Ash Wednesday looks a bit different at our ministries this year. Outdoor Services, Livestreamed Masses, Ash Sprinkling, and additional varied worship opportunities are the new normal. These efforts made by our friars and the ministries in which we serve will help us be able to continue to celebrate this Lenten Season, while adhering to pandemic protocols.
Above is a video of the Mass celebrated at our pastoral ministry of Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church with Fr. Michael Lasky, OFM Conv. (Pastor & Province JPIC Chairman) assisted by our student friar currently serving as Director of The Franciscan Center, also in Coal Township) while in his Apostolic Year of Formation – friar Richard Rome, OFM Conv.
Our Lady of the Angels Province friar, Fr. Peter Tremblay, OFM Conv., Associate Chaplain for Catholic Life at Elon University, distributes ashes by sprinkling on the top of a student’s head, during a 9:00 a.m. Prayer Service in the University’s Lindner Amphitheater. Friar Peter also facilitated four more worship opportunities on campus, for the Elon Community, including an Outdoor Ecumenical Service and a 9:00 p.m. Indoor Mass.
Above is a video of the Mass celebrated at our pastoral ministry of Assumption Church, in Syracuse NY, with Our Lady of the Angels Province friar, Fr. Nicholas Spano, OFM Conv. (Parochial Vicar)
Our Lady of the Angels Province friars, Fr. Pedro De Oliveira, OFM Conv. (Pastor of St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ) and Fr. Marek Stybor, OFM Conv. (Parochial Vicar) visited the classrooms at their parish school to distribute ashes and blessed the school’s new chapel.
Above is the Gospel Reflection presented by Our Lady of the Angels Province friar, Fr. Gerry Waterman, OFM Conv. who serves as Campus Minister for Syracuse University (SU & SYNY-ESF) Catholic Campus Ministry.
Our Lady of the Angels Province friar, Fr. Dennis Grumsey, OFM Conv. – Pastor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore Pastorate including St. Casimir Church and St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church, distributes ashes in the classroom, at St. Casimir Catholic School.
Our Lady of the Angels Province friar, Fr. Timothy Dore, OFM Conv (Pastor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore Pastorate including St. Clement Mary Hofbauer Church, St. Michael the Archangel Church and the Church of the Annunciation RCC) celebrated a “School Mass” for the virtual students of St. Michael – St. Clement School, as well as for in-person parishioners. The students had a retreat day with the theme St. Joseph Patron of the Universal Church. During retreat, each grade took the opportunity to go over to church and participate in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. (above)
Mass was celebrated in the Archbishop Curley High School Gym as well as in the Suehle Auditorium to accommodate the safe spacing of the students. Our Lady of the Angels Province friar and President of Curley – Fr. Donald Grzymski, OFM Conv. was principal celebrant in the auditorium with the Curley Choir leading the music, and Fr. Chris Dudek, OFM Conv. (Campus Minister & Instructor) concelebrating. One of our friar-instructors serving at the school – Fr. Bryan Hajovsky, OFM Conv. was the principal celebrant in the gym, with the Praise Band providing the music.
Newman Student Center Parish in Chapel Hill, NC: Due to COVID restrictions and the unpredictability of crowd sizes for Ash Wednesday, the Newman Catholic Community in Chapel Hill, NC, forewent Masses or Liturgies of the Word with distribution of ashes in favor of a more mobile approach. Our Lady of the Angels Province friars, Fr. Tim Kulbicki, OFM Conv. – Pastor & Campus Minister and Fr. Bill Robinson, OFM Conv. – Parochial Vicar & Associate Campus Minister, together with staff and volunteers, organized drive-through (7-9:00 a.m. & 5-7:00 p.m.) and walk-up (Noon-1:30 p.m.) distribution of ashes. A Liturgy of the Word with the blessing of ashes was uploaded to YouTube with an email link notification to parishioners. About 75 cars drove through in the morning shift (which began at dawn with the temperature a balmy 28˚), with another 150 cars in the evening shift, and approximately 300 walk-ups. Each family group or student received a “swag bag” containing a brochure of Newman’s Lenten offering; a daily meditation resource for Lent; a Newman Lenten holy card; and a CRS Operation Rice Bowl.