Who:               Parishes and Schools of the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg and other Christian denominations

What:              Observance of Ash Wednesday

When:             Wednesday, February 14th

The media are invited to cover Ash Wednesday at parishes and schools in the Diocese of St. Petersburg. Please reach out to Teresa L. Peterson to find out times for the distribution of ashes, tlp@dosp.org or 407-432-1974 (cell).


Wednesday, February 14 is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Season of Lent, a 40-day period of preparation for the celebration of Easter. During this time of preparation, Catholics and others devote themselves in a special way to prayer and works of charity, and observe days of fasting and abstinence (refraining from eating meat). Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting and abstinence, which allows us to simplify our lifestyles so that we can be freed from distractions to hear and respond to God’s continued call to conversion and holiness.

During services on Ash Wednesday, ashes are applied to the forehead in the sign of the cross. The priest of minister says, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you will return,” (Genesis 3:19) or similar words. Everyone is welcome to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday.

Members of the faithful are encouraged to observe Valentine’s Day with greater simplicity, due to its convergence with Ash Wednesday or they may choose to celebrate the holiday on Tuesday, February 13 or even during the previous weekend (February 10?11).