stations of the Cross, daily Mass, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and reciting a prayer for life created for Lent.

To learn more about the FASTforward initiative, including the song-writing contest, contact Christina Pallini, [email protected], or visit the diocesan Web site, www.gbdioc.org.

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