The Archdiocese of Hartford asked parishioners to avoid using their cell phones on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday last year. This year, it is launching Phone Fast Fridays and asking parishioners to turn the cell phone off all Fridays during Lent.
The motto of the campaign is: “Silencing our busy phones, will give God a chance to call our hearts.”
“We are not saying that cell phones are bad. But, we are saying that they certainly consume a lot of our time. Time that we could spend on prayer and reflection or making time for a neighbor that may need our help. That’s what Lent is about,” Maria Zone, director of communications of the archdiocese, said in a statement.
The first Friday in Lent is Feb. 16.
During Lent, church doors and doors of confessionals will be open on Mondays. The Archdiocese of Hartford has also put together a website: ConfessionMondays.com, which will list the times and locations of confessions for each parish in the archdiocese.
Confession Mondays begin on Feb. 19.
Ash Wednesday, which falls on Feb. 14, and Good Friday, which is March 30, are days of fast and abstinence, whereas all Fridays during Lent are days of abstinence for people between 18 and 59.
To fast means to refrain from eating food between meals and to eat only one full meal with the other two being lighter meals. Liquids are permitted between meals.
Abstinence requires parishioners 14 and older to refrain from eating meat.