Robert Morris students and staff celebrate Ash Wednesday


Photo credit: Alexandra Kilyanek

Sarah Applegarth

Yesterday dozens of Robert Morris University students and staff took part in a service that was close to their hearts. Catholic students, faculty and staff were able to celebrate Ash Wednesday, signifying the beginning of Lent, in the Rogal Family Chapel on campus. Campus Ministry offered a noon service and a 4 p.m Mass in addition to distributing ashes from 1 p.m to 4 p.m.

Catholic Campus Ministry Director Gary M. Slifkey was incredibly pleased about the day’s turnout.

“We’ve always had Ash Wednesday Mass here, we realized the first time we did it we had nearly 150 people showed up,” Slifkey said. “We definitely can’t sit all those people,” He said the service needed to be expanded. While the Mass turnout was impressive there were still some that were unable to make it.

The mid-day service and ash distribution were added to accommodate the busy schedules of students and staff. Slifkey said he expected almost 400 people to pass through the doors throughout the day. He was enthusiastic about the day’s turnout as well as the opportunity to offer the service. He also expressed his excitement for students following their religion without the influence of their families.

Students appreciated having a service that worked with their schedules. Student Hannah Linhorse said, “I live about fifteen minutes from here in Robinson, and I have class so this is really convenient.”

Some students expressed that they enjoyed Slifkey’s approach to the service. The service only took about five minutes and consisted of two prayers and ash distribution that made ashes between classes easy for those who wanted them.