For the friars of the Province of Our Lady of the Angels in the U.S.A. (OLA), the beginning of Lent was different this year.
Friar Michael LASKY (Pastor and Province Chairman for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation), celebrated Mass at Our Lady of Hope Church in Coal Township, Pennsylvania. Friar Michael was assisted by Friar Richard ROME, a student who is now Director of the nearby Franciscan Center as he carries out his apostolic year of formation.
Friar Peter TREMBLAY, Associate Chaplain for Catholic Life at the University of Elon, North Carolina, distributed ashes at 9:00 a.m. in the University’s Lindner Amphitheater by sprinkling them on top of the student’s heads. Friar Peter also celebrated other events on campus for the Elon community, including an outdoor ecumenical service and an indoor Mass at 9:00 p.m.
Friar Nicholas SPANO, Parish Vicar, celebrated Mass in the Parish of the Assumption in Syracuse, New York.
Friar Pedro DE OLIVEIRA, Pastor of St. Peter’s Church, Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey and Friar Marek STYBOR, Parish Vicar, visited the classrooms at their parish school to distribute ashes. They also blessed the school’s new chapel.
Friar Gerry WATERMAN, Campus Minister for Syracuse University, New York, streamed an Ash Wednesday Gospel reflection.
Friar Dennis GRUMSEY, Pastor of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Maryland, distributed ashes in the classrooms at St. Casimir Catholic School.
Friar Timothy DORE, another pastor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, celebrated a “school Mass” for the students of St. Michael – St. Clement School who were attending online, as well as for the parishioners who were personally attending. The students had a retreat day with the theme “St. Joseph Patron of the Universal Church.” During the retreat, each grade took the opportunity to go over to the church and participate in the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
Masses were celebrated at Archbishop Curley High School, in Baltimore, Maryland. The liturgies were held in the school’s Suehle Auditorium as well as in its gymnasium. The Mass in the auditorium was presided over by Friar Donald GRZYMSKI (President of the high school) with Friar Chris DUDEK (Campus Minister and teacher) concelebrating. Hymns were sung by the “Curley Choir.” Mass in the gymnasium was presided over by Friar Bryan HAJOVSKY (teacher) with the “Praise Band” providing music.
At the Newman Catholic Community in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Friar Tim KULBICKI (Pastor and Campus Minister) and Friar Bill ROBINSON (Parish Vicar and Associate Campus Minister), together with staff and volunteers, organized a “drive-through” distribution of ashes (7:00-9:00 a.m. and 5:00-7:00 p.m.). They also organized a “walk-up” distribution (12:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m.). A broadcast version of the Liturgy of the Word with the blessing of the ashes was uploaded to YouTube. About seventy-five cars drove through during the morning shift, which began at dawn with the temperature a balmy 28˚ F (-2˚ C). There were approximately three hundred “walk-ups.”
For further information about Ash Wednesday in the OLA Province, go to: