DuBOIS — Lent — a season of fasting and prayer by Christians — began Wednesday with the observance of Ash Wednesday. This Holy Day is celebrated by most Catholics and some Protestants and takes place 46 days before Easter Sunday.

“Ash Wednesday comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting,” according to the Catholic.org website. “The practice includes the wearing of ashes on the head. The ashes symbolize the dust from which God made us. As the priest applies the ashes to a person’s forehead, he speaks the words: ‘Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.’”

Alternatively, the priest may speak the words, “Repent and believe in the Gospel.”

“Ashes also symbolize grief, in this case, grief that we have sinned and caused division from God,” the website says.

Writings from the Second-century Church refer to the wearing of ashes as a sign of penance.

Priests administer ashes during Mass and all are invited to accept the ashes as a visible symbol of penance. Even non-Christians and the excommunicated are welcome to receive the ashes. The ashes are made from blessed palm branches, taken from the previous year’s palm Sunday Mass.

DuBois Central Catholic hosted its Alumni Mass on Wednesday in the school gym.

All local alumni of Central, of St. Catherine’s High School, or anyone now living locally who graduated from a Catholic high school in another region of the country were welcome to attend.

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