A guide to Lent: Carmel Catholic edition

Carmel students reflect during the Lenten season

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A guide to Lent: Carmel Catholic edition

Tori Jozwiak

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There are numerous traditions that make Carmel one-of-a-kind. Some of the most special traditions are the ones surrounding Lent.
“The word ‘tradition’ means the handing on of customs or beliefs from one generation to the next,” Campus Minister Kambra French said. “For example, we always celebrate Ash Wednesday Mass, and we always have an opportunity for students spend some time in reflection to examine their conscience to turn away from sin and turn towards Christ. Then they have the opportunity to go to Reconciliation.”
“And then we have the tradition of praying the Living Stations, which has been a tradition for at least 7 or 8 years now, so it’s really cool!”
Throughout the Lenten season, Carmel encourages students in numerous ways to focus on the theme of the season and to draw closer to God.
“One of the ways we do it is through the prayers on the PA,” French said. “It reminds the students that it is Lent, and the prayers focus on the theme of it. The digital boards also have Lenten messages to be that daily reminder of the season we’re in.”
“Carmel also promotes Lent by doing something really simple: on Friday they don’t have meat in the cafeteria because that’s a tradition of the whole Church.”
One of the upcoming traditions is the Stations of the Cross, which will be celebrated on March 22. While the deliverance of the Stations of the Cross has varied throughout the years, the message it sends has remained the same.
“Every year that I’ve been here, we have prayed the stations in some way, shape, or form,” French said. “The way we do it and the way we’ve done it for the past 7 or 8 years is meant to really bring us together as a community with this prayer. This prayer is just so powerful and so beautiful and we feel that it’s something we need to be doing together as a community. It’s something that we, together, really want to focus on.”
Even after the Stations of the Cross performan

ce and after the Lenten season, students can live out what they hear and learn throughout their lives.
“When we get the ashes on our forehead on Ash Wednesday, the sayings are “remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return” or “repent and believe in the gospel.” The repent and believe in the gospel phrase really captures the idea of personal choice. We have to be the ones to want to do it,” French said. “On Ash Wednesday, Father Greg said repentance is about rethinking. God is putting this offer on the table for us; He wants us. And we have to make the choice to do it.”