Ash Wednesday: How It All Started


February 22, 2023 Cardinal Newman high schoolers gathered for an Ash Wednesday
Mass. What is Ash Wednesday? It is the marking of the beginning of a 40 day Lenten season not including the 6 Sundays between. These 40 days mark the period of time where Jesus avoided temptation from the devil while fasting. In the Catholic faith this is when you choose to give something up or obtain a new lifestyle. For example, if you love chocolate for 40 days you might consider giving that up. A lifestyle example could be choosing to drink 64oz of water everyday. This teaches us discipline and is an everyday reminder that we are in the Lenten season. Most students and teachers choose to fast this day and not eat meat every Friday until Easter has passed. In the Book of Matthew we learn that when we fast we are to remember that we do this for God not for narcissistic reasons. God sees us fasting so therefore we are to be content with that and not feel the need to share this with others.

The 22nd the high school witnessed our Ash Wednesday Mass. Palms from last Palm Sunday were burnt down to create the ashes placed upon our foreheads. The words “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return” or “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” were said as the ashes were placed. In the Book of Job, Job says, while suffering and fearing God, that he suffers but sees God and that he repents for the faults he has done and the tasks he did not fulfill. Most of the student body expressed that it felt special having other high school students who were Eucharistic Ministers place the ashes on their foreheads. They got to experience having this religious connection with their classmates. Overall, Cardinal Newman made it possible to start the Lenten season as a community.