Ash Wednesday - Day of Prayer and Fasting

A Message from Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
President, University of Notre Dame

March 3, 2014

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Ash Wednesday begins a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving in preparation for the celebration of Easter. We remember Jesus’ forty days in the desert and our responsibility to care for those who today languish in “deserts” of their own. During this Lenten season, let us strive to turn from our selfish ways, draw closer to God and grow in compassion for all in need.

I invite you to join me this Ash Wednesday in prayer and fasting for immigrant families and for humane immigration reform. Pope Francis has challenged us to reject the “globalization of indifference” toward the plight of migrants, and to imitate the Good Samaritan who “saw and was moved with compassion”. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has called for legislative reform in our nation that is not focused only on law enforcement, but includes also a process for earned legalization, a future worker program, protection for families, the restoration of due process for immigrants and initiatives that address the root causes of migration (Catholic Church’s Position on Immigration Reform, USCCB, August, 2013). On March 2-5, Notre Dame will host a conference on The Church and Immigration, welcoming bishops, scholars, and other church leaders to discuss issues around migration. I invite you to join me in prayer for just and compassionate treatment of immigrants in our country and around the world.

Let us pray this Lent that God will touch our hearts and deepen a sense of solidarity with all people, particularly those in greatest need.

In Notre Dame,

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.