Monday, February 18, 2013

Faithful use 'Lent Madness' for saintly gains

From Milwaukee-

The brackets are out, and the pools are under way. Players are sizing up the field. And there's no shortage of hype as that annual rite of spring begins en route to the championship.

March Madness?

Check your calendar.

This is Lent Madness, a saintly smackdown in which pious protagonists - from John the Baptist to Martin Luther and Martin Luther King Jr. - battle it out for the right to claim the Golden Halo.

"There's no reason we have to be dreary during Lent," said the Rev. Tim Schenck, a Milwaukee native who runs the online devotional at www.lentmadness.org with a fellow Episcopal priest, Father Scott Gunn.

"This gets to the joy of Lent," said Schenck, who serves a parish on Boston's south shore. "And what could be more joyful than a season specifically set aside to get to know God in a more intimate way?"

The 2013 tournament, which began Thursday, draws participants from across the country and across denominational lines.

At the website, celebrity bloggers tout the virtues of their respective candidates - all saints on the Episcopal calendar - and the faithful vote online.

So far this year, Jonathan Daniels, a martyr of the American civil rights movement, trounced the obscure Macrina the Younger. Third-century St. Lucy edged out perennial favorite John the Baptist. And Ignatius of Antioch won Saturday's "Battle of the Iggys" in a matchup with Ignatius of Loyola.

More here-

http://www.jsonline.com/features/religion/faithful-use-lent-madness-for-saintly-gains-d88q8s1-191612431.html

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