Ash Wednesday Service Enlightens McQuaid Community

Soprano, Eichas Share Personal Stories


Ashes are applied to students' foreheads in the John H. Ryan, Jr., Memorial Gymnasium on the first Wednesday of Lent

On March 6, a campus ministry-organized event allowed all members of the McQuaid Jesuit community to celebrate Ash Wednesday and join together as one in the faith.

On Wednesday morning the students of McQuaid were ushered to the John H. Ryan, Jr., Memorial Gymnasium in order to participate in a spiritually enhancing ritual through the distribution of ashes. At this event McQuaid students and faculty received black crosses of soot on their foreheads by several student and faculty distributors.

These crosses would remain on their foreheads all day as an outward sign of their religious devotion. The importance of the ashes can best be explained by Director of Retreats and Worship Mr. Nathan Drahms.

“Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent. When we receive ashes, we hear one of two phrases from the ash minister: ‘Repent and believe the Good News’ or ‘Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return’,” Mr. Drahms said.       

Mr. Drahms went into more detail about the significance of these two phrases.

“The first phrase reminds us of a historical practice where a person would wear ashes or sack cloth as an outward sign that he or she was choosing to live life differently. The second phrase reminds us of our mortality and the need to keep our lives focused on God. The spiritual disciplines of Lent — prayer, fasting, and almsgiving — challenge us to do both and, in doing so, help us in our journey to model our lives after Jesus,” Mr. Drahms said.   

The event was accompanied by the music ministry club led by Mr. Charles Smith.  Mr. Smith’s orchestra included many talented vocalists, three guitarists, a violin player, and Mr. Galambos on the bass guitar.

The assembly also included touching remarks on the Xavier Week theme, good men make great men, by senior David Eichas and science teacher Mrs. Lisa Soprano. Their honest words brought forward a lot of emotion and information for students to think over.

“I think that both speakers had very legitimate messages to give. It was more real than if someone from outside the school had come to speak,”  senior Jacob Hochadel said.

Overall the event was a grand success thanks to the hard work of the campus ministry department as well as the hard work of all those also involved. The entirety of the McQuaid community looks forward to next year’s celebration.