Ash Wednesday was last week – February 18, 2015. At 2:30PM that day, I departed from my intern parish to a Detention Center facility. After 30 minutes driving on Interstate 10, I arrived at the Detention Center at 3:00PM. Due to the schedule at the Detention Center, I could not have Liturgy of Word with Communion along with ashes distribution to detainees as a group as the religious coordinator of the facility and I had planned. Thus, I got a chance to go from cell to cell in the facility that day to distribute ashes. The interesting and exciting walk just started!
Accompanied by two officers, I went to the detainees in the facility and distributed ashes to them. The number of detainees who wanted to receive ashes varied from one cell to another: one detainee in this cell and group of 18 detainees in another cell.
The two officers and I went around the facility for three hours!
When we finished the “tour” around the facility that day, one of the two officers who accompanied me all the time said: “It was a good two-hour walk. I am so glad I did my exercise at work!” I was glad to know that the officer enjoyed the walk, and took it as his daily exercise. For me, it went beyond a two-hour walk as a daily exercise. It was… my two-hour mission on Ash Wednesday.
I was so grateful to God for using me, a little instrument, to distribute ashes to the detainees that day.