By Ashley Miller 18’
Catholic Student Fellowship had the privilege to host an Ash Wednesday Mass on campus to begin the season of Lent on March 1. Father Daniel Hennessey, Vocations Officer of the Archdiocese of Boston, led the mass along with the help of several students.
Matt Johnson, one of the leaders of Catholic Student Fellowship, explained the importance of Lent to the Catholic faith. He said, “Lent is a time of preparation for the resurrection of Jesus during Easter. Some ways Catholics find themselves preparing is by prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Ash Wednesday is the gateway into Lent where we take on our Lenten practices as we journey towards Easter, hoping to be fully ready to celebrate come time Jesus’ resurrection. Drawn from biblical tradition rooted in scripture, the practice of distributing ashes signifies penitence and a turning to the Lord for forgiveness. Likewise, during Ash Wednesday we are given ashes upon our heads to remind us both of our finiteness and our need to turn back to the Lord.”
Students who helped organize the mass include Haley Seward ‘17, Matt Johnson ‘17, Dominic Paradis ‘17, Jacqueline Tetrault ‘17, Rosemary Crimp ‘20, and Victoria Ganss ‘19.
Along with the annual Ash Wednesday Mass on-campus, Catholic Student Fellowship is introducing something new this semester: a Lenten challenge called 40 Days and 40 Nights. The goal of this challenge is to choose something in your life that is close to you to give up, or to commit to prayer and spiritual practices that will take up time of the day that you consider free time for other activities. The purpose of these sacrifices is to remind us of our weaknesses as human beings, but also to illuminate our strength through Christ and how much we truly need Him. Explaining this Lenten challenge, Seward said, “The season of Lent stretches from March 1 to April 15. These 40 days reflect the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness preparing for his ministry. We set aside these 40 days to prepare our hearts for the resurrection of Jesus, typically through sacrifice, prayer, and service. Some individuals choose to give something up that is dear to them, others commit to prayer and spiritual disciplines, and others engage in service to God and His people. The idea is to fill ourselves with Jesus rather than many of the things constantly stealing our minds and hearts.”
Catholic Student Fellowship encourages the Gordon community to make a commitment to celebrate lent and to encourage others to think about Christ’s sacrifice and what that means to them.