Pączki day and then 40!

One member of my Dominican community made a special effort to buy Pączki so we could have them for Pączki  Day or Fat Tuesday, the day before the 40 days of fasting we call Lent. My Polish ancestors could have told me how to pronounce Pączki , the delightful Polish filled donuts, but now I had to look it up on the internet.
Pączki , but then 40 days!  What should I do for those long 40 days? When I was teaching religion in a school in Tulsa, I encouraged the students to reflect on 40 days of Lent, but I delighted more in telling them to celebrate the 40 days after  Easter.
Now I am appreciating that both 40 days are important and go together like vinegar and honey. It’s not all a bowl of cherries.  Community life itself has Pączki  days and searching days.  Days to struggle with knowing how to be intentional in our antiracist actions and days to rejoice when we realize transformation and celebrate all people and cultures.  
Do you have special 40s?  From what do you fast?  For what do you pray?  Which action are you called to do to celebrate transformation this in 2020?

Joan Duerst OP
Madison, WI


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