University of Alaska Anchorage students, faculty and staff received ashen crosses on their foreheads March 5 for Ash Wednesday — the start of the Lenten 40-day period of prayer, fasting and alms giving that culminates in Holy Week and Easter Sunday.
Anchorage Archbishop Roger Schwietz traced the ashes on about 20 people who attended the midday gathering in the university’s library. Father Patrick Brosamer, associate pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, assisted during the liturgy.
The event was coordinated through the Cardinal Newman Club, a campus group for local college students.
On Ash Wednesday, Catholics around the world were marked with ashes as a sign of their own mortality and in order to begin the Lenten season with a resolution to seek a closer walk with God. Upon administering the ashes, the celebrant says to each person receiving ashes, “Remember, you are dust and to dust you shall return,” or “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.”
According to the local Cardinal Newman Club President Jilene Galle the recent Ash Wednesday service was one of many events in the works for the campus group.
She said the Newman Club holds meetings every second Saturday at 7 p.m. in the UAA Student Union, Lyla Richards Room. According to Galle, the club is extending an invitation to seniors from Lumen Christi High School and Holy Rosary Academy to attend future club meetings this spring.
“That way they already are part of the club when they graduate (from high school),” she explained.
For more information about the Cardinal Newman Club, call Galle at 727-7482 or email Jgalle2@alaska.edu. Information also is available at the UAA Life Page, under the Cardinal Newman Club (uaa.collegiatelink.net/organization/cardinal-newman-club)