Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ash Wednesday, 1949

MASS FOR ASH WEDNESDAY was said today by Fr. Felix Just, S.J., who reminded us that Lent derives from a word meaning "long" or "lengthen," a reference to the longer daylight as winter stretches toward spring.

After the liturgy we found ourselves wondering how the College marked the start of 40 days of fasting, prayer and almsgiving in the olden days.

Rev. Thomas J. McCarthy
Among our newly digitized yearbooks the 1949 Mount marks the start of Lent with a short recollection of the annual student retreat, where the entire student body set aside classes and school work for three days with a well-known retreat master:
Annual student retreat... Ash Wednesday, Thursday, Friday ... Fr. McCarthy, Tidings editor... powerful sermons... moving simplicity... "Wake up to the evils of your century... know the subtle motto of secularism: 'success before sanctity' ... look for answers ... in your faith... in imitation of Mary... in personal love of her Son. (page 75)
Besides his position as editor of the archdiocesan paper The Tidings, Fr. McCarthy was a long-time friend of the College and eventually served as a member of the Psychology faculty at both the Chalon and Doheny campuses. When he died in 1976, his extensive library came to the Mount.

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