THE DOMINICAN “LONG LENT”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in September I will begin offering to God the Traditional Dominican Penance, called the “Long Lent” or “Great Monastic Fast” for the repentance of priests and bishops guilty of child abuse, for the reparation of their sins against God and His children, including their immoral handling of such cases, and for the healing of all people who have suffered from this abuse, including their family and friends, and all people. God desires faithful bishops and priests in His Church. He desires all shepherds to be faithful in preaching, teaching and living the Truth and Love of Christ for the salvation of all people. I hope and pray that others will join me in offering this penance that God’s Church may be fully purified, healed and sanctified through God’s grace. Would you please consider joining me? This penance will be offered daily (except Sundays and Solemnities) from the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Friday, September 14th) until the Easter Vigil (Saturday, April 20th), including all Fridays throughout the year. May all Catholics, all people, open their hearts to enter the Passion of Christ sacrificially through penance for repentance, reparation and healing in the Church.
For myself, this penance during the “Long Lent” will first involve fasting by eating only 1 full meal per day, normally dinner, and 1 small meal either in the morning or the afternoon, and bread and water for the other meal. This also includes abstinence from all meat on Fridays during the “Long Lent” and throughout the year. This is a choice I have made for myself.
As for yourself, before you decide to do this penance, remember that your age, health or dietary needs may prevent you from participating. For this reason, please be prudent in determining this for yourself. This penance is not for everyone.
On the other hand, if you decide that you can participate, please use these canonical norms for Lent in the Latin Church (including any norms that your ordinary may establish in your diocese) as guidance for fasting during the “Great Monastic Fast” or “Long Lent.” First of all, on Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, and Good Friday, the Roman Church requires Catholics to fast and abstain from meat. Moreover, all Fridays during Lent are days of fasting and abstinence from meat. All members of the Latin Catholic Church, ages 18 to 59, are required to fast. This means only eating 1 full meal per day, and 2 smaller meals that together do not equal a full meal. The norms concerning abstinence from meat are required of all members of the Latin Church from age 14. Finally, all Fridays throughout the year are days of penance for Catholics (see Canons 1249-1253).
Futhermore, prayer cannot be separated from fasting, as Jesus teaches in the Gospel. On the contrary, fasting prepares a person to offer a greater act of faith, hope and love to God in prayer. As such, I have decided to offer a fourth Rosary daily for repentance, reparation and healing in the Church. I will also be offering a Mass every Friday for this intention.
I hope and pray that many people will consider joining me in offering this penance by practicing the “Long Lent” through fasting and prayer. This will be an annual penance for repentance, reparation and healing in the Church. I have never abused a child in my life or in my vocation as a priest nor will I ever, but inasmuch as I am a sinner, I certainly have abused Christ and His Church spiritually and morally at times through my thoughts, words, actions and omissions. Consequently, I accuse myself in God’s presence, in the presence of Blessed Mary, St. Dominic and all God’s people of having sinned or failed at times in my life and vocation as a shepherd of the Church. On this basis, in offering to God this Long Lent of fasting and prayer, I also include myself as someone in need of repentance, reparation and healing. May God help me and all priests become holy shepherds of God’s people. If you are interested in joining me in this ministry, please email or message me.
In Christ with Blessed Mary,
Friar Mariano D. Veliz, O.P.,
Promoter of the Rosary