March 7, 2024

Verbatim: Timely Lenten advice from the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall website


Timely Lenten advice from the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall website

Lent has three pillars: Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving. Each is an opportunity to grow in our faith and love for others. We encourage you to choose one way to live out each pillar this Lent. Check out our ideas below to get inspired!


  • Use worship music in your prayer time.
  • Spend five minutes every morning reading the daily Mass readings. If that’s daunting to you right now, try sitting with just the daily Gospel.
  • Watch The Chosen TV series and experience the Gospels through a creative lens.
  • Draw or paint a prayerful image.
  • Write a poem or a letter to God.
  • Pray with the Litany of Humility each day.
  • Pray a Rosary or a Chaplet of Divine Mercy. If the long version is too daunting right now, you can pray a decade instead.
  • Go to confession. If it’s been a long time, know that Jesus is waiting for you with nothing but love! 
  • Try the Hallow Pray 40 Lenten challenge and explore the story of Servant of God, Fr. Walter Ciszek, a Jesuit missionary who spent years in a Russian gulag.
  • Read about the lives of the saints. St. Thérèse of Lisieux and St. Brother André are great starting places.
  • Attend Mass every weekend. If this is already part of your life, add a weekday Mass to your schedule.


  • Fast from music, radio, and podcasts during your commute.
  • Give up a food item you love. Traditionally, many people give up chocolate, but the best fast is one that is personal to you.
    • Creamer in coffee
    • Pop or alcohol
    • Meat
    • Snacks between meals
    • Desserts
    • Sauces/dressings
    • Sugar
  • Fast from staying up late. Commit to going to bed at a consistent time.
  • Give up YouTube or a video watching platform like Netflix or Disney Plus.
  • Fast from unnecessary purchases. Instead, save that money and give a gift to a ministry or charity.
  • Always go last when serving food or take the smaller portion offered to you.
  • Give up hot showers and have lukewarm ones instead.


  • Donate blood.
  • Sign up to support a lay missionary with a ministry like NET or Catholic Christian Outreach.
  • Give money or donations to a ministry that works with the homeless, such as the Shepherds of Good Hope.
  • Support the work of Development and Peace.
  • Sign up as a volunteer at your parish.
  • If you are a lector, Eucharistic minister, usher, etc. consider volunteering to help serve at the Holy Week Masses (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil, Easter Sunday). Many parishes need extra hands during these holy days.
  • Donate to the diocesan Indigenous Reconciliation fund.
  • Volunteer at a local food bank.
  • Give the gift of your time and call a friend or family member who is lonely or going through a difficult time. Spend time listening to them.

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