Lent gives Loyola community time to reflect and repent


Associated Press

A priest offers someone ashes in Indiana on March 5, 2014. The “Ashes on the Go” program began in 2010 as a way to bring the Church to people in their daily lives.

Jessica Molina

Loyola’s Jesuit Center and Alumni Association are co-hosting a Lenten Series of lectures to be held each Wednesday during Lent.

The series is free and open to the public. The first lecture, “Saint Ignatius: The Inspiration and the  Mystic,” will be led by Fr. Ted Dziak, S.J. on Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. in Bobet Hall’s Ignatius Chapel.

Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent, following Fat Tuesday, as a day for Catholics to repent for their excesses during the Mardi Gras season. This year, Lent begins on Feb. 18.

The lecture series is not the only way Loyola is celebrating Lent. Many members of the community see Lent as a time for personal growth.

Ken Weber, the university minister for liturgy and worship, said Lent is a time of repentance.

“Lent is intended to be a time of abstaining from certain comforts in order to grow closer to God,” Weber said.

Lent provides an opportunity for the Loyola community to grow closer to God and give back to the community in preparation for Easter Sunday.

Samantha Griffin, environmental studies sophomore, said Lent means following an act of Jesus.

“We, as Catholics, should strive to be as close to Jesus’ example as possible. I think the 40-day period is a test of one’s strength of faith,” Griffin said.

Commitment to service is one aspect of the giving of alms, either in money or services to the church or community.

Weber suggests one option for students wishing to participate in Lent is to take some of the money otherwise spent at bars and donate it.

Weber believes that during Lent, certain Jesuit values can be emphasized along with the three pillars of Lent: prayer, giving of alms and fasting.

Olivia Roy, business sophomore, relates Lent to the Jesuit values of finding God in all things.

“Fasting helps us to appreciate things big and small because you give up something small and realize how difficult it is. That helps us appreciate the bigger things in our lives and be grateful,” Roy said.