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February 16, 2010


Most Reverend Robert P. Maginnis, Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia, will celebrate Mass and distribute ashes on:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010
12:05 p.m.
Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
18th and Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Concelebrants will include Most Reverend Joseph P. McFadden, Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia, Most Reverend Daniel E. Thomas, Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia and Most Reverend Timothy C. Senior, Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia. 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.

The Bishops of the United States prescribe, as minimal obligation, that all persons who are fourteen years of age and older are bound to abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday, on all the Fridays of Lent and Good Friday. Further, all persons eighteen years of age and older, up to and including their fifty-ninth birthday, are bound to fast by limiting themselves to a single full meal on Ash Wednesday and on Good Friday, while the other two meals on those days are to be light.

All the faithful are encouraged, when possible, to participate at Mass and to receive the Holy Eucharist daily, to celebrate frequently the Sacrament of Penance, to undertake spiritual reading, especially the study of the Sacred Scriptures, and to participate in parish Lenten devotions as well as Lenten education programs. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is especially recommended.

Editor's Note: Because the Feast of Saint Joseph will be on a Friday in Lent this year, the obligation to abstain from meat does not bind on the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Friday, March 19, 2010.

An audio and video mult-box feed will be provided in the rear parking lot of the Cathedral. Please enter on 17th Street between Race and Vine Streets. Crews will need a bnc connector and a recording deck or a live truck. Television cameras will not be permitted in the Cathedral. Reporters and still photographers will be permitted.

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Meredith Wilson
Communications Specialist

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