Ash Wednesday in the Public Square

The priests’ signs shouted “LIFE IS VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY SHORT” and “MORE FORGIVENESS.” The signs were duct-taped to the fence behind a cardtable altar draped in black. How would tired commuters respond as they exited their subway station and drove past on the street?

• “Some big Chicano guy pulled up in a truck, put on his blinkers, and threw open the door—’Oh! Can I have those? Wait, my mom is in the back seat, can you go give her some?’

• “The amazing thing is that when you touch people’s foreheads and tell them they are going to die, they inevitably say, ‘Thank you.’

• “Then I went into MacDonalds, where I went through the dining area with people pulling at my cassock and saying ‘Por favor’ and I gave ashes, in Spanish, to all the fry cooks, and some teenage girls.

• “In Dianda’s bakery, a baker holding a huge cake in her hands leaned over the counter to me and closed her eyes and said, ‘Please.’ I told her she was dust….”

Read the rest of the story at Ash Wednesday in the Street.

Thanks to Christine Driggers for telling me about this!

About Ben Unseth

Executive Director at Project Understanding (2014-2017), social service agency in Ventura, CA
This entry was posted in Church, culture, public square and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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