JCA celebrates Ash Wednesday in unique fashion

Joliet Catholic Academy staff and students, both in-person and virtually, participated in today’s Ash Wednesday Mass. Mass was streamed live from the Mary, Our Sister Chapel to students physically present in their 8th period classes and at home.
Our extraordinary ministers then visited JCA 8th period classes to distribute ashes in the European fashion, sprinkled on the top of the head.
Thank you to Fr. Jeff Smialek, O.Carm. and Mrs. Missy Ferro in campus ministry for coordinating this special day, a solemn reminder of human mortality and the need for reconciliation with God. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a 40 day season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving in preparation for the celebration of our Lord’s Resurrection at Easter.
During Lent, we seek the Lord in prayer by reading Sacred Scripture; we serve by giving alms; and we practice self-control through fasting. We are called not only to abstain from luxuries during Lent, but to a true inner conversion of heart as we seek to follow Christ’s will more faithfully. We recall the waters of baptism in which we were also baptized into Christ’s death, died to sin and evil, and began new life in Christ.
Many know of the tradition of abstaining from meat on Fridays during Lent, but we are also called to practice self-discipline and fast in other ways throughout the season. Contemplate the meaning and origins of the Lenten fasting tradition in this reflection. In addition, the giving of alms is one way to share God’s gifts—not only through the distribution of money, but through the sharing of our time and talents. As St. John Chrysostom reminds us: “Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life. The goods we possess are not ours, but theirs.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2446).


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