Catholics across the Bronx kick off Lenten season with Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday, and Catholics from around the borough are coming out to honor the start of the Lenten season.
At Saint Benedict’s Catholic Church, dozens in the community are marking Ash Wednesday as Lent gets underway.

Second through eighth-graders at Saint Benedict’s Catholic School filed into the church along with members of the community. It's a day of prayer, fasting and abstinence as the 40-day countdown to Easter, not including Sundays, gets underway.
The symbolism of smeared ashes on one's forehead reminds parishioners to look inward and repent.
The priest at Saint Benedict’s says the church usually holds two Masses on weekdays, but that this holiday is always so well-attended, there will be six opportunities for people to come out and receive their ashes.
The priest also tells News 12 he and other church leaders go to local senior and nursing centers, trying to make sure anyone who wishes to participate can.

Ash Wednesday means it's just six weeks until Easter, a festive and reflective time of year across the city.