Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday

When I distribute ashes on Ash Wednesday this year, I will be thinking about a special Oblate ministry, one that is currently rising from the ashes in Tijuana, Mexico.

These photos were taken at the Oblates' San Martin de Porres Chapel. It is one of 15 chapels that are part of the Oblates' La Morita Mission in Tijuana. San Martin serves the poorest and most vulnerable area of the parish. Most families there live in extreme poverty with no running water, electricity or sewer system.

A few weeks after these pictures were taken, fire completely destroyed the chapel, religious education classrooms, community center and seven neighboring houses. The Oblates were devastated, but their first reaction had nothing to do with their losses. Instead they focused on their neighbors.

"The fire left these families with nothing," said Fr. Jess Esqueda, O.M.I. "We brought them food, baby formula, clothes, shoes, toiletries, kitchen supplies and furniture such as beds, tables, stoves, refrigerators, doors, windows and lumber so they could start rebuilding.

Once their neighbors were taken care of, the Oblates began to rebuild their San Martin community. Father Jesses recently sent me these photos of the construction, and wanted me to thank benefactors like you who are helping the community "rise from the ashes,"

During Lent we reach out to people through prayer and by making sacrifices. This Lenten season we want to pray for you. In return we ask that you consider making a sacrifice to help people like those served by the Oblates in Tijuana.

You can make a difference in the lives of the poor served by the Oblates. Here are examples of how even small sacrifices can help the poor in our Tijuana missions.

- A gift of $1 for each day of Lent can provide a family with their annual visits to the dentist at a health clinic run by the Oblates.

- A gift of $2 for each day of Lent can feed a family for two months.

- A gift of $3 for each day of Lent can provide textbooks for an entire classroom of students.

- A gift of $5 for each day of Lent can allow the Oblates to purchase plywood, tar, nails and shingles for a family who had their home damaged during a storm.

In appreciation of your donation, the Oblates will send you a complimentary Stations of the Cross prayer booklet. This booklet features prayers and meditations for each Station as well as beautiful photographs of the recently instated Way of the Cross at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows. This special devotional site has been completely renovated thanks to the generosity of benefactors like you!

In addition to receiving your prayer booklet, you can download an e-booklet version I have also selected some special Lenten devotional gifts that you can receive to enhance your prayer life.

Please take some time this Lent to pray for the Oblates in Tijuana, their parishioners and neighbors who are rebuilding their lives. Throughout Lent they will be remembering your needs at Mass and in their prayers. I will also do the same for you.


Ash Wednesday/Lenten Prayer Petitions

Throughout the season of Lent, the Missionary Oblates and pilgrims to the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows will remember the intentions at Mass and in their prayers.
Submit a Prayer Request

Ash Wednesday Devotional Gifts


Stations of the Cross Prayers Booklet


Ash Wednesday Votive Candles


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