Ash Wednesday Prayer Service of Repentance Outside the White House

When: Ash Wednesday, February 14, 2018 — from Noon-1:00 p.m. 

Where: White House (north side on Pennsylvania Ave.) 
“The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel.” (Mk.1:15)

“A Church that doesn’t provoke any crises, a gospel that doesn’t unsettle, a word of God that doesn’t get under anyone’s skin, a word of God that doesn’t touch the real sin of the society in which it is being proclaimed – what Gospel is that”? – Archbishop Oscar Romero

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a time for personal and societal repentance, radical conversion, renewal and transformation. Living under the brutal occupation of the Roman empire, Jesus declared: “The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel.” (Mk.1:15) Living in the U.S. empire, which is responsible for so much needless death and suffering in our world, we need to heed Jesus’ proclamation now more than ever!

On Ash Wednesdaypeople from the faith-based peace and justice community in the D.C. area will hold a prayer service in front of the White House to call for repentance and conversion of ourselves, our society and our churches to the Gospel way of justice, nonviolence and a reverence for all life and creation. This year, Ash Wednesday also falls on the same day that the Catholic Church and other churches commemorate St. Valentine, the 3rd century Roman martyr.
Today, we are especially mindful of our urgent duty to proclaim the Gospel mandates of love, mercy and justice and to nonviolently resist the hate-filled, fear-driven and destructive policies of the Trump administration and Congress. We commit ourselves to ending of all forms of oppression, racial hatred, sexism and violence. We demand an end to racial profiling and police violence against African Americans and other people of color. We denounce the demonizing and targeting of Muslims. We deplore the detention and the prospect of mass deportation of immigrants as well as the proposed expansion of the Border Wall. We decry the continuing repression of native peoples and the desecration of native lands and call for the cancellation of the Dakota Access and Keystone pipeline’s. 
During this Holy Season, we call upon all people of faith and goodwill to join with us in seeking to eradicate what Martin Luther King, Jr. called the “triple evils of poverty, racism and militarism.” While tax cuts are given to the rich, millions of Americans are living in dire poverty and without adequate health care. We call for an end to corporate domination, systemic racism and income inequality; justice for the poor and homeless; and comprehensive immigration reform and affordable health care for all. We call for an end to torture, indefinite detention, the mass incarceration complex and the death penalty; debt forgiveness for poor countries; and for massive aid to help rebuild Puerto Rico. We commit ourselves to upholding the human rights of all people.
We call for the U.S. to repent and make reparations for the suffering and death it has inflicted on other countries. We further call on the U.S. to pursue the path of nonviolent conflict resolution and to make peace with the Islamic state, N. Korea, Iran and Russia. We call, too, for the abolition of war and the conversion of our war-based economy to one centered on serving the common good and protecting the earth, our common home. We also call for an end to U.S. military intervention worldwide, including in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. We call for an end to the U.S.-backed Saudi war in Yemen, as well as an end to U.S. military support for the illegitimate government in Honduras and Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. And we call for the closing of the over 800 U.S. military bases across the globe, including in Guantanamo and Okinawa, Japan.
As the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist has now moved the “doomsday clock” to two minutes to midnight, due to the ever-growing perils nuclear war and climate change pose to civilization, we call on the Trump Administration and Congress to renounce the new Nuclear Posture Review, cancel the $1 trillion nuclear modernization program, ratify the historic UN Treaty to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and safeguard the environment. We call, too, for an end to the U.S. militarization of space, and for the elimination of all weapons–from guns to killer drones to nuclear weapons.

Let us begin Lent together by joining in this important Ash Wednesday witness as we strive with sisters and brother worldwide to make God’s reign of love, justice and peace a reality.


Ashes will be blessed and distributed. Please join us.

Art Laffin, Dorothy Day Catholic Worker

Scott Wright, Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach
Jean Stokan, Sisters of Mercy Justice Team
Marie Dennis, Assisi Community
Fr. Joe Nangle, OFM, Assisi Community
Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore
For more info contact Art Laffinartlaffin@hotmail.com202-360-6416.
Published in: on February 6, 2018 at 1:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: