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ARCHDIOCESAN CATHOLICS PREPARE FOR LENTEN SEASON

Numerous Liturgical Events at Parishes in Cook and Lake Counties

Chicago, IL (January 30, 2008)— Many of the 2.3 million Catholics residing in Cook and Lake counties will begin the 40-day season of Lent on Ash Wednesday, February 6, by attending liturgical services, where a cruciform of ashes will be applied on their foreheads signifying the need for repentance from sin, and for conversion by means of prayer, fasting and good works.

During Lent, which ends on Holy Thursday, March 20, numerous liturgical events are scheduled at churches and shrines throughout the Archdiocese, including those listed here for Shrove Tuesday, February 5, and Ash Wednesday, February 6:

Shrove Tuesday, February 5

  • Palm branches from last year’s Passion Sunday celebrations will be burnt at a 9 a.m. courtyard prayer service at Holy Name Cathedral, State and Superior streets, Chicago. The ashes are symbols of penance and reconciliation, and will be blessed and applied to the foreheads of Catholics the following day, Ash Wednesday. Deacon Michael McCloskey will preside at this prayer service that will include students from the parish’s Frances Xavier Warde School as well as Holy Name parishioners. The courtyard is located on the north side of the Cathedral, and is accessible via State Street.
  • Palm branches will be burnt at a 2 p.m. ceremony in the parking lot of St. Daniel the Prophet School, 5337 S. Natoma Ave., Chicago. Presiding at this prayer service for the school’s 700 K through 8 students will be Associate Pastor, Fr. Gerald O'Reilly.

Ash Wednesday, February 6

  • Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago, will preside at the 12:10 p.m. Ash Wednesday Mass at Holy Name Cathedral, State and Superior streets, Chicago. The Cardinal will bless ashes and preside over their distribution to those attending. Ashes will be distributed at all Cathedral Masses that day, specifically: 6, 7 and 8 a.m. and 12:10 and 5:15 p.m. Ashes will also be distributed during the 10 and 11 a.m. and 2, 3 and 4 p.m. prayer services.
  • At 4:30 p.m., Cardinal George will preside at an Ash Wednesday Mass at the Sheil Catholic Center, 2110 Sheridan Rd., Evanston. The center is named after former Archbishop and Chicago native, Bernard J. Sheil, who was instrumental in the center’s founding with nearly 600 Northwestern Catholic students in 1939.
  • Priests at the Archdiocese’s 363 parishes in Cook and Lake counties will bless and distribute ashes at liturgical services planned throughout the day. For specific parish information, go to www.archchicago.org and click on Directories and Find a Parish.

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