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Students fill St. Paul’s on Ash Wednesday
Written by Kevin Mauer, for the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015 -- 12:00 AM
Frs. Eric Nielsen and Mark Miller distribute ashes at St. Paul University Catholic Center on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Ash Wednesday is the busiest day of the year at St. Paul’s with over 1,900 students attending Mass. (Contributed photo)

MADISON -- The marquee on Library Mall read, “Get your ash to Mass.” And get to Mass they did.

When Ash Wednesday comes around at St. Paul University Catholic Center on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, it’s all hands on deck.

Our liturgical rotation on Ash Wednesday included three priests, five sacristans, eight altar servers, 10 lectors, dozens of choir members, and 17 ashes-distributors for our five Masses.

Busiest day of year

We needed all the hands we could get. With students typically going back home for Christmas and Easter, Ash Wednesday is by far the busiest day of the year in the St. Paul’s chapel.

This year, over 1,900 students came through our doors to be told that they are dust and to dust they shall return. That number is about double the attendance of a typical Sunday.

Why so popular?

We’re still not sure what makes this day more popular than any Sunday or holy days of obligation.

Apparently, being repeatedly asked the question, “Excuse me, did you know you have dirt on your face?” at every class throughout the day is no deterrent to these students.

More likely, it’s an incentive. The fact that so many hundreds of students on campus would sooner claim Catholicism as an identity than to practice it by, for example, fulfilling the Sunday obligation is an indication that the Catholic brand is alive and well here.

This has major implications for the New Evangelization. It means that more people of the Millennial generation than we might think are willing to give the Catholic faith a chance, but have never discovered a reason to become fully alive in that faith and to actively seek a nearer approach to God.

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Love each other, don't fight advice from couple married 76 years
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015 -- 12:00 AM

MIDDLETON -- On February 11, 1939, the start of World War II was more than six months away, the movie Stagecoach -- John Wayne’s breakthrough role -- was days away from premiering in New York and Los Angeles, and the Catholic Church mourned the death of Pope Pius XI, who died the day before.

The world, in many ways, has changed since then. One thing that has stayed in the same in the past 76 years is the love between Veronica and Donald Harrop.

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Following Jesus ‘outside the camp’
Written by Bishop Robert C. Morlino   
Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015 -- 12:00 AM

Dear Friends,

I hope that your Lent has gotten underway in a way that is already prayer-filled and fruitful. Furthermore, I hope that it continues to be so.

On the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, the readings provided me with a few points for reflection -- they are three simple points about being “outside the camp.”

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