Find ways to relate to Christ this Lent: Archdiocesan young adults

March 13, 2012

HOUSTON — Lenten prayer, fasting and almsgiving are mainstays of the Catholic faith, but for young adults juggling life in the 21st century, it’s often hard to find time for prayer, practice disciplined living or know how or where to share resources. 

But these 40 days, young adults have a wealth of options for living out their Lenten journeys in a deeper way. 

“It is no longer simply viewed [as] a form of penance in which we deny ourselves something we like in order to repent for sins – a view many of us were taught as children. Rather … Lent is a time to take an inventory of what things, habits, choices in our lives draw us farther from God and it is a time to pray and work on changing these things so that we grow closer to God and reflect His love to others,” said Jessica McLeod, St. Anne Young Adults Spiritual Co-Director.

Many churches around the Archdiocese have regularly-scheduled young adult meetings and gatherings that have refocused their discussions and themes toward Lent, like Christ in the City at Saint Michael Catholic Church, 1801 Sage Rd., Café Catholica LITE at St. Vincent de Paul Church, 6800 Buffalo Speedway, REFUEL at St. Anne Church, 2140 Westheimer and Theology on Tap, a regular gathering of young adults to discuss faith and experience fellowship in a restaurant setting.

“Our goal this Lenten season is to help young adults move towards a deeper understanding of the season and make the changes needed in their lives to live a life more like Christ,” McLeod said.

Here is a round-up of opportunities for young adults to participate in prayer, service and quiet activities for Lent:

March 13
REFUEL at 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., at St. Anne Catholic Church, 2140 Westheimer. Discussion on the “Works of Mercy” at St. Anne Parish Center. For more information, contact Jessica McLeod at, Jose Mattei at or visit

March 15
Theology on Tap, 7 p.m. at Café Adobe, 2111 Westheimer. All young Catholic adults are invited to come together for discussions on Catholic teachings, spirituality, culture and liturgy. The While Theology on Tap is free of charge all participants pay for their own meal and beverage directly to the establishment. RSVP for the next Theology on Tap’s Facebook event page, or email

March 16
Lenten Dinner at the Cathedral Centre, 1701 San Jacinto at Jefferson St. Proceeds benefit the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart young adults and the Knights of Columbus, Council #803. Prepaid cost is $8 or tickets can be purchased at the door for $10. To purchase tickets or volunteer to serve food, contact Stephanie Rendon at

Bayou Awakening, a retreat for college-aged adults at Camp Kappe. The three-day retreat is based loosely on the Cursillo and Search programs and is an intensive experience centered on Catholic teachings and experiencing Christ. For more information, visit or call 713-741-8778. 

March 17
Food fair service project from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. with the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart young adults to help distribute food to people in need. For more information contact Anna Evetts at

March 24
Service project from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. with the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart young adults to celebrate Easter with the Women’s Shelter. For more information contact Anna Evetts at

March 26
Café Catholica LITE, St. Vincent de Paul, 6800 Buffalo Speedway for more information contact

March 27
REFUEL at St. Anne Catholic Church, 2140 Westheimer, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at St. Anne Parish Center. For more information contact Jessica McLeod at, Jose Mattei at or visit

April 6
University of St. Thomas, Way of the Cross. A procession starting at 10:15 a.m. at the Chapel of St. Basil, 3802 Yoakum, continuing throughout the city and ending at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart; 1111 St. Joseph Parkway, Houston. For more information contact or call 713-203-1566. †

The three pillars of Lent:
During Lent, the baptized are called to renew their baptismal commitment as others prepare to be baptized through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, a period of learning and discernment for individuals who have declared their desire to become Catholics.
The three traditional pillars of Lenten observance are prayer, fasting and almsgiving. The Church asks Catholics to surrender ourselves to prayer and to the reading of Scripture, to fasting and to giving alms. The fasting that all do together on Fridays is a sign of the daily Lenten discipline of individuals and households: fasting for certain periods of time, fasting from certain foods, but also fasting from other things and activities. Likewise, the giving of alms is some effort to share this world equally — not only through the distribution of money, but through the sharing of time and talents.
The key to fruitful observance of these practices is to recognize their link to baptismal renewal. Catholics are called not just to abstain from sin during Lent, but to true conversion of hearts and minds as followers of Christ. The Church recalls those waters in which Her people were baptized into Christ's death, died to sin and evil and began new life in Christ. †

Source: USCCB