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Mass, penance scheduled

Nikki Taylor | Wednesday, February 6, 2008

With the start of the Lenten season today, both Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s will be offering prayer services and Masses to observe Ash Wednesday.

Mass will be celebrated at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart today at 11:30 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. At Saint Mary’s, Mass will be celebrated at 7 and 11 a.m. at the Church of Our Lady of Loretto and at 9 p.m. in the Regina Chapel. There will also be a Liturgy of the Word and distribution of ashes at 12:15 and 6 p.m. in the Regina Chapel.

“Ash Wednesday services will be standing room only in the chapel,” Judy Fean, director of Campus Ministry at Saint Mary’s, said.

Father Joe Carey, assistant director of Campus Ministry (CM) at Notre Dame, said he expects students to fill the Ash Wednesday services.

“The Masses in the Basilica and the residence halls are well attended every year,” Carey said.

Since one of the main focuses of Lent is penance, CM will host a campus-wide Lenten Penance service Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. After the prayer service there will be 10 priests available for individual confessions, Carey said.

For a deeper spiritual experience, both schools also will be offering retreats during the Lenten season. The Four:7 Catholic fellowship is sponsoring a Lenten retreat, “The Journey Through the Desert,” this weekend. At Saint Mary’s, there will be a Busy Person’s Retreat, designed to fit the hectic schedules of students.

Running from Feb. 10-14, this type of retreat takes up one hour every day. Participants spend 30 minutes per day in prayer and then another 30 minutes talking with a spiritual guide, Fean said.

Father John Pearson will host a three-part analysis on Catholicism and Lent entitled, “Sin, Grace, and Reconciliation.” He will discuss these topics during the next three Tuesdays.

The Lenten tradition of Stations of the Cross will be observed at both campuses. Stations of the Cross will be held every Friday during Lent at 7:15 p.m. in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. In addition, Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame will both be hosting campus-wide Stations of the Cross in March.

Notre Dame’s Cross Cultural Ministries will also be hosting a Lenten Day of Reflection at Creek House on Feb. 24.

Fean said she hopes the variety of events and services available to students will allow them to fit some of them into their schedules.

“We have different events from last year. We are looking forward to offering opportunities throughout the six weeks so students can take advantage and grow spiritually,” Fean said.

This is “a season when everyone in this community is encouraged to examine his or her life and see how they can live holier lives,” Carey said.