By Ethan Kibbe, ’18
Lent begins Wednesday, Feb. 18, with the celebration of Ash Wednesday. St. Bonaventure University’s University Ministries is hosting four events throughout the day to begin the liturgical season.
At 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in the University Chapel in Doyle Hall, the Liturgy of the Word will be presented and ashes will be distributed. At 5 p.m. in the University Chapel, Mass will be held, and following the conclusion of the basketball game that evening, a final service will be held in the Thomas Merton Center to distribute ashes.
Lent begins 40 days before Easter Sunday and is a season of prayer, reflection and spiritual renewal. To achieve these ideals, University Ministries has created the tagline “Lent is More.”
According to Julianne Wallace, the university’s associate director of faith formation, worship and ministry, this provides students with a theme to consider during the season.
“Our goal is to do a focused push on faith and prayer and service during the Lenten season,” Wallace said. “We want to encourage students to consider what Lent is to them, other than just giving up chocolate or sweets or soda. What more can you do during Lent to build up your relationship with God and your relationships with others?”
“Lent is the Church’s retreat,” said Fr. Francis Di Spigno, O.F.M. “We don’t go anywhere, but we change what we’re doing and how we think about what we’re doing. We look at Lent as a time where we abstain from something or as a time of penance. So, typically, we look at Lent as a painful time or not a happy time or not a good time, but really, it’s a time to stop and slow down, to re-examine and re-evaluate.”
Throughout Lent, University Ministries will host several other events to encourage prayer and reflection. Stations of the Cross will be held at 4:45 p.m. every Friday. During the first week of March and again during a special service on March 18, confessions will be heard. Both events will take place in the University Chapel.
Additionally, at 9 p.m. on Tuesdays, Lenten spiritual yoga will be held. According to Wallace, the event is “yoga combined with the next week’s liturgical readings.”
The format of the Mass will change slightly as well.
“During Lent, we don’t do a homily at Mass,” Wallace said. “Instead, we have students give a reflection on the readings and how they apply to life. I think Saint Francis probably would have loved to hear from his brothers and sisters about how they’re being called by God.”
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. We are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. Our students are becoming extraordinary.
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