Thousands of Catholics, from teachers, students and parents at Diocese of Dallas schools to workers downtown and in other areas, flocked to Masses across North Texas, initiating the Lenten season by receiving ashes on their foreheads during Ash Wednesday services.
Many parishes scheduled their first Masses before the sun rose and several scheduled theirs after the sun would set on Wednesday.
At the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Bishop Kevin J. Farrell celebrated Mass for more than 1,100 people who had gathered at the downtown sanctuary.
In his homily, he said that Lent allows us to “reflect on how we live our Catholic faith.”
“We should not look so much as to what we are going to give up as much as what we are going to do,” he said, adding that it is important to realize “what is in your heart.”
He said that it is important “to forgive as you would like to be forgiven” and to treat one another charitably.
He also asked the worshippers to pray the “Our Father” daily during lent, but to really listen to words as they are being recited.
“We are called to be the visible sign of Christ,” he said.
More coverage of Ash Wednesday and Lent will be available in the March 14 printed edition of The Texas Catholic.