Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday

In 2008 I attended the Oblate novitiate, a year away to examine my calling to religious life. At the novitiate I became good friends with two of my brother novices, Mathews Zulu and Lucio Castillo.

Fr. David, Fr. Mathews, Fr. LucioFast forward to today and I now have the honor of connecting benefactors like you with Missionary Oblates serving in some of the most difficult places in the world, including my friends Fr. Mathews and Fr. Lucio. During the upcoming Lenten season, I ask that you consider making a small sacrifice in order to help my former classmates serve the poorest of the poor. Let me tell you about these wonderful men.

Father Mathews is from Zambia and worked for three years as a hospital lab assistant. He found his calling to serve others at the hospital, especially the poor who struggled to pay for their medical care. He also worked at a hospice run by Mother Teresa's sisters. Called to religious life, Fr. Mathews joined the Oblates because we work with the most abandoned.

Today, Fr. Mathews' primary ministry in Zambia is as a hospital chaplain. He comforts the sick and the dying while caring for their spiritual needs.

Father Lucio spent most of his youth in San Fernando, California where he attended the Oblates' Santa Rosa Parish. After graduating college, Fr. Lucio felt something was missing in his life, and began looking at becoming a priest. He decided to join the Oblates after making a mission trip to our mission in Tijuana, B.C., Mexico.

Today, Fr. Lucio is ministering to the poor at the same mission in Tijuana that convinced him to join the Oblates. He works tirelessly providing for the spiritual, physical and educational needs of his parishioners. Father Lucio is also the Director of our mission clinic that provides medical and dental services.

How would you like to partner with Fr. Mathews, Fr. Lucio and other Missionary Oblates in serving the poor? Here are just a few ways that your small Lenten sacrifice can do just that:

+ A gift of $1 for each day of Lent can provide clean water for two families for an entire year at our Zambia missions.
+ A gift of $2 for each day of Lent can feed three families in our Tijuana mission for a month.
+ A gift of $3 for each day of Lent can allow six young women in Zambia to attend high school while living at a dormitory built by the Oblates.
+ A gift of $4 for each day of Lent can cover the cost of building materials for a simple home in Tijuana.

As a novice, I was impressed with how much Fr. Mathews and Fr. Lucio desired to serve the poorest of the poor. My heart is filled with joy knowing that their desire is now a reality in Zambia and Tijuana. Please say a prayer for Fr. Mathews and Fr. Lucio so that they will continue to find joy in their missionary journey.

Ash Wednesday/Lenten Prayer Petitions

Please send your Lenten prayer needs and I will have your intentions lifted up each day of Lent at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows. I will also make sure that the intentions you send will be delivered to Fr. Mathews and Fr. Lucio so they too can pray for you.

Submit a Prayer Request

Ash Wednesday Devotional Gifts

Select one or more of our special Lenten devotional gifts that you may want to receive for your Lenten donation in support of the Oblates.


Lenten Prayers Booklet

In appreciation for your donation, the Oblates will send you a complimentary A Prayer Journey booklet.


Ash Wednesday Votive Candles

For a donation of $25 or more you may have a Lenten Votive Candle lit at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows for you or a loved one. For $50 or more, a Resurrection Taper Candle can be lit for your intentions at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, the place where Jesus was buried.


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