This year 2022, the Ash Wednesday, which in the liturgical calendar marks the beginning of our Lenten journey towards Easter, was a Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace in Ukraine, as requested by Pope Francis.

Here at St Dominic’s in Macau, the community Mass was presided over by its Prior, Fr Javier Gonzalez, during which the ashes were imposed on all its members with the customary words “Repent and believe the Gospel.” The Mass readings of that day highlighted the Lenten itinerary in expressions such as “Return to the Lord…” (prophet Joel), “Be reconciled to God” (St Paul), “When you pray…When you give alms… When you fast…” (Jesus). Our response both as individuals and as a community could not be other than “Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned” (Resp. Psalm). We continue praying for our personal conversion and for peace in the world.