Bookmark and Share

February 28, 2006


Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, will celebrate Mass and distribute ashes on:

Wednesday, March 1, 2006
12:05 p.m.
Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
18th and Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Ash Wednesday signifies the beginning of Lent for Christians throughout the world. Lent is the penitential season of prayer and sacrifice from Ash Wednesday through Holy Thursday, in preparation for Easter. Catholics throughout the Archdiocese will visit their parish churches to receive the blessed ashes, which are marked in the sign of a cross on the foreheads of the faithful. The symbolic ashes remind the faithful of their mortality.

In the chapel adjacent to the Cathedral, distribution of ashes will take place after the homily during the following Masses: 7:15 a.m., 8:00 a.m., 12:35 p.m. and 5:15 p.m.

For the past 30 years, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has begun Operation Rice Bowl on Ash Wednesday. Operation Rice Bowl is a 40-day Lenten program, which encourages parishioners to fast one day a week during Lent. Families place money that would have been spent on meals in a cardboard "rice bowl" to remember those who are poor and hungry. Since its beginning Operation Rice Bowl has raised more than $142 million to fund around the world and in local diocesan communities in the United States. More than 15,000 faith communities across the United States participate in Operation Rice Bowl.

In the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, hundreds of parishes and schools participate annually in Operation Rice Bowl. In Lent of 2005, close to $250,000 was raised. Of that amount, three quarters was sent directly overseas for Catholic Relief Services projects. One-quarter remained in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and assisted Nutritional Development Services and purchased food for local soup kitchens and food cupboards. For more information on Operation Rice Bowl please visit

Special Note: Cardinal Rigali has granted a dispensation from the Lenten obligation to abstain from eating meat on Friday, March 17, 2006 because of the Feast of Saint Patrick. The Cardinal encourages those who wish to take advantage of this dispensation to perform some other Lenten work of piety or charity.

Meredith V. Wilson
Communications Specialist

Back to Top