The Lenten season is a 40-day preparation for Easter observed by Christians, especially, but not exclusively, Catholics. It is a season of conversion and renewal, said Marcel LeJuene, assistant director of campus ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Center in College Station.Also:
The Lenten season begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter. This year, Lent is from Feb. 17 to April 3.
"The main purpose is conversion and to follow in Christ's footsteps. It's not just so we observe a bunch of rules. We want to seek to draw closer to our Lord," LeJuene said.
"Lent is my favorite time of year," LeJeune said. "Easter is so much better when you have Lent. You don't take for granted the resurrection when you've walked the 40 days of Lent."**The Catholic diocese of Baker, Oregon has severed ties with a local hospital because of sterilization procedures. Part of the article about the situation reads:
Recently, hospital administrators and Bishop Robert Vasa of the Diocese of Baker have respectfully disagreed on the meaning of some of those directives.What exactly is compassionate about throwing out Catholic values to take on your own?
In particular, St. Charles-Bend offers patients the service of tubal ligations, a form of permanent female reproductive sterilization, which, according to Vasa, goes against the Church's teachings.
"It is my responsibility to ensure the hospital is following Catholic principles both in name and in fact," Vasa said. "It would be misleading for me to allow St. Charles Bend to be acknowledged as Catholic in name while I am certain that some important tenets of the Ethical and Religious Directives are no longer being observed."
Vasa asked St. Charles Bend in 2007 for an audit of the hospital's compliance with the Ethical and Religious Directives. The hospital has been transparent about its practices and openly provided the Bishop with the information he requested. Since that time, the two parties have had a number of discussions about the future of the hospital as a Catholic institution.
"We are saddened by this decision because of the 92 years of history the St. Charles Bend hospital has had with the Catholic Church," said James A. Diegel, FACHE, president and CEO of Cascade Health-care Community, the parent company of St. Charles-Bend. "But we have an obligation to provide comprehensive health care services to our patients while remaining true to our values of compassion and caring for all."
**This week, Catholic Minority Report is carrying a story about abortion that you must read.