HASTINGS/WAVERLY (SNR) – The Lincoln Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (LDCCW) sponsors two Ash Wednesday programs each year to assist people of the Diocese of Lincoln in preparation for Lent.
The LDCCW is an organization of all Catholic women in the Diocese of Lincoln which enriches the lives of its members by pursuing projects designed to further spiritual and family life in all parishes and communities in southern Nebraska.
Organized in 1932, the LDCCW has undertaken dozens of projects to fulfill the corporal and spiritual works of mercy as outlined by the Church. More than 27,000 women undertake to fulfill the Gospel mandate by becoming involved in their parishes and towns in humanitarian, religious, pastoral and educational endeavors. The work of the LDCCW directly affects not only the local parish and each family, but also impacts on the state and national legislative scene as well as on the needs of the missions and the poor around the world.
At the Ash Wednesday programs March 1, participants will attend Masses during which ashes are pressed onto one’s forehead in the form of a Cross, to signify that all must die in the state of grace to reach heaven. The priest placing the ashes says, “Remember man that thou art dust, and to dust thou shall return.”
“These words are an eye-opener,” said Ellen Jirovsky, a member of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Seward who serves as spirituality commission chair for the LDCCW, “in the fact that they are a reminder of our death.
“We are all the same when we die – dust,” she said. “No one is better than any other person in the end. We all return to the earth, the soil. All our possessions, our accomplishments, our fame become nothing after death.”
In addition to coordinating the Ash Wednesday events, the LDCCW spirituality commission deals with the LDCCW’s “Funds for Nuns,” “Parent Educator” books and packets for Baptisms, seminary support, other retreats, Divine Mercy devotion, the PAX sorority, setting up Masses with the bishop at quarterly meetings, and the Religious Awards for Girls program. The other two LDCCW commissions are dedicated to leadership and service.
Jirovsky said Ash Wednesday gives a good reflection on the importance of knowing the only thing God will ask each person when they enter His presence: “Did you love? Did you love Me with your whole heart, your whole soul, your whole mind, and your whole body? Did you love your neighbor as you loved yourself?” She reminded those who might assume Christians must not love ourselves, “if we do not care for ourselves, we cannot care for others.”
The Hastings event is an Ash Wednesday day of recollection for men and women. It will be held at St. Michael Church in Hastings, 715 Creighton Ave. Registration begins at 9 a.m. The cost is $5, and participants should bring a meatless salad to share at lunch.
The speaker will be Father Thomas Brouillette, chief administrative officer of Hastings Catholic Schools. The day will include the rosary, Divine Mercy chaplet, conferences, confessions, Mass with ashes at 11:15 a.m., the shared lunch, and stations of the cross. Jo Schlater and Mary Dey will have books for sale. The event will conclude at approximately 3 p.m.
Connie Consbruck of St. Michael Parish said participants should watch channels 4 and 13 or listen to KHAS radio for weather cancellations. She is available to answer questions at 402-751-2368.
The Ash Wednesday retreat at Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House in Waverly is open to all women. Registration begins at 9 a.m. The cost to attend is $10 and participants should bring a sack lunch. Drinks will be provided.
The speaker will be Father Christopher Kubat, executive director of Catholic Social Services, on the theme “The Meaning of Suffering.” The schedule includes the Divine Mercy chaplet, conferences, Benediction, stations of the cross, confessions, lunch at 12:30 p.m., the rosary, Mass with ashes at 2 p.m. The day will conclude at 3 p.m.
Participants should observe quiet in the hallways of the retreat center, and weather cancellation information will be available on KVSS Spirit Catholic Radio. Questions may be directed to Caroline Helget at 402-419-0460.
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