Students, faculty and staff gathered on February 17th to celebrate Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Lenten season, a solemn forty day period of fasting and penitence observed by Catholics as they prepare for Easter (April 4th).
Campus Minister Michael Blanchette celebrated the prayer service in the school's chapel with the students/faculty receiving ashes in their classrooms.
After the service, Principal Kevin Beirne spoke to the classrooms via livestream. "When I think about the many Lenten seasons I have lived through, I realize that I viewed many of them as a period of time in the frigid cold winter when I couldn’t eat sweets - I gave them up because those around me were giving up similar things, and when Easter finally came, I really hadn’t changed much except that I was hungrier! This Lent, I’m going to try to view this time as an 'invitation' not an obligation."
Principal Beirne challenged his students and faculty members to take full advantage of this most spiritual time in the Catholic faith. "In the past twelve months, you have already gone without many things, you’ve already made sacrifices. So for this Lent, instead of an obligation, let's instead accept the invitation to see this time as a spring cleaning of our lives and to be better agents of love in this world -a time to go without something if it helps us to be more mindful; to hold close what matters most and to get rid of what's keeping us from being our best selves; to take the time to think about how to create a more just world; The Lenten road, the invitation to reflection, prayer, sacrifice, penance, ultimately leads to joy."