Ash Wednesday, 2008

posted by Mike on February 6th, 2008

If I recall correctly, last Ash Wednesday the noon Cathedral mass was packed. This year, the church was maybe 3/4 full.

Bishop McManus
Bishop Robert McManus, after mass

After mass we began our Lenten fast and vigil for an end to the Iraq War. We started out by holding a banner near the Cathedral door, but were asked to move across the street. This was unfortunate, in that it probably left some passersby with the impression that we were protesting the church or something.

Holding a banner across the street. In the spirit of “Let no one see you fasting,” I tried to take photos of people’s backs.

All of the response I saw from churchgoers or people driving by was positive. Meanwhile, people handed out Jagerstatter holy cards to those leaving mass.

Handing out Jagerstatter holy cards

Then we went over to the Federal Building, where they didn’t care where we stood, so long as we weren’t blocking a door. I don’t have any good face-free pix of this part, so here you see Scott and Ken posing with the banner.


Nice omnibus Ash Wednesday post from Rocco Palmo. This bit sums up the point of the vigil, for me:

The crux of Ash Wednesday is one that fascinates, and rightfully so: in a world — and, indeed, in a church — too often obsessed with appearances, with shirking blame and maintaining an image of perfection (sometimes at any cost), all that gets turned inside out: I’m far from perfect. I don’t have all the answers. I can’t go it alone. What I do matters beyond myself.

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3 Comments Leave a comment.

  1. On February 6, 2008 at 18:05 Marc Magisana said:

    I enjoyed the words and pictures.

  2. On February 7, 2008 at 11:40 Tracy said:

    Thank you for the update. I would love to join you, but the 12:15 mass is tough with kids who nap at 12:30. If you do other things (or other times), please do post them ahead of time.

    (And thanks for the fun picture of Father Bob Johnson (with the umbrella); you’ll thrill my daughter, who is his goddaughter.)

  3. On February 7, 2008 at 11:45 Mike said:

    Tracy: I only wish I had a better zoom and had taken the picture faster; the bishop/priest/nun combination was wonderful. The guy standing next to me said, “It’s like something out of the middle ages.”

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