Lenten Opportunities

What is Lent?

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, and is a 40-day season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends at sundown on Holy Thursday. It's a period of preparation to celebrate the Lord's Resurrection at Easter.  

During Lent, we seek the Lord in prayer by reading Sacred Scripture and other religious reflections, perhaps attending daily mass; we serve others by giving alms, and we practice self-control through fasting. We are called not only to abstain from luxuries during Lent, but to a true inner conversion of heart as we seek to follow Christ's will more faithfully. We recall the waters of baptism in which we were also baptized into Christ's death, died to sin and evil, and began new life in Christ. 

Many know of the tradition of abstaining from meat on Fridays during Lent, but we are also called to practice self-discipline and fast in other ways throughout the season. (Click here for the precepts of our faith and requirements for Lenten observances.) 

In addition, the giving of alms is one way to share God's gifts—not only through the distribution of money, but through the sharing of our time and talents. As St. John Chrysostom reminds us: "Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life. The goods we possess are not ours, but theirs." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2446; adapted from the USCCB website.) —Fr. Steve

Special Events This Lent

Please click here for a link to our tri-parish calendar; for a printable version, please click here.

Thursday Evening Adoration & Taizé Series

Deepen your Lenten prayer experience through three Evening Adoration and Taizé worship services in the Catholic Community of Northern Columbia County. Please join us as we sing a selection of chants from Taizé as well as other liturgical psalm settings through vespers in song, scripture, and silence.

  • 6PM, Thursday, March 2 at St. James/Chatham
  • 6PM, Thursday, March 9 at St. John the Baptist/Valatie
  • 5:30PM, Thursday, March 16 at St. Joseph/Stuyvesant Falls

Listen to Lent with Sr. Julia Mary

2PM Sunday, March 5 at St. John the Baptist/Valatie

All are invited to attend a Lenten presentation entitled: LISTEN TO LENT at St. John the Baptist Church on Sunday, March 5th At 2 P.M. Embrace the season of Lent as an invitation, not an obligation; an opportunity; not a burden; a time to grow, not to cling to the status quo. The Facilitator is Sister Julia Mary RSM, a Sister of Mercy. Please bring a friend or two.  Looking forward to meeting you!

Friday Stations of the Cross

Please join us on a Lenten journey on Fridays of Stations of the Cross.  See our Lenten Calendar or below for details. 

The first three Fridays in Lent, Afternoon Stations of the Cross will be held at 3PM in English and 7PM every Friday in Spanish as follows:

  • Friday, 2/24 at 3PM:   St. James Church/Chatham
  • Friday, 3/3 at 3PM:   St. Joseph/Stuvesant Falls
  • Friday, 3/10 at 3PM:  St. John the Baptist/Valatie
  • Cada Viernes a las 7PM, Via Crucis seguido por Exposición de Santísimo (Español), St. Joseph/Stuyvesant Falls

The second three Fridays in Lent, Evening Stations of the Cross will be held at 6:30PM in English and 7PM every Friday in Spanish as follows:

  • Friday, 3/17 at 6:30PM:   St. James Church/Chatham
  • Friday, 3/24 at 6:30PM:   St. Joseph/Stuvesant Falls
  • Friday, 3/31 at 6:30PM:  St. John the Baptist/Valatie
  • Cada Viernes a las 7PM, Via Crucis seguido por Exposición de Santísimo (Español), St. Joseph/Stuyvesant Falls

If you are unable to join us in person, an online Journey is available here

Wednesday Ecumenical Lenten Reflections

Join us for Ecumenical Lenten Reflections, held Wednesday Evenings during Lent.  Enjoy a light supper of soup & sandwiches with friends from other Christian communities in our area, and share in prayer and a reflection from a faith leader from one of our Chatham churches. Click here for a schedule of services. Free suppers start at 6PM, and the prayer/reflection service begins at 7PM.

CRS Rice Bowl - Lent 2023

We encourage you to consider making Catholic Relief Services Rice Bowl program part of your Lenten prayer, fasting & almsgiving program.  Please click this link to find out more!