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Best Way to Honor Lent

Posted on February 16, 2018 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

Lenten Musings for Millenials and More

What is the best way for Millennials to honor Lent?  Yup, we’re talking to you folks;  the group where nearly three out of every four consider themselves religiously unaffiliated and came of age around the millennium.

For that matter, what is the best way for any of us -- young and old, born in the U.S. or abroad, Roman or Melkite Catholics – to honor Lent?  Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan took up this timely topic with experts from all fields in his recent JustLove Sirius XM Catholic Channel radio show.

His first guest, Archdiocese of New York Assistant Director of Young Adult Outreach - AKA Millennial Outreach –Mary Elise Zellmer, says she has thought a lot about this.

Ms. Zellmer works with thousands of young adults at more than 80 parish groups in the archdiocese. Groups offer fitness classes, music jams, soccer teams – even glow-in-the-dark dodge ball - and more. But when it comes to Lent, the purpose, she says, is not just an opportunity to recommit to New Years get-healthy resolutions. 

Lent ≠ Weight Watchers

“Lent is not just an opportunity to give up chocolate to lose weight,” she says. “You want it to be a transformative experience.”

To reach this transformative experience, Ms. Zellner suggests Millennials choose from one, two or three types of options:

  1. Give a little sacrifice
  2. Do a little bit more alms giving to a charity they love – (She suggests Catholic Charities)
  3. Try  to add an extra prayer,

Lent Across Religions and Across the World

Others weighing in on this special Lenten JustLove radio show include Father Ken Sherman, pastor of the St. Ann’s Melkite Church in Woodland Park, New Jersey that serves largely Middle Eastern Christians.  The show also includes insights from Althea Boteju, a UNICEF worker who has celebrated Lent across the world including Kosovo and Sri Lanka.

But when it came to Lenten advice, it turns out Ms. Zellmer’s advice for millennials jibes perfectly with Lenten advice Msgr. Sullivan gives folks from all generations and walks of life.

Three is the Charm

“Boy, didn’t she get it right!” Msgr. Sullivan remarks on air.  “You’ve got to do all three things, okay? 

“You’ve got to hang with God.  You’ve got to discipline yourself.  And you’ve got to help others.”

Looking for more Lenten inspiration for millenials, baby boomers, or however you define yourself?

Listen to JustLove

Check out Msgr. Sullivan’s Lenten inspirations on his JustLove blog