Community celebrates Ash Wednesday

Jordan Russell

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Students and faculty stand in the Stuart Hall gym as teacher Paul Pryor-Lorentz speaks to the audience to begin the Ash Wednesday service. The ceremony was held before first period and consisted of individuals from Convent and Stuart Hall High School.

WEB EXCLUSIVE Students from Convent & Stuart Hall gathered this morning before first period for Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of the Lent season.

The service was led by Rev. Eddy Gutierrez who guided ceremony and placed the traditional crosses made from ashes on the foreheads of students and faculty.

“Ideally [Ash Wednesday] is supposed to serve as a reminder of our way of connecting with God,” Gutierrez said. “It calls to remind us that we have a big job ahead of us, just as when Jesus was in the desert, in the way that we live our lives and bringing God into it.”  

As a result of Ash Wednesday not falling on a definitive date each year, this year the day overlapped with Valentine’s Day.

‘It’s actually very interesting having Ash Wednesday on Valentine’s Day because it hasn’t happened since 1945,” senior Francesca Petruzzelli said. “I know some people who are choosing to celebrate Valentine’s Day the day before or the day after Ash Wednesday, just because it doesn’t feel quite right to do it on the same day.”

Whether or not individuals chose to focus on Ash Wednesday, Valentine’s day or both, giving people the opportunity to celebrate the Christian holiday is appropriate, according to Petruzzelli.

“Ash Wednesday is a big deal for some people, so it’s important to acknowledge it,” Petruzzelli said. “Whether you’re Catholic or not, our community makes up a Catholic institution so it’s good to give people the space to celebrate the day.”