“I just want Ashes”
When I was a seminarian, a senior priest (who has since retired) once warned me: “As a priest, you will learn to hate Ash Wednesday.” This was his particular response to the number of people who show up at the Church saying “I just want ashes.” Meaning, that there is no apparent desire to draw closer to God, no sense of understanding of Jesus in the Eucharist and no desire to grow as a disciple of Jesus, but rather they “just want ashes.” I must admit that I found in the earlier years of my priesthood that I too fell into a harsh judgment of those who “just want ashes”. Then I began to step away from preconceived notions and ask myself, “Isn’t this a positive thing?”–that people who may not be “all in” for the faith still want to be somehow connected with the Church this time of year? And in this world where the climate grows more and more hostile to the Church, should we not rather be celebrating those who seek an external indicator of Catholic identity? The reality is that none of us, with the exception of a few saints in our midst, practice our faith perfectly. So, who am I to judge those who “Just come for ashes”? Rather, I should celebrate that some sisters and brothers who may be wandering, questioning, or seeking, have decided to connect with Jesus and his Church in an external way on this day.
To those of you who find yourself here “just for ashes”, please know that you are welcomed, loved, accepted and respected here at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church. To those of use that are here weekly, even daily, let’s remember that none of us have “it all figured out” in regard to our faith either, and let’s welcome our brothers and sisters with open arms as we begin this lenten journey together by recalling that all this world is dust, but that God’s kingdom is eternal.
In Christ, Fr. Casey
Lent 2019 Schedule
- Ash Wednesday services: 7:30am, 12:15pm, 7pm (bilingual) Hypoallergenic incense will be used at the 7pm Ash Wednesday Mass.
- Bible Study -Time line with Jeff Cavins on Wednesdays at 7pm, during Lent.
- The Parish will be offering Eucharistic Adoration in the main church every Friday during lent after the 8:00am morning Mass until the 6:00pm evening Mass. Please sign up for your Eucharistic Adoration Hour.
- Schedule Stations of the Cross is every Friday during lent, 7:00pm, March 8 thru April 19th.
- In additional, our parish will be hosting a live “Stations of the Cross” with our youth and community. The event will take place Friday April 19th at 1:00pm, outside on church property.
- Confessions will be heard during Lent every Monday & Wednesday from 4pm to 6pm.
- Lenten Mission is on March 12th & 13th in English and March 14th in Spanish.