Tuesday February 16, 2010

Focusing on Hunger at Lent

The University will give special attention to the reality of world hunger and our own hunger for Christ in word and sacrament through special Lenten events.

The University of Dayton's Campus Ministry is encouraging people to consider the reality of hunger worldwide this Lenten season.

"In addition to prayers at Mass and our weekly Faithful Flyer reflections, we will give special attention to the reality of world hunger and our own hunger for Christ in word and sacrament through some special events," said Emily Strand, campus minister for liturgies.

One event is filmmaker Gerry Straub's presentation on "Putting the Power of Film at the Service of the Poor" at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, in Kennedy Union Boll Theater.

A campus-wide day of prayer and fasting is scheduled for Friday, March 26.

Fasting means eating only one full meal and two smaller meals that don't equal a full meal and no snacking between meals, according to Strand. Also, it means abstaining from eating meat. Catholics ages 14 to 60 are asked to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday through the Holy Saturday Easter Vigil.

Campus Ministry also will promote Catholic Relief Services' Operation Rice Bowl, which "invites Catholics to pray with their families and faith communities, fast in solidarity with those who hunger, learn about our global community and the challenges of poverty overseas, and give contributions to those in need." Visit http://orb.crs.org for more information about Operation Rice Bowl.

Campus Ministry will hold a nonperishable food drive during Holy Week — the week before Easter.

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends right before the evening Mass of Holy Thursday. It is a 40-day period during which Catholics are called to renew their baptismal promises and repent the ways that they have not lived up to those promises in solidarity with those who are preparing to be baptized at Easter.

"The number 40 is a Biblical symbol of a time of preparation," said the Rev. Jerry Chinchar, S.M., campus minister for catechetical programs. "Thus, people preparing to enter the Catholic Church prepare intensely for baptism, confirmation and first eucharist. Those who are already Catholic prepare to enter more and more deeply into the mystery of God's love poured out in the self-giving love of Christ Jesus."

The University will hold Ash Wednesday Mass at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12:05 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. in the Immaculate Conception Chapel. There will be a 9 p.m. Mass in the McGinnis Center on the University of Dayton campus. An interdenominational service will take place at noon in Marianist Hall's chapel on campus.

There are opportunities to observe the Stations of the Cross, the path Jesus took before his crucifixion, at 3 p.m. Fridays during Lent in the Immaculate Conception Chapel and the sacrament of reconciliation from 11:30 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and Fridays during Lent in the Immaculate Conception Chapel.

A community-wide reconciliation service is scheduled for 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 24, in the Immaculate Conception Chapel.

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of news and communications, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson@udayton.edu.