ERIE, Pa. — Wednesday started the Lenten season as Catholics around the world filled churches for Ash Wednesday.
In Erie, hundreds of parishioners showed up for the afternoon mass at Saint Patrick’s in downtown Erie.
The line for ashes was out the door well before mass started as everyone young and old were waiting their turn. Monsignor Henry Kriegel said he is happy to see so many devout Catholics display their faith in public today.
Starting Wednesday, many people will fast or give something up for 40 days in preparation for the celebration of Easter.
Traditionally, people tend to give up sweets, junk food, soda or bad habits like smoking. But there seems to be a different trend this year.
They said it:
“I’m going to add something … I’m going to add some extra prayers to my life and try to do a little bit more for the community.” – Rob Lopez.
“Actually … non-traditional this year … more kindness towards other people … more patience … more humbling kinds of things … simplicity.” – Sue Coursey
“I’m not giving anything up … but I’m going to go to church every day … all the 40 days.” – Theresa Kierzek
“Giving where I can … and realizing that everyone has a struggle … everyone has their own story … you just don’t know what it is. So you have a choice to make every morning when you get up … might as well choose to be kind.” – Therese Weston