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Champaign schools investigating Ash Wednesday service

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) _ A central Illinois school district is investigating after a Catholic priest held an Ash Wednesday service for high school students.

Judy Wiegand is superintendent of Champaign Community Unit School District No. 4. She tells the News-Gazette that the district is “doing a full investigation” and “disciplinary action” would be taken if there was a violation of board policy.

The Rev. Joel Phelps of St. Patrick’s Church in Urbana says he was responding to a Centennial High School teacher’s request after choir students asked for the service. The students were leaving at 6 a.m. Wednesday for a field trip and Phelps agreed to distribute ashes before their departure.

The priest says he doesn’t see any issues and was simply helping a teacher respond to a request from students and parents.
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Information from: The News-Gazette