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In the Wilderness: Lent 2021 at the University of Dayton

University of Dayton Campus Ministry encourages all to be present spiritually with Christ "in the wilderness" during Lent, which begins Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17. During Lent, Christians prepare for Easter with prayer, fasting and almsgiving. The distribution of ashes on Ash Wednesday is reminiscent of the ancient tradition of sprinkling ashes over the heads of penitents.

"Lent can be a time to deepen your relationship with God through prayer and other spiritual practices, to attend Mass/worship more regularly, or to engage in acts of generosity and service that benefit others," said Crystal Sullivan, University of Dayton executive director of campus ministry. "This is especially important now, as we continue to journey through the 'wilderness' of isolation, grief and instability caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the impact of racial division and polarization in our world. The story of Jesus in the desert, which is read to begin the season of Lent, reminds us that God can be found in the wilderness, too."

The University of Dayton will celebrate Ash Wednesday Mass at 8 a.m. in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, and 12:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Holy Angels Church. Liturgy of the Word with distribution of ashes also will be available at 4 p.m. at Holy Angels Church and at noon, 5 p.m., 7 p.m., and 9 p.m in the Frericks Center gym. A virtual nondenominational Christian worship service at 5 p.m. will be streamed via the University of Dayton Campus Ministry YouTube channel.

In addition to Ash Wednesday Masses, University of Dayton Campus Ministry will offer the following free events during Lent, which runs through Wednesday, March 31. Easter is Sunday, April 4. Because of COVID-19 protocols, events are limited to University students and employees. Registration is required via the University's 1850 portal.

  • Stations of the Cross will be observed at 3:30 p.m. Feb.  19 and 26, and March 5, 12, 19, and 26, in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception. During Lent, the Sacrament of Reconciliation is available from 11 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and Fridays, 7 to 8 p.m. Thursdays, and 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception.
  • Exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will take place in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception from 6-8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 1:30-2:30 p.m. Fridays during Lent.
  • Candlelight Masses in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception will be 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. March 14.

This Lenten season, Campus Ministry and the Office for Mission and Rector also will be collecting money to support Marianist programs overseas — health clinics in Togo, West Africa and India; and Marianist schools in India, Kenya and Malawi. Each serves the needs of the poor through education, encouragement and meeting basic needs. Find information on how to support these ministries at

For more information, please contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of news and communications, at 937-229-3391.


News and Communications Staff