March 01, 2022

In the letter he sent the Catholic University community last week, University President John Garvey invited the entire Catholic University community to join Pope Francis in dedicating Ash Wednesday, March 2, as “a Day of Fasting for Peace” and to join in the Pope’s prayer to Mary, Queen of Peace, “to save the world from the madness of war."

At Ash Wednesday Masses, Campus Ministry will provide prayer cards and petitions will include prayers for world peace and the people of Ukraine. The prayer cards feature an image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in the Ukraine on one side, with an abridged version of Pope Francis’ Prayer for Peace on the other side.

The University’s Center for Ukrainian Church Studies within the Institute for the Study of Eastern Christianity is planning a prayer vigil to be held Wednesday, March 2, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception’s Byzantine Chapel. It will include a full day of prayer, and is scheduled to be livestreamed. The day will include:

  • 8 a.m. Lenten Matins (Morning Office) 
  • 10 a.m. Jesus Prayer 
  • 10:30 a.m. Paraclesis (Prayer of Supplication to the Mother of God) 
  • Noon Readings and Meditation on the Word of God (Psalter and Old Testament Prophets), and from the Ladder of Divine Ascent of St. John Climacus 
  • 2 p.m. Akathist Hymn (Devotional Service) to the Life-Giving Cross AC (with Servants of the Lord).
  • 3 p.m. Lenten Sixth and Ninth Hours 
  • 4 p.m. Prayers of Preparation for Holy Communion 
  • 4:30 p.m. Lenten Divine Liturgy (Eucharist) of the Presanctified Gifts 

Rev. Mark Morozowich, the dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies (TRS), is a Ukrainian Catholic priest. Seminarians from the neighboring St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Seminary study at Catholic University and the Ukrainian National Shrine of the Holy Family is across the street from the University.

Campus Ministry has also updated its “Catholic University Cares” webpage to provide additional information for the community on how they can “Pray, Learn, and Give” in response to this crisis. 

Ash Wednesday Masses will be held on campus at 8 a.m., 12:05 p.m., 12:30 p.m., 5:10 p.m., 5:15 p.m., and 9 p.m. Media wishing to attend any of these Masses or the prayer service must contact the Division of Communications at

Ash Wednesday Prayer CardLord, Grant us peace, teach us peace. Instill in our hearts the courage to take concretesteps to achieve peace.
Give us the strength daily to be instruments of peace; enable us to see everyone who crosses our path as our brother or sister.
Make us sensitive to the plea of our citizens who entreat us to turn our weapons of war into implements of peace, our trepidation into confident trust, and our quarreling into forgiveness.
Lord, defuse the violence of our tongues and our hands. Renew our hearts and minds, so that the word which always brings us together will be “brother.”

Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us.

-Pope Francis
Abridged version of Pope Francis' Prayer for Peace | USCCB