Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday

Lent is the time of year when we are asked to sacrifice for others. And I can't think of a better example of someone who has sacrificed for others than Fr. Andrzej Madej, O.M.I.

Twenty-four years ago Fr. Andrzej left his homeland of Poland to become a groundbreaking missionary. He was sent to Turkmenistan, a country that had been part of the Soviet Union and where Christianity had been erased for generations.

Father Andrzej went to Rukmenistan because nobody else wanted to. In fact, the Vatican asked 38 religious communities for volunteers to start a Turkemnistan mission. And 38 times got rejected. But on the 39th try the Vatican finally got a positive response from the Missionary Oblates, thanks to Fr. Andrzej.

"When I arrived there were only a handful of Catholic faithful. Over time I saw a community rise before my eyes," said Fr. Andrzej. "Being a witness of this birth is a great grace of God, because it means having participated in a birth that was troubled but full of hope. We live the experience of the Apostolic Church, which starts from scratch and is based on the power of the Word of God."

today, Fr. Andrzej is one of three Catholic priests ministering in Turkmenistan, all Oblates. They serve about 150 people from a rented house that they converted part of into a chapel, The fruits of the Oblates' labor is beginning to pay off. Six people were recently baptized into the community. In 2016 the Oblates celebrated the ordination of Fr. Anton iItvinov, O.M.I. who grew up attending Mass at the chapel. Father Anton is believed to be the first person ever from Turkmenistan to be ordained a priest.

During the upcoming Lenten season, you will be asked to make sacrifices to help those who are less fortunate. Would you consider becoming a co-missionary with the Missionary Oblates? Here are just a few examples of how your small Lenten sacrifices can go a long way in helping the less fortunate in our Oblate missions:

- A gift of $1 for each day of Lent can provide a family in Haiti with clean water for three years.

- A gift of $2 for each day of Lent can cover prescriptions not paid for by insurance for a retired Oblate for one month.

- A gift of $3 for each day of Lent can allow six young women to live for a year in a dormitory in Zambia. The dormitory was built by the Oblates so young women from rural villages can attend high school.

- A gift of $4 for each day of Lent can feed a family for an entire year at the Oblate mission in Tijuana, B.C., Mexico.

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.
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.


Praying the Stations of the Cross Prayer Booklet

In appreciation for your donation, the Oblates will send you a complimentaryStations of the Cross 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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