Students and staff at Fresno City College celebrate Ash Wednesday

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- For students and staff, the Ash Wednesday noon mass at the Fresno City College auditorium was heaven sent.

Father Ray Dreiling said it was important to bring the church to students on a tight schedule.

"I like it a lot better because my home church is about an hour south, so I couldn't really go there and still make it to classes," says Joseph Mello. "So having this before class is really convenient."

Mello is part of Fresno City College's Catholic Student Association. The group helped set up the Ash Wednesday services.

Deacon Bryan Martin joined Father Ray in distributing ashes. Those of the faith often "give up" or sacrifice something for the 40-day Lent period.

"I am going to give up meat, and I'm also going to give up sweets," says Jocelyn Landeros.

Father Ray told those gathered to focus on three things during Lent.

"Prayer, being prayerful, more prayerful," says Father Ray. "Not taking more than you need, to fast and most especially, service to our neighbor."

The mass was moved to the auditorium from the faculty hall, where it was held last year to accommodate more people.

This was just the fourth time an Ash Wednesday mass was held at Fresno City College.

As long as people keep attending, the school will continue to host the masses.
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.