For generations, Christians have leaned heavily on the spiritual practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving as ways to prepare for Easter. The choice of these three practices is by no means an arbitrary one. People of faith have relied on these practices because they can be powerful tools of personal transformation, because in a very real way they resonate with the rhythms of resurrected life.
Easter speaks to us of union with God, a lived intimacy with the Divine Source of Life. The practice of prayer leads us into a deeper, more intimate relationship with God.
Easter speaks to us of letting go – of risking the life and the world we know for a life and a world of even greater purpose and deeper meaning. The practice of fasting trains us to let go of the familiar, to make do without the seemingly indispensable, to overcome our fear of change, to embrace growth in our lives today.
Easter speaks to us of restored relationships, of forgiveness and reconciliation, of people knowing themselves to be beloved daughters and sons of God, of people living as sisters and brothers. The practice of almsgiving brings to light our dependence on each other and the need for both mercy and justice in all our relationships.
This Lent, we invite you to be with us for three special evenings as we reflect on the ancient spiritual practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving and their continuing power to deepen our life in the spirit. Won’t you please join us!
Wednesday, March 13
Prayer: A Journey of Intimacy with the Divine led by Al Gustafson
7 – 8:15 pm | Hughes Hall
Al Gustafson has had several different ministry roles at Old St. Patrick’s Church’s since 1994.
He currently serves as a spiritual director and hosts a contemplative group as well as a program in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Al is the former Director of the Crossroads Center for Faith & Work and a founder and past president of the Career Transitions Center of Chicago. Al holds degrees in accounting and ethics as well as a Doctorate of Ministry from Catholic Theological Union.
Wednesday, March 27
Fasting from Indifference and Isolation: A Spirituality of Risk led by John Horan
7 – 8:15 pm | 625 W. Adams Street
John Horan was one of the founders of North Lawndale College Preparatory Charter High School (NLCP) back in 1998. John currently serves as President Emeritus of North Lawndale College Prep and has worked with Old St. Patrick’s Church in the establishment of PHOENIX HALL, a residence for unstably housed students.
He holds a Masters in Divinity from the University of St. Mary of the Lake. He and his wife Mary live in Chicago’s Edgewater community.
Wednesday, April 10
The Practice of Almsgiving: Reconciling Our Relationship with the World through Mercy and Justice led by Beth Knobbe
7 – 8:15 pm | Old St. Patrick’s Church (includes Sacrament of Reconciliation)
Beth Knobbe lives an intentional single life and is passionate about sharing her faith with others. She earned a Master of Divinity degree from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, and she has a Bachelor of Science degree from Briar Cliff University. She currently serves as a relationship manager with Catholic Relief Services, working with dioceses and universities to engage Catholics in living their faith in solidarity with the poor around the world. Beth has traveled extensively and also shares her time writing and speaking about the spiritual life. She is the author of Party of One: Living Single with Faith, Purpose, and Passion (2011) and Finding My Voice: A Young Woman’s Perspective (2009).