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Juliette Wolf, a parishioner at St. Raphael the Archangel, received ashes from Deacon Ed Grotpeter during noon Mass on Ash Wednesday at St. Joseph Parish in Clayton.
Juliette Wolf, a parishioner at St. Raphael the Archangel, received ashes from Deacon Ed Grotpeter during noon Mass on Ash Wednesday at St. Joseph Parish in Clayton.
Photo Credit: Lisa Johnston

Lent — a time of spiritual conversion

Paul Crooks, a parishioner at St. Joseph in Clayton, prayed after Ash Wednesday Mass at St. Joseph Parish.
Photo Credits: Lisa Johnston

Catholics begin the season of Lent with the solemn celebration of Ash Wednesday. Ashes imposed on the forehead in the sign of a cross are an outward expression of our need to repent and begin anew.

At St. Joseph Church in Clayton, Father Philip Bené said Lent is a time for spiritual conversion to Christ in our lives. It also is a time to recognize our complete dependence on God, he stated.

In the homily, Father Bené asked people to turn to prayer, among other things recognizing the goodness of God. Fasting in Lent, he said, helps people “to become focused on who matters most in our lives — Our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Alsmgiving, he said, “draws us out of ourselves and helps us extend ourselves to others.”

Brett Rufkahr, a parishioner at Mary Queen of Peace in Webster Groves, prayed after Ash Wednesday Mass at St. Joseph Parish in Clayton.
Photo Credits: Lisa Johnston
After Mass, Brett Rufkahr, a parishioner at Mary Queen of Peace in Webster Groves, said Lent is “a time of reflection and appreciation of what we have and of the sacrifices God made for us.”

Paul Crooks, a St. Joseph parishioner, said Lent is “an important day to begin the period leading up to Easter.”

Another Mass-goer, Kathleen Wildhaber, said “I’m trying to be more involved in my faith. Lent is a remembrance of the sacrifices Jesus made to save our souls.”

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