St. Robert Bellarmine parish hosted their first Annual Mardi Gras celebration Sunday afternoon, which is known as “Fat Tuesday,” or the practice of the last night of eating rich, fatty foods before the Lenten season begins with Ash Wednesday which takes place 46 days before Easter Sunday.
The event started with Father Philip Brune blessed burning palm branches from the previous year’s Palm Sunday Mass. Father Brune will administer the ashes during Mass today, Feb. 26.
“All are invited to accept the ashes as a visible symbol of penance,” Catholic Daughters of the Americas Regent Terri Beltran said.
Times for Mass on Wednesday are 6:45 a.m. and 4 p.m. in English and at 7 p.m. in Spanish.
Following the burning of the palms on Sunday, parishioners were invited to a potluck feast. They were also invited to make their traditional “Capirotada,” or also known as bread pudding. From the 17 entries, Silvia Hogan was the winner and she received $100. Hogan’s winning recipe was one of her mother’s recipes. Second place went to Mary Ellen Benavidez and Alejandra Olguin finished third.
“Ash Wednesday comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting,” Beltran explained. “The practice includes the wearing of ashes on the head. The ashes symbolize the dust from which God made us. As the priest applies the ashes to a person’s forehead, he speaks the words: ‘Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.’ Ashes also symbolize grief, in this case, grief that we have sinned and caused division from God.”