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Catholic Vancouver Feb. 27, 2019

YouTube priest back at it this Lent

By Agnieszka Ruck

Father Nick Meisl, the Vancouver priest behind Ask Fr. Nick, has returned to YouTube to answer questions about fasting, prayer, and other Lenten practices. (Matthew Furtado photo)

Thousands have seen his videos about saints, yoga, and wearing one’s Sunday best. Now, the priest of Ask Fr. Nick is back at it again – this time, taking questions about Lent.

Many people “were wondering why we give up things for Lent, or why we have different practices” like abstaining from meat on Fridays, said Vancouver priest Father Nick Meisl.

Instead of approaching Lent this way, he suggested in an interview with The B.C. Catholic, “Lent is a time to make sure, first of all, we’re doing the spiritual practices we want to do.”

During this liturgical season, Catholics should make good on personal resolutions like praying more often or reading a chapter of the Bible daily. “Make sure you do those things that you would like to do, and do them well. Then, give something up.”

Father Meisl, currently teaching at St. Mark’s and Corpus Christi colleges, launched the Ask Fr. Nick series in 2017 with the help of Surrey videographer Matthew Furtado. He took questions online and via social media users posting with the hashtag #askfrnick. His video on whether Catholics can practice yoga has been viewed nearly 11,000 times.

Now, Father Meisl hopes his answers to Lenten questions will help Catholics in the Lower Mainland, and across the digital world, experience Lent in a meaningful way.

“I hope it lets us see these Lenten practices we have are really great ways that we can welcome God into our lives more, and become more aware of those who suffer, as we prepare for the resurrection of Jesus at Easter.”

His Lenten videos will go live on YouTube beginning March 7. He addresses various questions from how to fast when faced with illness, to whether eating simulated meat is a valid form of fasting on Friday.

The first video, in which Father answers the question “How do you prepare for Lent?” is now online here.