Loyola Academy President Rev. Patrick E. McGrath, SJ, celebrated Ash Wednesday Mass on February 17 before school in the Chapel. The Mass was open to any students, faculty and staff in the building on the day’s B schedule, though space was limited in accordance with current COVID-19 restrictions. For those unable to attend, Mass was live streamed on Loyola’s website at goramblers.org.
In his Homily, Fr. McGrath spoke about our great need for the Lenten season and its opportunities for deep reflection and healing after a difficult year: “Maybe the question for us this Lent is what is it that God has been inviting me, begging me, to see during this last year? What is it that God is inviting me to pay attention and respond to? Who is God calling me to be when this pandemic is over?”
In alignment with guidelines provided by the Vatican, ashes were sprinkled on each person's head. The traditional formula found in the Roman Missal—"Repent, and believe in the Gospel" or "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return"—was not spoken.
At the conclusion of Mass, adult and student ministers were on hand to distribute ashes to the greater student body in the Main Lobby and the Piazza from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and also during the first 15 minutes of each lunch period in the Chapel. Students not in the building on Ash Wednesday were encouraged to receive ashes at their local parishes.