Of ashes …
Danielle Perra, an eighth-grader at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School in Hastings, receives ashes from Father James Perkl, pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish, during a Mass for students of the school and parishioners on Ash Wednesday, March 9, at the church, as he proclaims, "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel."
The Mass started with a group of students from each grade carrying water in a procession that kicked off a parish and school fundraiser for the Diocese of Kitui, Kenya. Leading the way are kindergartner Jerilyn Stark and seventh-grader Emily Williams. The fundraiser is called Change for Kitui and students and parishioners are asked to bring home plastic cups with the program name on them, and then fill them with spare coins. Last year, a similar project raised more than $17,000, which was sent to Kitui. The parish is taking part in a larger partnership that the archdiocese has with Kitui. Money is used to help build dams in the drought-prone region so that water coming during the rainy season can be preserved for times of drought. Members of the parish, including Father Perkl, visited Kitui in 2005, and hosted members of a Kitui delegation in September of 2009. Pictures by Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit