Cardinal Tobin and Father Camilo E. Cruz-Bahamon, pastor of St. Patrick’s Pro-Cathedral, distribute ashes to long lines of Catholics during an Ash Wednesday Mass at the Pro-Cathedral on March 2, 2022. (Photo by the Archdiocese of Newark/Jai Agnish)
the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Newark NJ, Many Catholics attended two Ash Wednesday Masses celebrated by Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark, at St. Patrick’s Pro-Cathedral in Newark on March 2.
Cardinal Tobin sprinkles ashes on the head of a Catholic during an Ash Wednesday Mass at St. Patrick’s Pro-Cathedral in Newark on March 2, 2022. (Photo by the Archdiocese of Newark/Jai Agnish)
Cardinal Tobin distributed ashes to long lines of people by sprinkling them on the tops of heads, forgoing the traditional forehead placement out of an abundance of caution due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. He also delivered a homily reminding those in attendance that everyone is another year closer to returning to the dust symbolized by the ashes — but that is not a reason to despair.
“The journey we’re undertaking is essentially a journey together returning to God — a God who loves the dust out of which he made us, a God who loves the dust into which we are returning,” Cardinal Tobin said. “How wonderful to begin this journey with you today. Let’s take advantage, every day, of that diagnostic tool, which is the Word of God.”
With Ash Wednesday concluded, Catholics worldwide have officially entered the season of Lent, which commemorates Christ’s 40 days of temptation. The next six weeks will see parishioners prepare to celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection on Easter by reading Sacred Scripture, fasting on Good Friday and abstaining from meat every Friday, giving alms, and refusing luxuries to pursue a true conversion of the heart and follow Jesus’ will more faithfully. This period ends on Holy Thursday, which falls on April 14 this year.
Learn more about Lent by visiting www.rcan.org or the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website.
The Archdiocese of Newark, under the leadership of Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., the sixth archbishop of Newark, serves approximately 1.3 million Catholics in 212 parishes and 73 schools throughout the counties of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Union. The Archdiocese serves the northern New Jersey community through faith, education, and social services. To learn more, visit www.rcan.org.
Cardinal Tobin’s Ash Wednesday Lenten Message Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmEO8J8w8y0