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Institute for Pastoral Initiatives News

A blessed gathering: Reflecting on the Curran Place Ash Wednesday Mass

The spirit of Lent was alive and vibrant at Curran Place on Ash Wednesday, as a special Mass drew nearly 100 participants and exceeded all expectations.

Initiated by the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives' (IPI) Executive Director, Sister Angela Ann Zukowski, MHSH, D.Min., and prepared by her IPI staff, this monthly Mass tradition often sees a smaller gathering. However, the call to prayer and reflection resonated deeply, attracting a diverse crowd ready to embark on the Lenten journey.

The larger Alumni State Room, chosen in anticipation of a slightly bigger turnout, quickly filled to capacity. Embracing the spirit of community, participants didn't hesitate to bring chairs from other areas, ensuring everyone could comfortably join the liturgy.

Father Ted Cassidy, S.M., from the University of Dayton's Campus Ministry, presided over the Mass with his insightful homily drawn from Matthew's Gospel on prayer, giving and fasting, a potent message to begin the season of introspection and sacrifice.

The overflow of attendees presented a beautiful challenge; one met with grace and collaboration. A member of the  congregation who had already been commissioned as an Extra Ordinary Minister of the Eucharist generously volunteered to assist with the distribution of Communion when it was realized the large crowd, showcasing the unity and service-oriented spirit that permeated the gathering.

IPI, 2024 Ash Wednesday

Curran Place, a multi-purpose hub at the University of Dayton, served as a fitting backdrop for this diverse congregation.

Students, staff, faculty and even retired seniors who were on site for another program, united in prayer and reflection. Witnessing this tapestry of backgrounds and experiences coming together to mark the start of Lent was a truly heartwarming experience.

The success of the Curran Place Ash Wednesday Mass transcended numbers. It was a testament to the power of faith, the strength of community, and the spirit of service that shines within the university walls. It was, indeed, a good day, a day filled with blessings and the promise of a meaningful Lenten journey.

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