Lapsed for lent

ELHS Catholic students decide to or not to celebrate Lent

The tradition of Lent in the Catholic faith is a 40-day fast intended to help bring people together and to commemorate Jesus’ 40 days in the desert. Today, many people observe this by giving up something. For many people, this time is a way to bring themselves closer to faith and closer to their community. 

Many people observe religious periods for their families. Aaron White (11)  observes Lent because many members of his family are Catholic, so he proudly celebrates as it makes him feel much closer to his family. However, he doesn’t see many members of his extended family very often, so religious tradition helps him feel togetherness with that side of his family.

“My faith is just a way to connect with people that I might not necessarily connect to,” White said. 

In observance of Lent, White is giving up meat for the 40-day period. 

“It’s just an easy thing to cut out of my diet,” White said.

But not all students who grew up with religious backgrounds are celebrating. Alden Delgado (12) is formerly Catholic and left the church due to his disliking of the church’s teachings. He used to celebrate Lent, though following leaving the church, he no longer feels obligated to celebrate Lent and is now happier to be closer to his family through other means than religion.

“I just think [Lent is] a decent opportunity to reflect, but I feel more grounded after leaving,” Delgado said.

Ryan Sundermann (11) is culturally Catholic, but is not as religious despite still being in the church. This year he is not observing Lent. Even though he hasn’t been fully religious since middle school, the way he views his faith informs his life. 

“[Sometimes] I need some kind of stronger sense of security. So I think that my faith would provide me with that if I invest in more of the traditional parts,” Sundermann said.

Although Jack McGuire (12) was baptized as a baby, he is no longer practicing Catholicism. Over time he stopped practicing Lent as he stopped practicing many traditions of Catholicism.

“I think that if Catholicism has left as a way to connect more greatly with their God that’s great, but I don’t know if it allows me to necessarily use it,” McGuire said.