Ash Wednesday on campus marks 40 days of surrendering favorite habits until Easter

Monica Velez

The Newman Catholic Community Club at Sacramento State hosted two masses in observance of Ash Wednesday, the follow-up to Fat Tuesday, at the University Union.

Ash Wednesday marks the start of lent, that requires Catholics to relinquish treasured pleasures for 40 days until Easter, from cookies to chocolate to pizza to alcohol; another aspect is a restriction of consuming red meat on Fridays. Two masses were held at the Hinde Auditorium at 12:30 p.m. and again at 3 p.m. with a third at 6 p.m. at the Newman Center hosted by the Father.

He informed people of what the ashes represented before blessing them and placing the ash on their foreheads.

“These ashes remind us that we are all sinners. These ashes also remind us that our sins cause damage,” said the father. “[…] Lastly and most importantly, these ashes remind us that in spite of our sins, our deep-seeded selfishness, Christ forgives us.”

President of the Newman Catholic Community Club and Student Minister at the Newman Community Center Steven Gudino said goals for the club are to spread friendship and the word of God to other students and the community. He mentioned the importance to hold masses on campus to attract college student traffic and get people more involved and knowledgeable about Catholicism.

“Some people don’t even know the Newman Center Exists, instead of them trying to find us, we find them,” said Gudino.

Vice President of the Newman Catholic Community Club Jarrod Monninger also sees the relevancy to celebrate and spread awareness of Ash Wednesday.

“It’s part of our faith, start of lent going into Easter reminds us that we are sinners but God is always there for us,” said Monninger.

Lent is a way for Catholics to thank God for giving up his life for humanity, which is why Gudino and Monninger, along with the rest of the Catholic community, begin their acknowledgement with abstinence of their favorite foods or habits for 40 days.

“God went through so much pain for us getting crucified,” said Gudino. “What’s giving up dessert when he gave up his life for us?”