Ash Wednesday: How are Students Observing Lent?


Image Courtesy of the Chicago Tribune

By Zachary Lichter

Between February 22 and April 9, Catholics will observe the season of Lent. 

Lent is a 40 day period that comes from the forty days Jesus spent in the desert before beginning His public ministry. During these forty days, Catholics will sacrifice something or give up something as a form of penance. They could also  do some sort of devotion like attending Mass every day. In addition, Catholics will not eat meat on Ash Wednesday and Fridays during Lent. However, Catholics can still eat eggs, dairy products, and fish on Fridays. The point of Lent is that it is a way for Catholics to try to become better Christians as they prepare for the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter.

Sophomore history and secondary education major Sarah Mastoros gave her comments about Lent:

“The part about Lent I like the most is changing myself by staying away from something that I enjoy to sacrifice for God,” Mastoros said. “People should observe Lent because it allows us to make a sacrifice of something that we enjoy to bring us closer to God. Jesus giving up His life on the cross for our sins was the ultimate sacrifice. We can use the forty days to come closer to God and understand how much He loves us.”

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, which is February 22. Students at the Catholic University of America (CUA) will had the opportunity to receive ashes during Mass at the St. Vincent DePaul Chapel at 8:00 a.m., 12:05 pm, 5:10 p.m., 8:00 p.m., and 10:00 p.m. Students also had the opportunity to receive ashes along with the Liturgy of the Word at 8:30 a.m. in the Caldwell Hall Auditorium, 12:30 p.m. in the Columbus School of Law Auditorium, and 5:30 p.m. in the Caldwell Hall Auditorium. There is also an option during Holy Hour at 9:00 p.m. in the St. Vincent DePaul Chapel. If students would like to go off campus to receive ashes, they can go to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, where there will be Mass at 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. in the Crypt Church. At 12:10 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. students can receive ashes in the Great Upper Church

Beginning this Lenten season, students will have the opportunity to deepen their faith by joining a 6-Week Lent Small Group Series, which a Student Minister will lead. The groups will be split up by gender, underclassman, upperclassman, or graduate students, with eight to ten people participating. Students can pray, read, and discuss the book Searching for And Maintaining Peace by Father Jacques Philipe. The sessions will be from February 24 to April 9. Students can sign up on the Nest before Ash Wednesday.

Sophomore finance major Nicholas Robben gave his comments about Lent.

“Through observing Lent, I’ve learned the value of self-discipline, sacrifice, and prayer,” Robben said. “It has helped me become a better Catholic and a better person by providing me with an opportunity to reflect on my values, priorities, and relationship with God. Lent has also given me a sense of community and connection with other Catholics who are also observing the season, which is a source of support and inspiration.”

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