March 2, 2022  |  By:   |  Press Releases  |  

— The message reaches millions of faithful in the Archdiocese of L.A. as they prepare for Ash Wednesday, a time of contemplation and renewal leading to Holy Week—

In his weekly column, “A tenderness revolution,“ published today in the archdiocesan multimedia publication Angelus NewsArchbishop José H. Gomez delivered a message of peace and tenderness and reminded the faithful that every war begins in the human heart, as the world is saddened by tensions and a growing war scenario in Ukraine. The message arrives as Catholics in the tri-county Archdiocese of Los Angeles (Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties) and around the world prepare to celebrate Ash Wednesday Masses, marking the beginning of Lent, a time of contemplation and renewal, which leads to Holy Week.

“We begin Lent this year with the world under the cloud of war,” said Archbishop Gomez. “Pope Francis asked that we pray and fast on Ash Wednesday for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, whose homeland is under attack from Russia. We ask the Lord of Peace to touch the hearts of the aggressors and move them to conversion. We pray for a just peace that recognizes the dignity and sovereignty of the Ukrainian people. Every war, in some way, has its beginnings deep in the human heart.

“Our hearts are divided. The good that we want to do, often we do not do. Too often we find that we are pulled in the opposite direction, away from what is good and true and beautiful,” said Archbishop Gomez, citing readings of St. James and St. Peter in the New Testament.

“Lent is a privileged moment that we have, each year, to concentrate on our struggle, to really work on making progress in our ongoing conversion to Christ,” continued Archbishop Gomez in his weekly column in Angelus News.

Archbishop Gomez referred readers to for the next 40 days, to concentrate this Lent on “some essentials for our spiritual growth — the daily examination of conscience, regular confession, praying for others, and practicing mercy and tenderness.

“Ask the Holy Spirit to help you review the day — the blessings you received, the good you have done during the day, and the ways you have sinned or fallen short. Thank God for the good, tell him you are sorry for your failures, and make a resolution to improve. Praying for others every day is another important habit that we ought to develop. It helps us to grow in compassion and to become less selfish and self-centered. And our prayer must be matched by our actions. Which is why during Lent I am urging that we become more intentional about practicing tenderness,” said Archbishop Gomez.

For Catholics, Lent is a time of prayer, penance, reflection and giving. The Archdiocese has created a new webpage on the Archdiocesan website,, to provide faithful with daily Lenten reflections, prayers, and resources for almsgiving and service.

For more information about Lent, visit, and to learn more about Angelus News, visit


Under the spiritual leadership of Archbishop José H. Gomez, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is the largest in the United States, serving the counties of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara, covering approximately 9,000 square miles in 120 cities. The nearly 5 million Catholics in the Archdiocese come from some 70 countries and from every continent. Weekly Masses are celebrated in 42 languages throughout 288 parishes, and more than 73,000 students attend an Archdiocesan Catholic elementary or high school. For the latest news, events and to subscribe for media alerts, visit