Man living on beer and water for lent

CORNING, IA (CBS) - Forty days of beer might sound like the ultimate frat party, but for one man it's a religious experience.

Each spring, during six weeks of sacrifice, millions give up cigarettes, sweets or soda. But inside the Adams County Free Press, the editors go all in.

A few years ago, J. Wilson was reading about Franciscan Monks and how they sustained themselves for the duration of lent on a specific beer.

Wilson is now committed to six weeks of nothing but his favorite nectar and water.

"I'll come to work and have my pint of breakfast," Wilson said.

Four times a day, Wilson will pour a pint, 1,200 calories a day, with a doctor monitoring his health. Wilson said he is not making any kind of mockery of faith by doing this.

"It's not a cavalier, silly stunt thing," Wilson said. "I'm genuinely curious about the monks and that kind of thing."

With the doctors making sure he stays healthy, pastors are also keeping him honest.

"I want to educate beer people about God, and I want to educate God people about beer," Wilson said.

Wilson said he is not taking this lightly because his health is important to him. He is happy that something that started out as a study in Franciscan history is now playing out in a main street newsroom.

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