Bishop of Fall River Diocese Edgar M. da Cunha issues Lent message - CS Alliance

News & Events

Diocese of Fall River News

Bishop of Fall River Diocese Edgar M. da Cunha issues Lent message

Originally posted on

The Christian season of Lent – the 40-days of prayer, sacrifice and almsgiving in preparation for the joyous celebration of Easter – begins this Wednesday, Feb. 14.

Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha has issued a message for the Lenten season to Catholics throughout the Diocese of Fall River. It follows below in its entirety:

“Wednesday, February 14, begins another Lenten season and how appropriate it should begin on a day associated with love.  No act in history showed greater love for another as Jesus’ dying upon the Cross for the salvation of our souls. As we read in St. John’s Gospel, ‘No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.’ (15:13).

“Every Lent we are encouraged to participate in some way in the three tenets of Lent – prayer, fasting, and almsgiving (charity). St. Paul reminds us of the important role God has placed upon prayer in the life of the faithful. ‘I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now’ (Philippians 1:3–5).

Diocese of Fall River Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, Colin Furze

“This year I would like to propose something that gives those acts even more meaning this Lent. What if we each choose three special intentions for which every prayer, every sacrifice, and every act of charity was offered.

“Imagine the fruit of these 40-plus days if we focused our attention upon those things we most desire for our family, our community, our nation, or even our world! I recommend writing down your three most important intentions, and each day spending time in prayer with the Lord asking for His graces in each situation or circumstance.

“Again, I draw inspiration and encouragement for my Lenten message from St. Paul, who writes, ‘we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God’ (Colossians 1:9–10).

“As you proceed throughout your day, as you help others, as you pray, or abstain from either meat or whatever penitential offering you are making this Lent, do so purposely attaching your prayer, your sacrifice, your penance, your act of charity for those intentions. Ask the Lord to take any merit or grace found in these Lenten moments toward your three special intentions.

“Remember, there is no greater love we can show others by denying our own needs and desires, and offering our work, sacrifices, prayer, and charity for the good of another. Turning once more to leave you with the wisdom of St. Paul, ‘We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Thessalonians 1:2–3)

“May your 2024 Lent be like no other as you journey thorough these 40 days with prayerful purpose and renewed hope. Please know my prayers are with you all.”

Parishes throughout the Diocese of Fall River will mark the start of Lent with the traditional rite of distribution of ashes. Ashes, symbolic of penance, are blessed and distributed as a reminder that Lent is a time for repentance and spiritual renewal.

Bishop da Cunha will celebrate the 12 noon Mass on Ash Wednesday at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River, during which he will bless and distribute ashes to congregants, marking for them the start of their Lenten journey.

The Church calls for days of abstinence and fasting during Lent:

  • Fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday for those aged 18 to 59. Fasting is defined as eating only one full (meatless) meal.  Two other meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to one’s needs;
  • Abstinence from meat on Ash Wednesday, all Fridays during Lent and Good Friday for those aged 14 and older.

Catholics are urged to regard the Lenten season as a serious time for spiritual renewal by intensifying prayer, practicing works of piety, and seeking out opportunities for charity.

top of page