Commemorated on March 1 this year, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, the 40-day period leading up to Easter which is observed by Catholics for prayer and fasting.

And while not everyone is a follower of Catholic faith or is familiar with Lenten spiritual practices, St. Boniface of Louisville invites the entire community to join its congregation in its special upcoming Ash Wednesday service. Feel a sense of community and togetherness as the Rev. Jeff Shooner and the Rev. Adam Carrico lead the congregation of St. Boniface in its quest for peace throughout the city.

A new perspective on Lent

Many members of the Catholic community see Lent as a period to rid their lives of the world’s distractions in order to better focus on religion. St. Boniface shares this perspective, but is also looking at the Lenten season as a time to promote peace throughout Louisville.

“With all the violence and uncertainty throughout our city, country and world, we will be inviting our parishioners and the local community to pray for peace,” says Father Jeff on the church’s plans for Lent 2017. “We will have a special prayer for peace that we will use at Mass each week during Lent, and we’re also organizing an upcoming community conversation that will focus on promoting peace in the city of Louisville.”

Father Jeff and Father Adam believe that peace is vital to Louisville’s community and the Catholic faith as a whole. Serving as St. Boniface’s new pastoral leaders, both are proud to be involved in our city’s diverse community and strive to offer hope for peace in their new roles.

An opportunity to come together

The tradition of receiving and wearing ashes as a form of worship began in the second century A.D. As part of a modern Catholic service, a priest will apply ashes made from palm branches to the foreheads of those in the congregation. Worn in public by those observing the season, these ashes serve as a representation of sin, confession and penance.

At St. Boniface on Ash Wednesday, anointment with ashes is optional and does not require a specific faith. All who want a peaceful future for their community are encouraged to attend the service.

“Many might associate Ash Wednesday and Lent with guilt and shame, but this is an overly simplified understanding,” says Father Adam. “Too much guilt can lead to the belief that we are bad. God desires to heal the wounds that our guilt points out and to take away any shame that we may feel.”

Join St. Boniface in promoting peace

St. Boniface’s special Ash Wednesday service will take place on March 1, beginning at noon, in the church located at 531 E. Liberty St. Its regular masses take place every Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and again at 11 a.m.

To learn more about St. Boniface, its special services and its new leaders, visit its website.

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