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Students react to Lenten season

Dustin VonHandorf | Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Today, many Catholics will attend Mass and receive ashes to symbolize humility in their faith. Not only does Ash Wednesday denote Catholic modesty, it also marks the beginning of the Lenten holiday leading to Easter. The University offers numerous activities that allow students to become more involved in the Church during the holy season.Alumni President Paul Sifuentes said his hall will host the “Last Homily” series. The series will be held Mondays at 9 p.m. and will include Mass, with a homily written in a similar fashion to the “Last Lecture” series. The homilies will focus on the readings for the day as opposed to any religious topic, Sifuentes said. “We hope to turn this into a more frequent thing [occurring outside of Lent],” he said.In addition to its regularly scheduled daily Mass, Sunday Mass and Vespers, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart will offer Stations of the Cross every Friday at 7:15 p.m.Junior Tanisa Johnson said that as of now, she has no specific plans for the weeks leading up to Easter. “I’m not Catholic, but [Lent is about] reflection, I guess,” she said. “It usually means giving up something.”Other students acknowledge that Lent is a time for reflection, yet also see it as a marker for the end of the year.”[Lent is] time to relax and get ready for the end of the school year,” said freshman Rudolph Nkinzingabo. “It’s also about my religious life and return to God,” he added. “Personally, I want to concentrate on my religious life because I’ve fallen away from God.”A significant number of Notre Dame students, however, still take advantage of the Lenten season. “To me, Lent is a time to prepare for Easter, and think about the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us and His great love,” said freshman Julia Jenkins. “Instead of giving up anything specific, I want to do things instead, like going to the Grotto more often and going to Mass and the rosary through the week.”Jenkins said she plans to go to Stations of the Cross. Freshman Elizabeth Ludemann agrees. “This year, I think I am going to give up ice cream and frozen yogurt, and go to the Grotto, and take more time for prayer,” she said. “[Lent is] a time to think about the sacrifice of Jesus and make sacrifices ourselves, and reflect on their meaning.”