Saint James Episcopal Church of Goshen NY

Where Everyone Is Welcome!

Lent Madness 2015, Begins February, 19

Lent Madness 2015  (Get your Bracket form or Print it out from link below, also signup for daily emails for the event from this link).

The Saintly Smack Down Fundraiser  What do you get when you combine a love of sports with Holy Saints? Lent Madness of course. Based loosely on the wildly popular NCAA basketball tournament, Lent Madness pits 32 saints against one another in a single-elimination bracket as they compete for the coveted Golden Halo. But it is more than that: Lent Madness is really an online devotional tool designed to help people learn about saints.  Lent Madness began in 2010 as the brainchild of the Rev. Tim Schenck, an Episcopal priest. In seeking a fun, engaging way for people to learn about the men and women comprising the church’s calendar of saints, Schenck came up with this unique Lenten devotion. Combining his love of sports with his passion for the lives of the saints, Lent Madness was born.  Here’s how it works: on the weekdays of Lent information is posted about two different saints on and then participants vote to determine who goes on to the next round.

Each pairing remains open for a set period of time – usually 24 hours – and people vote for their favorite saint. 16 saints make it to the Round of the Saintly Sixteen; eight advance to the Round of the Elate Eight; four make it to the Faithful Four; two to the Championship; and the winner is awarded the Golden Halo. The first round consists of basic biographical information about each of the 32 saints. Things get a bit more interesting in the subsequent rounds as we offer quotes and quirks, explore legends, and even move into the area of saintly kitsch. It’s fun, it’s informative, it’s the saintly smack down!  To win in 2015 will take grit, determination, holiness, and perhaps some good old-fashioned luck. This year Lent Madness features a slate of saints ancient and modern, Biblical and ecclesiastical as they vie to fill the shoes of 2014 winner Charles Wesley.

This all kicks off on “Ash Thursday,” February, 19th, and will continue throughout the 40-day season of Lent. To participate, log onto, where you can also print out a bracket (and sign-up for daily emails for each contest) and fill it out to see how you fare or “compete” against friends and family members. Like that other March tournament, there will be drama and intrigue, upsets and thrashings, last-minute victories and Cinderella’s.  If you’re looking for a Lenten discipline that is fun, educational, occasionally goofy, and always joyful, join the Lent Madness journey. Lent needn’t be all doom and gloom. After all, what could be more joyful than a season specifically set aside to grow closer to God?  How do I Play?

1. Pick up a blank 2015 bracket(s) from John Strobl or print it off the Lent Madness website

2. Fill out your bracket sheet (or as many as you wish) with your picks (be sure to put your name on top!) Make a copy for yourself and submit a copy to John Strobl, the official parish Lent Madness Coordinator with your $10.00 entry fee (per bracket sheet & booklet). We need all entries by Ash Wednesday February, 18.

3. The entry fee will be donated to 1 of 3 St. James’ Funds (St. James’ Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, or St. James’ Community Dinner). The final point winner will get to choose the fund and will receive a VALUABLE Lent Madness Prize!!!

4. We will use a “simple” point system to decide the winner. There are many different ways of scoring brackets. To strike a balance between correctly picking early rounds and correctly guessing the winner, we’ll award 2 points for first round picks, 3 for second round picks, then 5, 8, and 13. This gives a total of 105 possible points, and the possible points from each round are 32, 24, 20, 16, and 13.

5. Our St. James’ Parish winner will be declared after the Golden Halo is awarded.

6. We will have a large bracket posted for all to see and we will list the leaders after each round.  Fr. Carl will be offering Adult Education on Saints in Lent to tie into Lent Madness

Our Lent Madness guarantee: during Lent, 2015, you will learn more about Saints than you have ever known!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *