Ash Wednesday events let Catholic students show faith

Catholic students first began the chartered organization that would one day be known as the St. Peter Catholic Student Center in the early 1950’s. Photo courtesy of St. Peter Catholic Student Center.

By Sarah Pinkerton | Staff Writer

Fat Tuesday, Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent are all times of reflection for many Catholics.

As a reminder of the sacrifices of Christ, the Baylor Catholic Student Association will host Mass services and ash distribution throughout the day at Ellison Chapel and the St. Peter’s Catholic Student Center on Wednesday.

These services will be in addition to their weekly rosary event at 9 p.m. on Mondays outside of 1845 at Memorial.

In collaboration with St. Peter’s Catholic Student Center, the on-campus service for Ash Wednesday will include the liturgy of the Word with readings, a homily and the distribution of ashes.

There are set to be three Mass services with a distribution of ashes at 7:30 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. and a Latin Mass at 10:30 a.m. There will also be a distribution of ashes on campus at 9 a.m. in Elliston Chapel.

Denver junior Sophie Goodwin, president of the Catholic Student Association, said their intent is to reach out to Catholic students on campus who are not aware of St. Peter’s. It is an opportunity to witness the Catholic community at Baylor and become integrated into that community.

“Every event that we do, my hope is always that people leave it feeling like they are connected with the other Catholics at Baylor and they have strong supports to live the faith out with,” Goodwin said.

Typically, non-Catholic students will also attend the Ash Wednesday service.

“It’s really cool when people who aren’t Catholic come to our events because we really like exposing them to what Catholicism is, because there’s a lot of misunderstandings too and so just being able to let people encounter what it really is,” Goodwin said.

In addition, the weekly rosary event allows students an opportunity to gather together and pray with five to 15 other students, as a way to bring the Catholic faith to campus.

Waco junior and vice president Jordan Vanderpool said being a Catholic on Baylor’s campus and attending these events has provided him an opportunity to delve deep into his own faith in order to answer the hard questions others may have.

“A lot of people aren’t really familiar with Catholicism, so you’ll immediately get people asking you questions about your faith,” Vanderpool said. “You actually have to delve deep into the doctrines of the faith and what the faith means to you.”

Vanderpool said for Catholic students, the Ash Wednesday service and season of Lent is a time to remember the sacrifices of Christ and get in the mood of “memento mori,” the memory of death.

“Ash Wednesday, especially, is a great moment in the year when we are called to remember that we are made from ashes and to ashes we will return, and it causes us to really think through what our lives are, what we’re made for and it’s really humbling,” Goodwin said. “That’s a message that anyone, Catholic or not, can bring into their faith at any time.”