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‘Lent can be a time to revive our faith’

By Bishop Terry R. LaValley

February 17, 2021

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

I felt sure that by the end of last summer, we would be out of the woods. But here we are, a year later, and COVID-19 refuses to go away. Last year, this deadly virus invaded our lives. Its impact continues to devastate all in its path.

Lent is upon us and we embrace the opportunity to enter this spiritual journey to be renewed in hope. We can make Lent 2021 like none other! In his Lenten message this year, Pope Francis reminds us that “Every moment of our lives is a time for believing, hoping and loving.” This is our time to focus on the awesome Gift we have received in the Son of God, as we lift our hearts in gratitude for the Glorious Mystery of Christ’s Resurrection. In Lent 2021, we beg for the grace to increase our faith, renew our hope, and strengthen our love for God and for one another.

Does Jesus’ resurrection illuminate my life? In the middle of national political strife, a worldwide pandemic, family worries, job loss, and health concerns, this Lent can be a time to revive our faith that risks being weakened during times such these in which we live. In my journey on this earth, does knowing that Christ is risen from the dead inspire my thoughts, influence my attitude, and inform my decisions?

Prayer, fasting and acts of charity are means for you and me to stay centered on the joy of the resurrection. Yes, even when things look pretty discouraging and bleak, we can find hope and peace because we are a resurrection people! Lent is not a dead-end journey of self-sacrifice and personal denial. No, Lent is a truly graced time to make space for the most important thing in life—my relationship with the Risen Christ. In that relationship we discover a hope that will never die.

I encourage you, if your health allows, to rejoin your neighbors at the liturgies and devotions offered at your parish this Lent, if you have been absent due to pandemic concerns. Our pastors and parishioners have worked so hard to ensure that health protocols are in place. The Eucharist is food for the journey, the very Body and Blood of Christ offered and poured out for our salvation. Christ-led and Christ-fed, we are hope-filled!

May the blessing of the risen Lord accompany all of us on our journey towards the light of Easter. Mary, Mother of the Savior, pray for us! Joseph, comfort of the afflicted, pray for us!


Faithfully yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Terry R. LaValley
Bishop of Ogdensburg


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