Auxiliary Bishop John J. McIntyre celebrated Ash Wednesday Mass for a near capacity crowd of more than a thousand faithful at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul on Feb. 10. Father Gerald Dennis Gill, rector and pastor of the cathedral parish, was the homilist.

Catholics in all 219 parishes across the Archdiocese of Philadelphia attended Mass or a Liturgy of the Word and received blessed ashes on their foreheads, marked in the sign of a cross, reminding them to repent and believe in the Gospel as they began their journey through Lent this year.

Beginning next week, the cathedral parish will offer the sacrament of penance on Wednesday evenings in Lent beginning at 7 p.m. Many parishes throughout the archdiocese also will offer the opportunity for confessions on Wednesday evenings in Lent, in addition to regular times, such as on Saturdays. (Photos by Sarah Webb)

Bishop John McIntyre makes the symbol of a cross on Joe Percora, of Saint Francis of Assisi Church in Springfield, Delaware County, marking the beginning of the Season of Lent.

Bishop John McIntyre makes the symbol of a cross on Joe Percora, of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Springfield, Delaware County.

Amie Klapach, from Saint Vincent De Paul Chuch in Richboro, receives ashes marking the beginning of the Season of Lent for Christians throughout the world.

Amie Klapach, from St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Richboro, receives ashes.

Meghan Gallogly

Meghan Gallogly

James Sisneros receives his ashes.

James Sisneros receives his ashes.

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Joseph A. Juinan, III, from Saint Robert Bellarmine Church in Warrington, prays during Ash Wednesday Mass.

Joseph A. Guinan III, from St. Robert Bellarmine Parish in Warrington, prays during Ash Wednesday Mass.

Patrick Kaiser, from Saint Christopher Church in Northeast Philadlephia, was one of many people standing in the crowded Cathedral Basillica of SS Peter and Paul.

Patrick Kaiser, from St. Christopher Parish in Northeast Philadelphia, was one of many people standing in the crowded Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul.

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Jeannine Graff, from Epiphany of Our Lord Church in South Philadelphia, prays after receiving ashes.

Jeannine Graff, from Epiphany of Our Lord Parish in South Philadelphia, prays after receiving ashes.

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Sonny Donia

Sonny Donia receives holy Communion.

Joe Naugle, from Saint Joseph Church in Downingtown, receives communion.

Joe Naugle, from St. Joseph Church in Downingtown, receives holy Communion.

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It was standing room only at The Cathedral Basillica of SS Peter and Paul, in Philadelphia, for Ash Wednesday Mass.

It was standing room only at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia for Ash Wednesday Mass Feb. 10.

Kevin Kirby, from Saint Agnes Church in West Chester, prays during Mass on Ash Wednesday.

Kevin Kirby, from St. Agnes Parish in West Chester, prays during Mass on Ash Wednesday.

Kyle Connison, from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, prays before receiving ashes.

Kyle Connison (right), from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, prays before receiving ashes.

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Margaret Ann Meyer receives ashes from Msgr. Daniel Kutys.

Margaret Ann Meyer receives ashes from Msgr. Daniel Kutys.

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Father James Oliver distributes ashes to Darius Guc.

Father James Oliver distributes ashes to Darius Guc.

Father Kenneth Brabazon hold the holy water as Bishop John McIntyre blesses the ashes for distribution during Mass at The Cathedral Basillica of SS Peter and Paul on Ash Wednesday.

Father Kenneth Brabazon (left) assists Bishop John McIntyre as he blesses the ashes for distribution during Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul on Ash Wednesday.

Drew DeNardo, parishoner of Saint Catherine of Siena Parish in Horsham, receives ashes from Bishop John McIntyre.

Drew DeNardo, parishioner of St. Catherine of Siena in Horsham, receives ashes from Bishop John McIntyre.