Bishop hosts series of Lenten reflections to savor the Lord

CLICK for an invitation from Bishop McClory.           

  MERRILLVILLE – As Catholics continue their journey toward Easter this Lenten season, Bishop Robert J. McClory is inviting them to “Encounter, Grow and Witness” God through a series of five Lenten Holy Hours that will be offered both in person and virtually beginning this week at St. John the Evangelist in St. John.

            “As we look to this Lent, I invite the people of the Diocese of Gary to join me either in person or virtually through our Thursday night holy hours that will be held for five weeks during Lent. It will be an opportunity for us to savor the presence of the Lord in person and also to hear me preach on a series of themes to help guide us throughout all of Lent,” Bishop McClory said.

            The Lenten series will originate from a different parish at 7 p.m. each Thursday, Feb. 25-March 25, in an effort to reach out into different areas of the Diocese of Gary, and larger churches were tapped as a way to welcome as many people as possible in person. Those interested in attending should check with the particular parish website in advance, since some may require registration.

            “We’ve left it up to the parishes to handle it the way they want to due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols,” said Michael Wick, diocesan chief of staff.

            The schedule of Lenten Holy Hours, all at 7 p.m., is as follows:

            Feb. 25 – St. John the Evangelist, St. John ( (no RSVP required)

            March 4 – Queen of All Saints, Michigan City ( (no RSVP required)

            March 11 – St. Michael the Archangel, Schererville (

            March 18 – St. Patrick, Chesterton (

            March 25 – St. Paul, Valparaiso ( (no RSVP required)

            “Last year, I preached six of the eight days of Holy Week, while this year we will hold a night series of Eucharistic Holy Hours in different parishes, a series of talks (that will provide the opportunity for people to) accompany me through a Lenten journey,” Bishop McClory announced at the recent Diocesan Pastoral Council meeting.

            Wick elaborated that each Eucharistic Holy Hour will include “the exposition of the Holy Eucharist, quiet prayer, a Scripture reading, a reflection offered by the bishop, sacred music and a benediction.”

            In addition to in-person attendance, each weekly service will be livestreamed and also recorded to be available on the Diocese of Gary website ( for later viewing, Wick said.

            “The bishop wants to be available to the parishes, but in a safe, enriching manner,” added Wick, “and this series utilizes the season of Lent to provide an opportunity for Catholics to focus on your relationship with Christ and deepen your faith, both a renewal and revival.”

            Father Doug Mayer, pastor at St. Paul, welcomes the invitation to host “one more wonderful, enriching spiritual opportunity” with the bishop as part of his parish’s Lenten offerings. “We are offering a variety of Lenten opportunities for those who feel comfortable (attending) in person or by livestream and on YouTube, including Ash Wednesday liturgies, our Wild Goose series and Thursday night veneration and adoration services by candlelight with Father Jeff (Burton) through March 18, capped off welcoming Bishop McClory for his Lenten talk on March 25,” Father Mayer said.

            “We have to be disciples to make disciples, rooted in our relationship with Jesus,” Wick noted. “We can’t give to others what we don’t have ourselves. Looking ahead to a time (after the pandemic) when we can ‘Go, Be Disciples,’ we will know how to move forward.”