School’s message on Ash Wednesday: ‘Give up, lift up and take up’


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By Angelina Hicks

University of San Diego chaplain Father Michael White celebrated a morning Ash Wednesday Mass at Cathedral Catholic High School where about 1,600 students were asked to consider what they were “giving up, lifting up and taking up.”

“Community keeps us true to our calling,” Father White said. “We all stand before God in need of healing and reconciliation for personal and social sin. Jesus teaches us clearly that God calls us, not just as individuals, but as a community, and that is how we relate to each other and to God.”

The school’s Mission and Ministry Office planned a Lenten focus to promote three goals: giving up, lifting up, and taking up.

“Giving something up can help you remember every day that we are in the Lenten season,” said Stacy Wells, Dean of Mission and Ministry. “Lifting up our voices in prayer is also really important. There’s a saying: If God answered all your prayers tomorrow, would the world change because of how you’re praying?”

The high school encourages the student body not only to give up an object or practice during Lent, but to also to lift up voices, hearts, and souls and take up a greater concern for others.

Father White, who taught at the University of San Diego High School, addressed the importance of Lenten service during his homily.

After Mass, three students spoke to the student about The Giving Wagons, a club that donates socks, food, water, and blankets to the homeless in downtown San Diego.

“Ultimately, [Lent] is a time to be free to embrace the reality that we, and all humanity, are made in the image and likeness of God,” Father White said.  “We are all people of infinite dignity and worth. The poor, the lost, the least, and the left out of our world must be our priority, because they were the priority of Jesus.”

(Angelina Hicks is managing editor of El Cid, the student newspaper of Cathedral Catholic High School.)

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