Archdiocesan statement regarding Ash Wednesday
Lent begins tomorrow, February 17, with Ash Wednesday. With precipitation and temperatures remaining well below freezing overnight and into tomorrow morning, please check with your parishes and monitor their social media throughout the day and tomorrow morning for information regarding Mass times. Many churches are canceling or reducing the number of liturgies they are offering out of concern for the safety of their parishioners in these dangerous conditions. Many facilities are also without power, and roads are still closed in some areas. Driving conditions remain difficult with ice and snow.
In recognition of the challenges almost all families are facing in the archdiocese due to widespread lack of electricity and water, Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, MSpS, has granted the faithful a dispensation from the law of fast and abstinence on Ash Wednesday.
Even though it is not a Holy Day of Obligation, it is a very meaningful occasion, and in recognition of the importance Catholics place on receiving ashes, Archbishop Gustavo is also allowing all parishes of the archdiocese to distribute ashes at the conclusion of Masses this weekend.
In addition, the archbishop requests that everyone continue to pray for those waiting to have their electricity restored, those in need of a warm place to stay, as well as first responders and other essential workers who brave the elements to serve others at this crucial time.