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With sideways, driving snow collecting in the folds of his clerical garb, Rev. Peter Campbell declared himself and his assistants as durable as postal carriers.
Or was this a form of penance?
Evidently not. Campbell and his assistants, Patricia Millet and Bob Lietz, laughed and seemed to enjoy the half hour they spent outside Christ Episcopal Church on Franklin Avenue in River Forest.
Campbell and Miller set up a table with a cross and candles, but the candles would not stay lit. Lietz, wearing ear muffs and surplice with cassock, spent part of the time shoveling the mounting snow off the sidewalk and pathway leading to the church, the motion keeping him warm.
This is the third year the church has set up an ash stand on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, for passersby as part of a nationwide Episcopal program called "Ashes to Go."
"I think its something special we can do to bring the church to the person where the person is, as opposed to forcing people through a door and into a confined space," Campbell said.