Thousands of local Catholics flocked to church, a hall and a chapel for English and Spanish services to celebrate Ash Wednesday, which is also observed by Episcopalians and some Protestants as the beginning of the season of Lent.
Lent is a 40-day spiritual preparation preceding Easter Sunday, which is when Christians believe the 1st century Jewish rabbi Jesus resurrected after being dead for days.
Due to heavy attendance, St. Joachim Catholic Church had 13 separate services, including three Masses, where ashes were distributed Wednesday. In comparison, the church only has seven services on Sundays, five on other solemn holy days, and two on most weekdays.
At the Catholic services, Rev. Gustavo López, OSJ, debunked common misconceptions about the meaning of Ash Wednesday...