Special Events for Lent

Lent is a privileged season of grace for the entire Church. It is the preparation for the Easter Mystery, and so it is encouraged that we take advantage of all that we can to prepare ourselves.

For you have given your children a sacred time
for the renewing and purifying of their hearts,
that, freed from disordered affections,
they may so deal with the things of this passing world
as to hold rather to the things that eternally endure.”

—Preface of Lent II

To assist throughout the journey of Lent, Saint John Cantius Parish offers many different opportunities to deepen one’s devotional life including: men’s and women’s Lenten Retreats, Stations of the Cross with a Lenten Sermon every Friday, as well as the active observance of the “Roman Stational Churches of Lent.”

Men’s & Women’s Lenten Retreats

CCome on a one day Lenten retreat led by Father Joseph Tuscan, OFM. Our local Knights of Columbus (Lafayette Council #361) are once again sponsoring Lenten Retreats for both Men and Women at St. John Cantius Parish.

This annual Lenten retreat day helps men and women deepen their relationship with Christ through talks, time for reflection, and devotions. The retreat includes Mass, conferences, confessions, and a meal.

The dates of the retreats are March 30th for the women and April 6th for the men.

More info and registration here »

The Stations of the Cross

The Stations of the Cross are a beautiful and traditional Lenten devotion. The devotion consists of meditating on 14 events which took place during Christ’s Passion, from His being condemned to His burial.

At St. John Cantius we use the time-honored meditations written by St. Alphonsus Liguori (A.D. 1696-1787). Join us as we follow Christ along the “Way of the Cross.” Offered each Friday of Lent at 7:30pm, the Stations of the Cross also conclude with a special lenten sermon.

  • March 8th at 6:30 pm
  • March 15th
  • March 22nd
    Cantate Domino choir sings Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater
  • March 29th
    Magnificat Choir sings Rheinberger’s Stabat Mater
  • April 5th
  • First Friday Mass - No Stations
  • April 12th

The Stational Churches of Rome

During the season of Lent, a shrine is set up at Mary’s altar indicating the Stational Saint and Church of that given day where traditionally, the Holy Father offered Mass. In addition to the written name of the Saint, we are fortunate to have relics of each Stational Saints which are exposed for veneration.

Each day we begin Mass at Mary’s altar, giving reverence to the Stational Saint, sing a portion of the Litany of Saints as we proceed to the Main Altar. We join our Holy Father, Pope Francis in spirit during the Lenten season with the custom of the Stational Churches.

Families can adapt the ceremonies for their evening prayers as indicated in the Stational Churches of Rome booklets which are available on our webstore or at the back of church.

Holy Week at Saint John Cantius

Holy Week is the culmination the Church Year. The final three days of Holy week are called triduum sacrum, i.e. the sacred three days. These days are commonly called the Paschal Triduum. Plan to join our parish community for this very special time.

At St. John Cantius, the ceremonies and solemnities of Holy Week are carried out with the utmost solemnity and import. The St. Cecilia Choir, the Magnificat Youth Choir and the Resurrection Choir and Orchestra will sing the beautiful sacred music for the Holy Week and Easter liturgies. The church itself will undergo a transformation, from the regal Palm Sunday decorations to the stark violet veils and stripping of the altars, to the glorious Easter flowers and decorations.

Holy Week Chicago Cantius Church
The Paschal Candle at the Great Easter Vigil

Some of the highlights of Holy Week are:

  • Palm Sunday Procession and Mass
  • Evening Tenebrae Service on ‘Spy Wednesday’
  • The Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday
  • Service of the Passion on Good Friday
  • The Great Paschal Vigil on Holy Saturday Night
  • The Glorious Easter Sunday Mass with the Ressurection Choir and Orchestra

The schedule for Holy Week and Easter will be posted on our web site and in our bulletin.

Furthur Reading

Introduction to Lent »

About the Stational Churches of Rome »

More about Holy Week »