Campus ministry directors plan Feb. 26 Mass

Ash Wednesday service will take place on special Day 1 schedule


Jonas Hollis

Just as they did in September for the 9/11 Mass, students will gather in the Welch Activity Center on Feb. 26 for the Ash Wednesday Mass.

Ella Bundy , Reporter

Ash Wednesday marks the first day of Lent, a period that is special and significant for most Christians. For many Protestants and all Catholics, a cross is marked upon the foreheads of the believers. 

This cross is drawn in ash, and it symbolizes the repentance of the season. The priest then says, “You are dust and unto dust you shall return.”

Director of campus ministry Mrs. Charlene Witka said, “This Mass is not holy (as a day of obligation), but it’s a Mass for people to come to begin their journey of Lent.” She said she believes this is a time for spiritual awakening and believes the school is fortunate to be able to express its faith through Masses and other ceremonies.

Freshman Olivia Griffith noted her interpretation of the significance of Lent. “Now that I am older, I truly understand what Lent means and what it leads up to. I now have a deeper appreciation of penance, fasting and the reflection that is part of the preparation for Easter,” she said.

Theology teacher Mrs. Cece Kasberg ‘83 added that “anyone can get ashes; Lent is a 40-day period of denying self, 40 days of spiritually walking through the desert. There are no distractions, so you have a lot of time to think good thoughts or read scripture.”

So, with Ash Wednesday being such an impactful day, due to it signifying the beginning of Lent, the planning of the school’s Mass starts early 

Assistant campus director Mrs. Sara Bozzelli-Levine said, “First we determine if this is an all-school Mass or a daily morning mass in the chapel. The chapel Masses are planned in advance as we schedule priests to celebrate the Masses for the month. They use the daily Mass readings that are universal in the world,” she said.

Students plan the liturgy, read the scripture and organize eucharistic ministers, ushers and servers. Campus ministry sets up the Mass by bringing all the challices, hosts and wine to be consecrated, the gospel/ liturgy guide, candles, crucifix, tables, altar cloth and writing the prayers of the faithful.

Lent is a time during which many people of faith give up something they love to serve themselves and the others around them.

Griffith said that she gives up red meat during Lent, due to it being the main protein source of her diet, and that her family has a donation rice bowl, where they save spare change for charity.

Kasberg said that she gives up swearing and gossip. She said that every time she wants to do one of those things, it makes her stop and think about why she isn’t doing using her words in tht manner and redirects her thoughts to Christ.

Instead of giving things up personally,  Bozzelli-Levine said, “We give to others, give to yourself, do something for others, serve the greater good and make the sacrifice of yourself, your time and even your treasure.”

This year, Mass falls on a Day 1, so there will be adjusted scheduled for that day’s Mass on Feb. 26.