More parishioners begin Great Lent with Ash Wednesday this year

By WKTV News

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - One local priest says he's seeing more parishioners taking part in Ash Wednesday this year, and he says it may be partly because of the Catholic Church making headlines with Pope Benedict XVI stepping down.

Father Jim Cesta of St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Blessed Sacrament Parish on Jay Street in Utica says many more Christians are participating in the marking of the ashes this year, no matter what their denomination.

"Even other Christian churches that aren't Catholic are getting into Ash Wednesday, they see the value especially with young people being marked with ashes," he said.

" I think we're proud and perhaps more people are coming to Ash Wednesday refreshing their Catholic identity because we're in the news the last two or three days."

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