Ash Wednesday and Latino Ministry

Dear LaFe familia,

Ash Wednesday is coming up! What will your LaFe movements be doing for Ash Wednesday? What have you done in the past? Why is Ash Wednesday important to our LaFe chapters?

Many of your LaFe chapters are a community of Catholic and Protestant students. Many Catholic and Protestant students will be going to an Ash Wednesday service and observing Lent, will you be their Lent companion?

  • Attend an Ash Wednesday prayer service together at a local parish. All Catholic churches have prayer services happening ALL DAY. Call a local church or ask one of your Catholic students to investigate what time the services are happening and invite all the LaFe peeps. Debrief the experience together after.
  • Be a bridge-builder. If you have a Newman Club/ FOCUS group on campus they might be hosting an Ash Wednesday service somewhere on campus. Reach out to them and join them.
  • Do some outreach. Encourage your Catholic students to reach out to their network of Catholic folks they know on campus. On Ash Wednesday, MANY young adults who probably would normally not attend LaFe and might not even regularly attend church will be receiving ashes. Consider having your LaFe chapter lead the way in loving, serving and building trust with these folks. Seriously, INVITE every Catholic student you know with you to an Ash Wednesday service. Ask if they need a ride to a local prayer service. Then, you can invite them and CAST VISION for how LaFe wants to help them grow spiritually during the Lenten season or invite them into a GIG.
  • Host an Ash Wednesday Prayer Service on your campus. The picture above is from an Ash Wednesday Prayer Service done by LaFe students at Rio Hondo College in Los Angeles.
  • Answer questions: If you go to an early service, people might let you know throughout the day that you have “dirt on your forehead”! Use it as a way to start spiritual conversations and share the Gospel. Share boldly about the journey you are on this season of Lent. I would share … Lent is a 40-day gift we are given to take a long yet loving look at our lives to see if our values and priorities are in line with God’s desire for us. Lent can become that second chance to lead us closer or have as return to God with our whole heart.
  • Be creative. Catholic students will not be eating meat on Ash Wednesday and every Friday leading up to Easter. Keep that in mind, it you have LaFe events on these days. I am sure student would feel super loved and cared for if you or your student leaders bring them some cheese quesadillas on these days.
  • Stations of the Cross: The Stations of the Cross is a Lenten devotion that offers witness to Jesus’ Passion and Death. This a great prayer or experiential component. I also have a resource that is stations of the cross through an immigration lense… it is called “A Journey of Hope Along the Migrant Trail: A Via Crucis”.

Good Questions to ask as you journey with students:

  • How is your Lent Journey going?
  • What did you chose to give up? Why?

1 Comment

  • Reply March 23, 2016

    Tom Allen

    Thank you for this helpful explanation, encouragement and exhortation about Ash Wednesday, Michelle. How can i get a copy of your Journey of Hope Along the Migrant Trail?

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