BATAVIA—Anyone who has gone to Mass at Holy Cross Parish recently has already heard about the new Lent program there: Holy CrossFit!
The brainchild of its pastor, Father James Parker, Holy CrossFit is a series of challenges for the 40 days of Lent. Each is aimed at improving spiritual, emotional, physical, and intellectual health.
“The last several years CrossFit has gained in popularity across the country as a way to achieve great physical fitness,” Father Parker says. “So, I thought, ‘Wow, just as CrossFit emphasizes several areas of physical growth — strength, cardio and endurance — the Church encourages spiritual fitness in three categories — prayer, fasting and alms giving.’ Therefore, Holy CrossFit was born.”
Tim Glemkowski, Holy Cross high school and young adult minister, ran with the idea.
“CrossFit gyms — called ‘boxes’ — are famous for their ability to inspire people to collectively push each other on to greater and more arduous physical tasks,” Glemkowski says.
“The idea for us then was, ‘What if we can bottle that spirit, that ethos of teamwork but put it to work in challenging each other as members of Holy Cross to greater heights of holiness?’
“The result is this Holy CrossFit initiative,” he adds. “We’re taking up, as a whole parish, very concrete, achievable spiritual practices each day, and charting our progress individually, so as to grow in our spiritual health.”
Father Parker says the Holy CrossFit challenge can be done in addition to regular Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
The parish designed a flyer (see page 5) that lists all of the daily challenges on the back. The front has boxes to check off as participants complete each day’s challenge.
The flyers were available at the Holy Cross Parish office and at all Masses on Ash Wednesday.
Parishioners will also receive morning a reminder via Flock-note messages.
While designed for the parish, the “Holy CrossFit” can be adapted to any parish for Lent.