Illustration by Lauren Hill
Ash Wednesday is a special day for those of the Catholic faith, and CSU Bakersfield started the day with an on-campus mass.
“Lent is 40 days, and in the Bible in the biblical times 40 days is always the time of preparation. We take 40 days before Easter Sunday to prepare for it, and of course we begin with Ash Wednesday. We remember our morality and that one day we are going to die, and it helps us be able to draw closer to God and participate in the mysteries of Easter,” Adil Alexander, CSUB student and president of the Newman Catholic Club, said.
Alexander continued, “We hold mass pretty frequently throughout the semester, and especially for Ash Wednesday. That’s when we get the biggest turn out most years.”
Alexander explains that more people attend mass on Ash Wednesday because it is an important day for the Catholic religion, since they are preparing for the resurrection of the Lord.
“I do think that coming to an event like this is important, because we have to recognize and keep alive our culture and our religion. For example, I am Catholic, so I have to keep that going and it’s been going on in my family like that for generations, so I have to keep going as well,” CSUB Student Leslie Ramirez said.
Ramirez says she is happy that CSUB held mass for Catholics because she believes it is important to keep every culture and religion alive on campus, and it is important to learn about everything.
In the 40 days that Lent lasts, those who participate will often give up something they don’t need or add something that is beneficial. For example, if one gives up social media for Lent, then they wouldn’t be able to get on for the 40 days until Easter Sunday.
“I wasn’t able to go last year because I wasn’t home. I’m from LA so I can’t drive there every single time. Last year, was the first time I’ve missed Ash Wednesday, but having it here today was very good to me. I am satisfied. I feel good, I feel like I am back home,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez explains that she’s happy that CSUB decided to do Ash Wednesday at school so she won’t miss it like she did last year due to her living situation.
CSUB Student Brenda Colotl explains that it was a good idea for CSUB to bring Ash Wednesday to campus because most students have classes all day. With this organized event, students don’t have to leave campus to participate in the Catholic tradition.
“It’s nice that we all came together here at school and we had the opportunity to get ashes during our class so we wouldn’t forget to go out […] It was nice they came here,” Colotl said.
“I’m giving up listening to music, I’m going to just listen to music about Christ, so that’s what I’m giving up: listening to bad music,” Colotl said.
The students who attended mass on Ash Wednesday at CSUB seem to have been grateful and appreciative of the Newman Catholic Club for organizing the mass on campus.