Chargers make Ash Wednesday pilgrimage through neighborhood


Taylor Griggs, Correspondent

On Wednesday March 6, St. Joseph High School decided to try something new for our annual Ash Wednesday Mass.

At 8:15 in the morning St. Joe’s students and staff flooded through the side doors of the building and began a pilgrimage to Divine Providence Catholic Church, down the block on Mayfair. This church is the local Catholic church in Westchester. This church also partners with Divine Providence, the grade school.

Many graduates of this grade school are now or were once students at St. Joe’s. The walk was a half-mile and while it was quite chilly outside, everyone was bundled and well prepared.

While some students complained about the cold weather, which was in the 20s, most students weren’t affected by the chilly temperatures.

“It wasn’t that cold for me,” junior Dion Atwood said. “It was nice on the walk back.”

The Westchester police also came out to guide us through traffic. As we arrived, many people began to fill the church. Local grade school students and teachers, of all ages, filled the room, followed by local Westchester residents.

The mass started with a beautiful, symphonic song sang by Divine Providence students. After students recited readings from the gospels, the priest interpreted those readings. Mass was very interactive. The St. Joe’s peer ministers were able to participate and help administer the ashes on those who wanted to receive them.

The majority of the St Joe’s community that was in attendance received ashes. The peer ministers also helped hand out communion.

Normally, the school has its Ash Wednesday mass in the gym, but students were happy to experience something else.

“It was great getting out and experiencing mass with students from another school in a different environment,” said junior Kevin Foleno.

When the mass was over, Chargers and staff stayed behind for a while to listen to the priest thank and advise us to open our minds to God. Afterwards, we returned to school and continued with our day.

Overall, this was more than a stroll through the neighborhood. This was a spiritual representation of St. Joe’s relationship and devotion to God. It was an opportunity for chargers to experience a different and larger mass, rather than our small gymnasium, and lead as an example for the younger ones that were observing.

The literal walk was a traditional way of adolescents to get out and experience nature and strictly just conversation with each other. It was a time away from school and technology. Thanks to the help of Mr. Fedinec (who did make the walk back) and others who sorted out the logistics, St. Joseph High School had a successful and different Ash Wednesday this year.