Lent at OLGC

Return to Me with your whole heart,
with fasting, weeping and mourning.

—Joel 2:12


Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Lenten season begins each year with the same scripture passage from the prophet Joel, one of the few times we hear from him. Joel challenges us to bring our hearts to the Lord so that God can change our hearts and deepen our love. Lent is a good time for me, and I hope all of us to challenge our attitudes, negative thinking, complacency, and all that can hinder our hearts from generous loving.

Here you will see a list of Lenten offerings to touch our hearts and help us in our call to Live Jesus. There are prayer offerings, daily Mass, adoration and confession, and community-building evenings. Please consider attending as many as you can, either in person or via live stream when available. From our parish Evening Prayers on Monday evenings to Wednesday evening confessions, and Fish Fries and Stations of the Cross on Fridays, we try to ready and prepare our hearts to travel with Jesus through His passion, death, resurrection, and ascension.

I pray that these forty days be a time of blessing for you and your families. May your hearts become an even more generous, compassionate, and hospitable place in imitation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus!

Live Jesus!
Fr. Matt Hillyard


The Light is On

Wednesdays • Feb. 21, 28, Mar. 6, 13, 20
6:30 - 7:30 pm in the Chapel

Welcome! Our doors are open, and the light is on. 
The Light is On is an initiative where churches across the DC metro area are open for quiet prayer and Confession every Wednesday evening during Lent. Come spend some time with Jesus in prayer, adoration, and reconciliation.

Stations of the Cross

Fridays • Feb. 16, 23, Mar. 1, 8, 15, 22
7 pm in the Church (English) & the Chapel (Spanish) 

The Stations of the Cross is a Lenten devotion that offers witness to Jesus’ Passion and Death. At each station, we use our senses and imagination to reflect prayerfully and encounter the visual images that represent Christ's love for us. The Narthex doors will open at 6:30pm.

Lenten Evening Prayer and Reflection

Mondays • Feb. 20*, 26, Mar. 4, 11, 18, 25
7 pm in the Church

Join us on Monday evenings for Lenten Evening Prayer. Through this prayer, the people of God sanctify the day by continual praise of God and prayers of intercession for the needs of the world. 

Each week, a reflection will be offered by clergy or lay persons to guide us to Holy Week.

* The first Evening Prayer will be on Tuesday because of Presidents Day.

Tuesday Scripture Study:
Oremus—A Lenten Study on Catholic Prayer

Tuesdays • Feb. 13, 20, 27, Mar. 5, 12, 19, 26, Apr. 2

Looking for an opportunity to deepen your prayer life this Lent? Check out Oremus: A Guide to Catholic Prayer from Ascension Press. This study program teaches you the essentials of an effective and fruitful prayer life. Over the course of eight weeks, you will discover how God speaks to you, even in the smallest encounters. Following the tradition of the Catholic Church and the wisdom of the saints, you will learn how to express yourself to God in prayer, and how to hear his voice. Tuesday mornings 9:45 to 11:45am by Zoom.

Live Jesus!

Saturday  Mar. 9
8:00 am to 12:30 pm
Bishop Ireton Catholic High School, Alexandria, Va.

Live Jesus! is a half-day Lenten morning of reflection sponsored by the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. The spirituality developed by St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal is nothing if not practical, crafted for everyday, ordinary people with both feet planted firmly in the real world dealing with real problems. We will explore the common sense and uncommon challenges that both St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal experienced in living the life of Christian disciple. Fr. Matt is among the featured speakers this year.

“Bloom Where You Are Planted,” is this year’s theme. Saint Francis de Sales tells us, “Inside each of us is a beautiful garden. We need to cultivate and prune it in order to give glory to God and be of service to others. Visit oblates.org to register.

Lent 2024: Not “Just Another Lent!”

by Fr. Lewis Fiorelli

St. Francis de Sales reminds us not to see this Lent as “just another Lent.” Such an attitude may prevent us from receiving the rich spiritual blessings of this holy season....

Read more



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

FASTING is to be observed by all 18 years and up to the beginning of 60th year. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days 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 juices, are allowed.

ALMSGIVING is our response to the teachings of Jesus that encourages us to reach out to people in need—not just with our money—but with our time
and talent. It is the act of donating money, food, or
other items to the poor or needy. Almsgiving helps us experience giving the gifts of God that He gave to us
by sharing with others. Today, we might also refer to this as stewardship.

Good Friday -  Easter Vigil
This is a “paschal” fast, the Easter fast, which is observed from Good Friday through Holy Saturday. It is different from the Lenten fast. This fast is not only from food. Even more important may be the fasting from our normal work, entertainment, fasting from anger and harsh words.