Published on February 3rd, 2021 | by University Communications


Ash Wednesday, Lenten observances set for University Campus, Abbey Church

The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 17, this year. This marks the beginning of the Catholic liturgical season consisting of 40 days of fasting, prayer, and penitence, leading to Easter and the celebration of Christ’s resurrection.

During Lent, everyone is welcome to participate in prayer, fasting, and giving to those need, so that they may fully join in the celebration of the resurrection of Christ at Easter. As a reminder, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics ages 18 to 59. In addition, Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence. When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal. Two smaller meals may also be taken, but not to equal a full meal. 

However, Ash Wednesday is not a holy day of obligation, and the reception of ashes is not mandatory or required. The University Ministry team and the Benedictine Monks of Saint Leo Abbey will be observing COVID-19 safety protocols and ask that everyone follow the safety procedures for attending Mass and receiving ashes.

Ash Wednesday Masses will be held at noon, February 17, celebrated by the Benedictine community and at 5:30 p.m. celebrated by University Ministry. Both Masses will be held in the Abbey Church.

Ashes also will be distributed during the day on Ash Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside Saint Jude Chapel and the Student Activities Building.

The sacrament of reconciliation with confessions during Lent are available to students, faculty, and staff 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. on Wednesdays at Saint Jude Chapel; at 6:30 p.m. prior to Mass at the Abbey Church; and during the weekly adoration/praise and worship at 6 – 7 p.m. Tuesdays at the Abbey Church.

For information about University Ministry, call (352) 588-8331 or email

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