Catholics share funny and challenging Lenten memories

Several Catholic leaders around the state were asked to share their favorite Lenten memories. Some were challenging and some were humorous. All were memorable.

Forty years ago, I was part of a community of three sisters who had just been missioned to Our Lady of the Valley in El Paso, Texas. None of us knew much about cooking. We decided for Lent to try recipes more in keeping with the culture of the people. Lent came around and one of the sisters introduced us to her first Mexican cornbread. I took my first bite and bit down on a hard kernel. When I showed her what looked like popcorn, she confirmed it with, ’Well, the recipe did call for whole kernel corn.’”
Sister Maria Liebeck, DC, Little Rock

One of the more humorous occurrences was many years ago I gave up meat for Lent. I went on the Honduras Mission and was assigned to a medical clinic that gets a special treat each day because we get to eat in the home of one of the Honduras volunteers. She and her sister are outstanding cooks, especially with the meats. The first day there I sat down in front of a platter of chicken that smelled divine. It was covered with their spices. As I was about to take a piece of chicken, with my mouth watering, I realized that I could not eat it due to my Lenten promise, and that I would be relegated to vegetable plates all week. I decided that day that I would not choose to give up meat again if I planned to go on the mission to Honduras. Of course, I never worked at that clinic again until last year.”
Deacon Don Greenway, Little Rock

Several years ago, the sisters in our community house got all fired up to eat like the poor. Recipes were even given. It was my turn to cook, so I decided to use soybeans. I didn’t realize just how long it took to cook them, but I did my best. The next day everyone said they felt like they had little rocks in their stomachs. So much for the soybeans! My dad would say they are for animals.
“A few years ago, we decided to not eat meat at all during Lent. I found all kinds of recipes I could use. One was for bean burgers. It so happened my cousin, Bill, and his wife from St. Louis visited me during Lent. I served the bean burgers and they were very polite about eating them. To this day, we still laugh about those ’bean burgers.’”
Sister Doris Moore, DC, Little Rock

Back in the 40s, my sister washed the dinner dishes and I dried. For one long 40 days, I gave up snapping her with the dish cloth.”
Deacon Bob Crawford, Mountain Home

One bizarre Lenten observation that I heard about while I was in seminary was how one year they had the word, ’Alleluia’ written down on a card and took it and buried it for the duration of Lent.”
Father Tony Robbins, Camden

Back in my younger days when I had lots of things to give up for Lent, I decided to relinquish the opportunity to shower every day. After about the third day my wife informed me that I probably needed to pick another thing to give up or it was going to be a long stay in the desert. Being the dedicated husband, I quickly changed to not changing socks for the remainder of Lent.”
Dr. Jim Hattabaugh, principal of Trinity Junior High School, Fort Smith

Devoting an hour to daily prayer was one of the hardest and most fulfilling things I’ve done for Lent. This prayer usually led me to the foot of the cross and made my celebration of Easter so joy-filled.”
Beth Roberts, DRE, Christ the King Church, Fort Smith

Click here to return to the Lent 2012 index page.

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