Observing Ash Wednesday: USD Masses, Father Gino, Student Reflection

Observing Ash Wednesday: USD Masses, Father Gino, Student Reflection

The University of San Diego's Founders Chapel and The Immaculata Catholic Church on campus were home to several campus community church goers on Feb. 26, better known on the 2020 calendar as Ash Wednesday. It is the Christian holy day that marks the beginning of Lent — a 40-day season of fasting and penance to prepare for Easter, which in 2020 will be celebrated April 12.


Those who were unable to receive the symbolic ash cross on their forehead at Masses on Wednesday weren’t out of luck. Throughout the day, several USD employees were the beneficiary of extracurricular work by Father Gino Correa, O.F.M.

The University Chaplain in the San Buenaventura residence hall and minister for USD's Graduate and Law Commons, Correa walked around the campus Wednesday to administer ashes to university employees unable to attend Mass.

His route included employees in food service areas such as Tu Mercado, Pavilion Dining, maintenance workers in Camino and Founders Halls, groundskeepers and even one of USD's tram drivers, who stopped and poked his head out to receive Correa's ash placement and blessing. He administered ashes bilingually, too. He also attended a faculty, staff and administrator First-Generation Student Summit in Salomon Hall when, during a break, he provided an ash cross to at least one campus colleague.

One student, graduating senior Maribel Orozco, attended the 12:15 p.m. Mass in Founders Chapel and received the ash symbol. She reflected afterward on the significance of Ash Wednesday and how she will experience the Lenten season.

"Today means the beginning of a journey walking along with Jesus and growing and getting to know him,” she said. “For me it's a beautiful time to not only do this myself but also with my fellow Christians and to really learn from others as they are also on this journey."

— Ryan T. Blystone

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