“It’s a very significant day for Catholics and it gives them a chance, it gives us all a chance to kind of remember that we need god’s grace to be able to live with spirit, and repentance and humility as we prepare for Easter,” says Reverend Daniel E. Flores, Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Brownsville.
As many Catholics worldwide gather for Ash Wednesday, local students at UTRGV unite for a special mass with the bishop.
UTRGV staff member, Alyssa Ponce, says “Maybe people may work at night, so maybe during the lunch hour it fills a good time. [This mass can help] expose people who may have never even been out to mass, you know, now they have an opportunity to come.”
Some say they are here for a spiritual journey, others to reconnect with a lost faith, regardless they all say they are going to give up something for lent.
“I guess a time to reflect on my life and just help me grow more as a person. Spiritually and physically and just all around,” says Ponce.
UTRGV student Angela Duarte states, “It brings us all out here to make our faith stronger and believe in the message that god sends us.”
This is a message that coordinators say is important for a student’s busy lifestyle.
Campus Ministry Coordinator Carla Rodriguez says, “Being in touch with the students is really important because this is a time where they get to make really important decisions about their lives as they are turning into young adults and who they want to be later on. So just being here present, it really gives me a lot of joy and helps them out to continue their journey to their faith.”