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Carmelites Begin the 2021 Season of Lent

To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.

The forty days of Lent provide a wonderful opportunity for all Catholics to prepare for Easter, the greatest Holy Day in the Church calendar. This year marks the 132nd year that the Carmelites of the North American Province of St. Elias have ministered to God’s people during the Holy Season of Lent.

At a time when the means and methods of communicating the Word of God were limited, the Carmelites made a world of difference with the publication of The Scapular, a bimonthly magazine that was first published in 1943. For nearly 45 years The Scapular filled a void in the lives of Catholics who were being bombarded with secular television shows, films, books and magazines. Each issue of the magazine featured articles on events of importance in the Church as well as stories, photographs and illustrations aimed at readers of all ages.

Iconic images of Ash Wednesday often graced the cover of The Scapular with stories that explained Church teaching and encouraged devotion.


Despite the pandemic, St. Albert’s (The National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel) ushered in the 2021 Season of Lent (February 17) with the first “Carmelite Wednesdays” presentation In the Desert with Mary.  Fr. Paul Denault, O. Carm. encouraged the attendees to find someplace where they could be enveloped with a quiet that would settle their souls as they joined Mary on a journey to Easter. Following the presentation, Fr. James Sidoti, O. Carm. officiated at Mass with the distribution of ashes.