UST Main Building

THE UNIVERSITY will light up in blue and yellow this Ash Wednesday to express solidarity with the suffering of the people and the Church in Ukraine in the wake of Russia’s invasion.

Several buildings in UST, including the Main Building, Benavides Garden, Arch of the Centuries and the UST Chapel, will light in the colors of the Ukrainian flag from March 2-4 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

Ash Wednesday in the Philippines will be on March 2.

Pope Francis recently appealed for peace in Ukraine and declared Ash Wednesday “a day of prayer for fasting and peace.”

“Jesus taught us that the diabolical evil of violence is answered with the weapons of God, with prayer and fasting,” Pope Francis said before a public audience in theVatican on Feb. 23.

“[I] encourage believers, in a special way, to devote themselves intensely to prayer and fasting on that day,” the Pope added.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has also called on Filipinos to pray for an end to the violence in Ukraine.

“The CBCP unites itself spiritually with Pope Francis, as he grieves over the quick deterioration of the situation in Ukraine,” CBCP president Bishop Pablo David said in a statement. 

“[L]et us therefore join the Holy Father and our brothers and sisters in Ukraine through prayer and fasting on Ash Wednesday,” he added.

Fr. Pablo Tiong, O.P., UST vice rector for religious affairs, will lead the Eucharistic celebration for Ash Wednesday on March 2 at the Santisimo Rosario Parish Church. 

In a circular, UST Secretary General Fr. Louie Coronel, O.P. urged Thomasians to “participate virtually through the official Facebook page of the University, or onsite, in accordance with the standard health protocols.”

Metro Manila is under Alert Level 1 from March 1 to 15.

According to UST Parish Priest Fr. Paul Talavera, O.P., Masses inside the parish church will be allowed to accommodate up to 80 percent of the venue seating capacity.

“But we maintain health protocols such as wearing face mask and [observing] social distancing,” Talavera told the Varsitarian.

Ash crosses on foreheads, confession now allowed

For the first time in two years, Catholics will be allowed to receive ash crosses on their foreheads during Ash Wednesday, based on the guidelines issued by the CBCP Commission on Liturgy.

The sprinkling of ashes on top of the head will remain an option.

The faithful can also receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation or confession on March 2, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the open space in front of the UST chapel.

Ash Wednesday ushers in the 40-day Lenten season.

According to the Canon Law (Code of Canon Law, Canon 1251 to 1253), fasting and abstinence are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Catholics over the age of 14 are also expected to abstain from eating meat and/or do some works of charity and exercises of piety during all Fridays of Lent.  With reports from Allyssa Mae C. Cuz


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