Fr. Timothy Shea

Blog #18: Ashless Wednesday

January 27, 2021

One year ago, now, we had no idea that life was going to be so different. January 2020 had a couple of rumours about a strange virus in China. In February there were rumours that a dangerous coronavirus had spread into Europe and that Italy was struggling to contain it. March is when it hit us, and it had a name: COVID-19.

Besides life changing with businesses and schools closing and sports leagues postponing games, our vocabulary emphasized words like shut down, pandemic, distancing, sanitizing, zoom, spread, bubbles, mitigate, protocols, masks, waves, intubate, outbreak, ventilator etc. Ontario was shut down the middle of March. For our parish we had started Lent, had celebrated First Confession for our grade two students, but then the Church was closed for three months…no Palm Sunday, no Holy week, no Good Friday, no Easter, no First Communion, no Confirmation, no school graduations….it was strange!!

Right now, we are in a lockdown to fight the second wave of COVID-19. It looks like this lockdown will last until February 22nd. Lent starts on February 17 – so that means no Ash Wednesday!!! However, if things go well, we should have a good Lent, Holy Week and Easter!!

With this lockdown, we will not be able to have our usual build up to Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. I recommend that you start to plan your spiritual strategy for your own Lent so that when “Ashless” Wednesday, February 17th, arrives, you are ready. Then, when the lockdown is lifted, you will already be engaged in your special Lenten strategy. Stay tuned for breaking news about Lent in our parish!!!

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